Consumer News

AG Schmidt urges FCC to act to slow pace of international scam calls

Release Date: Jan 12, 2022

TOPEKA – (January 12, 2022) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is urging the Federal Communications Commission to put in place common-sense measures that will stem the tide of foreign-based, illegal robocalls that attempt to scam Kansans. 

Schmidt joined attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia in submitting comments this week to proposed FCC regulations that will govern telecommunications entering the United States. The attorneys general urged the FCC to require gateway providers, those who allow foreign calls into the United States, to implement technologies that will make it difficult for robocalls to enter the U.S. telephone network. This includes using STIR/SHAKEN, a caller ID authentication technology that helps prevent spoofed calls.

Schmidt’s request follows efforts in December 2021 when he and a collation of 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 requests from law enforcement, state attorneys general, or the FCC to trace back calls within 24 hours.
  • 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 make sure 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. A copy of the letter is available