New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
Novembe 15, 2021

Contact:
Gregory M. Albert, Assistant Attorney General
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau
gregory.m.albert@doj.nh.gov | (603) 271-1196

New Hampshire Attorney General Signs Letter from 51 State Attorneys General to Federal Communications Commission Urging Efforts to Stop Robocallers From Misusing Legitimate Phone Numbers

Concord – Attorney General John M. Formella today wrote 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 out of their hard-earned money. The comment letter to the FCC was led by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

"Illegal robocalls represent one of the most significant and persistent threats to New Hampshire consumers," said Attorney General Formella. "The state attorneys general have made significant strides towards eliminating illegal robocalls in recent years. We urge the FCC to take steps to close an avenue by which scammers can evade caller protections."

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.

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.

Attorney General Formella is joined in sending this comment letter by the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, 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.

A copy of the letter is attached. Portable Document Format Symbol

Portable Document Format Symbol Portable Document Format (.pdf). Visit nh.gov for a list of free .pdf readers for a variety of operating systems.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658