South Carolina AG joins other states fighting to halt illegal robocalls

State - Regional

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has joined an effort to reduce illegal robocalls.

Wilson and several of his colleagues, including North Carolina AG Josh Stein and Florida AG Ashley Moody, sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission “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.”

“When we get a call we need to know it is a real call and not a bogus call or caller,” Wilson said. “We need the FCC to take action so you will know that the number that shows up on your phone is actually the number of the person calling you.”

According to Wilson’s office, phone companies were required earlier this year to implement new caller ID technology aimed at preventing the spoofing of telephone numbers. Because of the new STIR/SHAKEN technology, Wilson’s office said scam robocalls have dropped by 29 percent since June.

Robocallers are now successfully evading caller ID authentication by purchasing access to legitimate phone numbers to conceal their identities, Wilson’s office said. 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,” Wilson’s office said. “This includes limiting the use of both temporary phone numbers for trial customers and untraceable payment mechanisms.”

The letter was signed by attorneys general from the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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