(BOISE) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden today announced that Idaho is joining a nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force of 50 attorneys general to investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the U.S. The task force’s goal is to cut down on illegal robocalls.
According to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center, more than 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day. Most originate overseas. The Task Force is focused on shutting down providers who profit from this illegal scam traffic and refuse to take steps to mitigate these calls.
“The creation of the task force is a big step forward in our fight against scam robocalls,” Wasden said. “These calls are universally loathed by consumers and some telecommunications companies aren’t doing what they can and should to help solve the problem. Our goal as a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general is to hold providers’ feet to the fire to protect Idahoans from these frustrating and annoying interruptions.”
The Task Force has issued 20 civil investigative demands to 20 gateway providers and other entities allegedly responsible for a majority of foreign robocall traffic. Gateway providers that bring foreign traffic into the U.S. telephone network have a responsibility to ensure the traffic is legal, but these providers are not taking sufficient action to stop robocall traffic. In many cases, they appear to be intentionally turning a blind eye in return for revenue. The Task Force will focus on the bad actors throughout the telecommunications industry to help reduce the number robocalls and benefit the companies that are following the rules.
Wasden offers the following tips to avoid scams and unwanted calls:
- Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. For example, the Internal Revenue Service does not accept iTunes gift cards.
- Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies. Typically, the Social Security Administration does not make phone calls to individuals.
- Keep your guard up. If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang-up and do not provide any personal information.
File a complaint with the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division at ag.idaho.gov/consumer-protection/ if you receive a robocall offering to sell you something.