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AG Derek Schmidt urges FCC to take further action to reduce robocalls, caller-ID spoofing

Release Date: May 06, 2019

TOPEKA – (May 6, 2019) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take further action to stop the growing proliferation of illegal robocalls and spoofing.

Schmidt, along with attorneys general from 40 other states and the District of Columbia, today delivered formal legal comments to the FCC urging the agency to adopt its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing on calls to the United States originating from overseas, while also addressing spoofing in text messaging and alternative voice services. The RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018, which expanded the federal prohibition against spoofing, authorized the FCC to develop the new regulations now under consideration.

In the comment, the attorneys general note that “[a]lthough not all robocalls are illegal (e.g., school and doctor notifications), it is no coincidence that the number of robocalls is exploding at the same time there is a similar explosion in scams perpetrated via telephone. The exponential growth in unlawful scam robocalls is putting more and more of our vulnerable populations at risk. The Commission’s new rules cannot come soon enough.”

Americans received almost 48 billion robocalls in 2018 and that overall, robocalls increased in the U.S. by 57 percent from 2017 to 2018. The Federal Trade Commission reports that imposter scams reportedly cost consumers $488 million in 2018 alone, a nearly 50 percent increase from 2017.

Today’s filing is the latest in a series of actions by Schmidt and other attorneys general to encourage and assist the federal government in strengthening federal-law provisions that are likely to reduce the number of unwanted robocalls.

A copy of the comment can be found at http://bit.ly/2YaJYpn.

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