(Boise) – Attorney General Lawrence Wasden today announced that 12 phone companies and a coalition of 51 attorneys general have agreed to adopt eight principles to fight illegal robocalls. The agreement will help protect phone users from illegal robocalls and make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors.

“Robocalls are a plague on all of us but I’m optimistic that through collaborations like this one, we can begin attacking the problem,” Wasden said. “This is bigger than just one state, and I’m glad to see attorneys general and phone carriers teaming up to address the issue.”

The principles, available here, address the robocall problem through prevention and enforcement.

Phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls by:

  • Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers.
  • Making available to customers additional, free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools.
  • Implementing technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source.
  • Monitoring their networks for robocall traffic.

Phone companies will assist attorneys’ general anti-robocall enforcement by:

Knowing who their customers are so bad actors can be identified and investigated.

  • Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers – including notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general.
  • Working with law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to trace the origins of illegal robocalls.
  • Requiring telephone companies with which they contract to cooperate in traceback identification.

Phone companies have pledged to stay in close communication with attorneys general to optimize robocall protections as technology and scammer techniques evolve.

The coalition includes attorneys general from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Participating companies include AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream.