Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) today wrote 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. The comment letter to the FCC was signed by all 50 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia.
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 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.
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.
The attorneys general support the FCC’s proposals 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 limiting the use of both temporary phone numbers for trial customers and untraceable payment mechanisms.
Earlier this year, NAAG called on the FCC to move up the timeline for smaller companies to implement STIR/SHAKEN. A bipartisan coalition of attorneys general also supported the TRACED Act in 2019, which established the STIR/SHAKEN framework.
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