For Immediate Release
January 10, 2022
Gregory M. Albert, Assistant Attorney General
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau
email@example.com | (603) 271-1196
Attorney General John M. Formella Works to Stop International Scam Calls
Concord, NH— Attorney General John M. Formella today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to put in place measures that will help stem the tide of foreign-based illegal robocalls that attempt to scam Americans.
Attorney General Formella and a bipartisan group of 51 attorneys general are calling for the FCC to require gateway providers – the companies that allow foreign calls into the United States – to take steps to reduce how easily robocalls have been able to enter the U.S. telephone network, including implementing STIR/SHAKEN, a caller ID authentication technology that helps prevent spoofed calls.
"Combatting robocalls requires a three-pronged approach: technology, education, and enforcement," said Attorney General Formella. "Stopping illegal robocalls at the border would add a strong enforcement mechanism that should help limit robocalls to New Hampshire residents."
The attorneys general urged the FCC to require gateway providers to implement this technology within 30 days of it becoming a rule to help eliminate spoofed calls and to make sure that international calls that originate from U.S. telephone numbers are legitimate. In December, Attorney General Formella and a coalition of 51 attorneys general successfully helped to persuade the FCC to shorten by a year the deadline for smaller telephone companies to implement STIR/SHAKEN.
The attorneys general are asking the FCC to require these gateway providers to take additional measures to reduce robocalls, including:
- Responding to trace back calls within 24 hours from requests of law enforcement, state attorneys general, or the FCC.
- Blocking calls when providers are aware of an illegal or likely fraudulent caller.
- Blocking calls that originate from numbers that are on a "do not originate" list – such as government phone numbers that are for incoming calls only.
- Ensuring that foreign telephone companies they partner with are ensuring that calls are being made from legitimate numbers.
The attorneys general are also encouraging the FCC to require all phone companies to block calls from a gateway provider if it fails to meet these requirements. Illegal robocalls are a scourge – in 2020, Americans lost more than $520 million through robocall scams.
Attorney General Formella is joined in sending this letter to the FCC 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.