In a letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission recently, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich led a bipartisan group of 30 attorneys general in urging the federal government to adopt rules that would allow telephone providers to block illegal robocalls.
The FCC has requested public comment on rules that would allow providers to block several types of “spoofed” calls, in which a call appears to be coming from one number, but is actually coming from a different number. Scammers frequently use spoofed calls to hide their identity and to trick consumers into believing that their calls are legitimate.
“Not every problem requires a government solution, but this is clearly an area where the federal government can act to help protect consumers from scam calls,” Brnovich said. “Complaints to our office about telephone scams have increased almost 1,000 percent in the past two years. We need to use every tool available to protect consumers from scam calls. The FCC should act to remove regulatory roadblocks preventing companies from blocking illegal calls.”
Currently, regulatory roadblocks prevent telecommunications companies from blocking many illegal robocalls. If the new rules are adopted, providers would be allowed to block calls coming from invalid numbers, unallocated numbers and numbers whose owners have requested to be blocked. For example, phone providers would be able to block a scammer that is using a telephone number that clearly can’t exist because it hasn’t been assigned.
The letter sounds the alarm about the growing number of telephone scam complaints in Arizona and across the country and supports the FCC’s proposal to remove regulatory roadblocks. As the letter points out, “legitimate businesses do not need to use any of these methods to contact consumers.”
Arizona signed this letter with attorneys general from Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin.