Maui News

All 50 State Attorneys General Support FCC’s Efforts Targeting Illegal Robocallers

November 19, 2021, 10:54 AM HST
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The FCC efforts to reduce illegal robocallers’ access to legitimate phone numbers for scam purposes is supported by all 50 State Attorneys General, including Clare E. Connors of Hawaiʻi.

A letter signed by all 50 State Attorneys General and the District of Columbia was sent today to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of its efforts to reduce illegal robocallers’ access to legitimate phone numbers to make unending robocalls that scam people.

The comment letter to the FCC was led by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, and was signed by Hawai’i Attorney General Clare E. Connors.

“The Hawaii Department of the Attorney General will support all meaningful efforts by the FCC to combat the illegal robocall problem within our state and throughout the country,” Attorney General Connors said.  “Voice service providers must not facilitate illegal robocalls, illegal spoofing or fraud, and should verify their customers’ identities, as well as take reasonable steps to cut off such activity transiting their networks once discovered.”

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 percent 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. 

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The attorneys general 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 and to require these companies to verify their customers’ identities to help keep 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.

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A copy of the letter is available HERE.

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