Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General
202 North Ninth Street
For media inquiries only, contact:
Charlotte Gomer, Director of Communication
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING URGES EFFORTS TO STOP ROBOCALLERS FROM MISUSING LEGITIMATE PHONE NUMBERS
RICHMOND – Attorney General Mark R. Herring today wrote 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 out of their hard-earned money. Attorney General Herring joined a bipartisan multistate coalition of 51 attorneys general in sending today's letter to the FCC.
"Not only are robocalls annoying, they can also be dangerous, potentially scamming Virginians out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars,” said Attorney General Herring. "Unfortunately, scammers are always thinking one step ahead, which is why it's so important that the FCC implement this new technology for phone companies that will help prevent robocallers from purchasing and using legitimate phone numbers for their scams. As attorney general, my top priority is to always protect Virginia consumers, which is why I am joining my colleagues in supporting these strengthened federal protections against robocallers.”
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 phone 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.
Attorney General Herring and his colleagues support the FCC's proposal 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 customer's 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.
Joining Attorney General Herring in sending today's letter are 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 Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
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