Attorney general calls on the FCC to let phone companies do more to block illegal robocalls

Staff Reports • Oct 10, 2018 at 7:29 PM

State Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III, along with a bipartisan coalition of 34 attorneys general, called on the Federal Communications Commission to create new rules to allow telephone service providers to block more illegal robocalls made to unsuspecting consumers in Tennessee and across the country.

The formal comment to the FCC explained that scammers who use illegal robocalls have found ways to evade a call blocking order the FCC entered last year. Scammers disguise their identities, which makes it difficult for law enforcement to bring them to justice. They also use a technique that allows calls – no matter where they originate – to appear to be from a phone number with the same local area code as the consumer.

The added authority sought by the attorneys general will allow service providers to use new technology to detect and block illegal spoofed calls – even those coming from what are otherwise legitimate phone numbers. Service providers will be ready to launch this new authentication method in 2019.

The initiative for which the attorneys general seek FCC approval concerns illegal robocalls, which are made to consumers regardless of whether they sign up for do –not-call lists.

To date, the FCC has not issued a notice of proposed rulemaking concerning additional provider-initiated call blocking. The attorneys general anticipate further requests for comments will take place on the subject.

For a copy of the comment, visit tn.gov/content/dam/tn/attorneygeneral/documents/pr/2018/pr18-28-comments.pdf.

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