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Illegal Robocallers, Beware! Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force is Here

International robocallers stole $29.8 billion through scam calls in 2021. If you thought illegal robocalling and spam calls would never stop, here’s a piece of good news—  California Attorney General Rob Bonta has announced the launch of a nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force. The Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force will be empowered to take stringent legal action against companies that deploy illegal robocalling tactics in the US. This includes international robocall companies that harass and spam the US citizens. The objective of the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force is to massively reduce illegal robocalls made to the US citizens. In 2021, 65 percent of the robocalls originated from foreign lands or through gateway channels. To stop this, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had adopted new rules at the May 2022 Open Meeting.

Read More: Robocall Data in the US: 28.7 Billion Robocalls In 2022 So Far

What are Robocalls and How do They Come into Force?

Robocalls are automated calls made using auto dialler software where the perpetrator has a lead list.

Attorney General Rob Bonta said, “For many Californians, robocalls are a daily, if not an hourly, source of frustration. And unfortunately, these illegal and unwanted calls can also lead to serious financial harm. With this new task force, attorneys general nationwide are teaming up to cut down on illegal robocalls – and we’re taking this fight directly to the telecom companies who are enabling them.”

Putting the Onus on Gateway Providers to Stop Foreign Robocalls

Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force has scanned through the existing gateway providers market in the US and how these companies encourage robocalling. As part of an investigation, the task force has issued civil demands to twenty gateway providers that account for a majority of the foreign robocalls made to the US numbers. These providers now have to comply with the action plan of Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force. This would ensure the traffic is legal and in no way promotes spoofing or spamming of an kind. In most cases, based on the investigations, it was found providers were actually promoting illegal robocalling and not doing enough to stop the menace due to revenue s and profits involved in these illegal operations.

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Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force will focus on the bad actors throughout the telecommunications industry, to help reduce the number of robocalls that California’s residents receive and benefit the companies that are following the rules, said the official press release.

According to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center, over 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day. These scam calls include e-commerce scams, debt collection calls, charities, credit cards and life insurance. In January 2020, TRACED was passed to restrict spammers and robocallers from hounding American citizens. Illegal callers could be fined anywhere between $1500 and $10k USD per spam call, if found guilty by the FTC, as per TRACED.

Attorney General Bonta 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.
  • Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies. The Social Security Administration and Internal Revenue Service do not typically call individuals.
  • If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang-up and do not provide any personal information.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission if you believe you have received an illegal call or text or have been the victim of a spoofing scam.
  • Register your phone number on the Do Not Call registry to avoid legitimate telemarketing calls.

Here’s what you should do if you receive a robocall.

Read Also: RingCentral Attacks Robocalls With AI-Powered Solution And STIR/SHAKEN Implementation

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