For Immediate Release:
Monday, September 20, 2021
Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein, who has made fighting robocalls a top priority, today released an update on telecom companies’ progress in implementing the Anti-Robocall Principles he negotiated in 2019. Since September 2019, companies that agreed to these Principles have identified more than 52 billion spam or spoofed numbers calls, authenticated the caller ID numbers of hundreds of billions of calls, and blocked more than 32.5 billion spam, spoofed, or illegal calls.
There is more work to do, however. Already this year, 391,453 Americans have filed reports with the FTC about robocalls, reporting total losses of at least $356 million. These numbers underscore the need to continue to fight back against the scourge of robocalls.
“Robocalls are driving North Carolinians up the wall,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I hear about them more than any other issue – and they’re not just annoying, they also result in people losing their hard-earned money. That’s why I’ve prioritized fighting back against these robocallers. One of the best ways we can do that is to encourage the telecom companies to do more to protect their users, just as we did with these Anti-Robocall Principles. We are making good progress, but we have to keep at it and hold these illegal robocallers accountable. I intend to do just that.”
The Principles required companies to:
- offer customers free call labeling and blocking tools,
- implement network-level call blocking,
- combat caller ID spoofing on their networks with STIR/SHAKEN technology,
- confirm the identify of commercial customers,
- analyze and monitor high-volume network traffic consistent with robocalls,
- investigate suspicious calls and calling patterns on their networks, and
- cooperate in traceback investigations and aid law enforcement.
Enforcement efforts have increased as a result of the Principles. Since the Principles were established:
- The Industry Traceback Group (ITG), working alongside state AGs, ran 4,769 traceback investigations, about three times as many investigations as were conducted prior to the Principles.
- The ITG identified 319 domestic and foreign providers as originating the majority of robocalls.
- Law enforcement and government agencies, including state AGs, have sent more than 162 civil investigative demands and subpoenas to the ITG alone.
- Law enforcement and government agencies, including state AGs, have sent additional civil investigative demands, subpoenas, and warning letters to the companies that do business with robocallers and with those that help these illegal and fraudulent calls reach consumers.
- In North Carolina, Attorney General Stein has issued more than 70 civil investigative demands in robocall-related investigations.
Industry traceback investigations and governmental enforcement actions will continue. We ask the public to help bolster investigations in North Carolina by reporting your robocalls to www.ncdoj.gov/norobo or via 1-844-8-NOROBO.
More about Attorney General Stein’s work to fight back on robocalls:
- Attorney General Josh Stein Leads Bipartisan Coalition Calling for Faster Implementation of Anti-Robocall Technology
- Attorney General Josh Stein Shuts Down Massive Charity Fraud Robocall Operation
- Attorney General Josh Stein Reaches $210 Million Settlement with Dish Network Over Illegal Telemarking Calls
- Attorney General Josh Stein Leads Bipartisan Coalition Fighting to Defend Robocall Protections
- Robocall Principles