CHICAGO – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined a bipartisan coalition of 50 attorneys general in supporting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) effort to reduce robocallers’ access to legitimate phone numbers used to make illegal robocalls.
“I am committed to protecting the rights of Illinois consumers, and that includes defending against illegal robocalls,” Raoul said. “Robocalls cost consumers time and money, as well as violate their privacy. We have made some progress in our work to stop robocallers and combat spoofing, and I support the FCC in its effort to further protect consumers and reduce robocallers’ access to legitimate phone numbers.”
Earlier this year, phone companies were required to implement STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication technology to combat spoofing by ensuring that telephone calls originate from verified numbers. Because the technology prevents robocallers from spoofing phone numbers, scam robocalls have dropped by 29% since June, as the phone industry continues to put STIR/SHAKEN into effect.
Robocallers are now successfully evading caller ID authentication by purchasing access to legitimate phone numbers to conceal their identities. They typically do this by providing false identifying information to, or otherwise shielding their identities from, the companies that have access to legitimate numbers.
In today’s comments, Raoul and the coalition support the FCC’s proposals to implement a more thorough application, review, and monitoring process for phone companies that request direct access to phone numbers, as well as to require these companies to verify their customers’ identities to help prevent the numbers from being sold, leased, or rented to illegal robocallers. This includes limiting the use of both temporary phone numbers for trial customers and untraceable payment mechanisms.
Attorney General Raoul is joined in sending this comment letter by the Attorneys General of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.