Ian Patrick, FISM News
All 50 state attorneys general are looking to put a stop to one of the most annoying, devastating, financially profitable modern-day scams: robocalls.
The attorneys general recently announced the nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force as a joint effort from all 50 states to crack down on the illegal trend. North Carolina’s Josh Stein, Indiana’s Todd Rokita, and Ohio’s Dave Yost are leading the task force.
Stein stated in a press release that he is “leading the effort . . . to work with the federal government and phone companies to fight robocalls.” The task force is also looking “to take action against phone companies that violate state and federal laws,” he said.
I’m proud to create this nationwide task force to hold companies accountable when they turn a blind eye to the robocallers they’re letting on to their networks so they can make more money. I’ve already brought one pathbreaking lawsuit against an out-of-state gateway provider, and I won’t hesitate to take legal action against others who break our laws and bombard North Carolinians with these harmful, unlawful calls.
Indiana Attorney General Rokita commented on the annoying nature of the robocalls in a press release from his website.
“If the telecom industry won’t police itself, this unprecedented task force will,” he wrote.
Yost said on his website that robocalls are “worse than mosquitoes, pesky and annoying” and said the “task force will be a nationwide bug zapper, not letting robocallers hide or get away with their deceptive acts.”
The task force “has [thus far] issued 20 civil investigative demands to 20 gateway providers and other entities that are allegedly responsible for a majority of foreign robocall traffic,” according to Stein’s press release.
Scammers seeking to defraud unsuspecting victims make more than one billion scam robocalls to American telephones every month, according to a June 2022 report from the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center.
“This is over 33 million scam robocalls every single day,” the report adds.
What’s more is that the scams are working on a big scale, highlighting the need for action against robocalls. The report says that “59.4 million Americans were victims of fraud through calls or texts in the 12-month period ending in June 2021.” Furthermore, $29.8 billion was “stolen through scam calls in the 12 months before June 2021.”
The attorneys general gave tips to better equip average Americans with the knowledge to prevent falling for one of these scams. Tips include being wary if the caller asks to be paid by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency; not to trust pre-recorded calls from government entities such as Social Security or anyone claiming to be police and threatening arrest; and hanging up right away if something doesn’t feel right.
Additionally, victims of robocall scams can contact Consumer Protection Division at ncdoj.gov/norobo or 1-844-8-NO-ROBO.