51 AGs Urge the FCC to Fortify Robocalling Protections

The coalition sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday, pressing it to take action against scammers who try to remain anonymous while placing illegal automated calls, the National Association of Attorney Generals (NAAG) announced. The comment letter strongly supports the proposed requirements mandating that phone companies take measures to prevent numbers from falling into the hands of illegal robocallers.

In June, phone companies were required to implement the STIR/SHAKEN protocol, a caller ID authentication technology that targets spoofing by ensuring that calls originate from verified numbers. “Because the technology prevents robocallers from spoofing phone numbers, scam robocalls have dropped by 29% since June as the phone industry continues to put STIR/SHAKEN into effect,” the NAAG said.

The California Attorney General noted that since the protocol’s implementation, however, nefarious actors have begun searching for other ways to conceal their identities, including purchasing or leasing legitimate telephone numbers in order to display them as originating from legitimate sources. In August, the FCC announced the newly proposed measures and sought public comment.

Specifically, the agency proposes 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 restricting the use of both temporary phone numbers for trial customers and untraceable payment mechanisms, the NAAG explained.