A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Attorney General joins in sending letter urging FCC to reduce robocallers access to your phone numbers

Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined a coalition of 51 attorneys general in sending a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), supporting the agency’s efforts to reduce the access illegal robocallers’ have to legitimate phone numbers.

“As our efforts to combat caller ID spoofing start to reduce the number of illegal robocalls, bad actors are searching for alternative means to continue making these calls,” said Attorney General Cameron. “Today, we asked the FCC to adopt new policies that will aid us in stopping scammers from posing as legitimate companies in order to make illegal robocalls to Kentuckians.”

FCC illustration

Earlier this year, phone companies were required to implement STIR/SHAKEN – caller ID authentication technology to combat spoofing by ensuring that telephone calls originate from verified numbers. Because the technology prevents robocallers from spoofing phone numbers, scam robocalls have dropped by 29 percent since June, when the STIR/SHAKEN policy took effect.

Robocallers are now successfully evading caller ID authentication by purchasing access to legitimate phone numbers to conceal their identities. They typically do this by providing false information to, or otherwise shielding their identities from, the companies that have access to legitimate numbers.

In their letter, 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. The coalition also supports the FCC’s efforts to require these companies to verify their customers’ identities to help keep the numbers from being sold, leased, or rented to illegal robocallers.

This includes limiting the use of both temporary phone numbers for trial customers and untraceable payment mechanisms.

This is the latest action by Attorney General Cameron to reduce illegal robocalls. Last year, the office joined a bipartisan coalition of 52 attorneys general in sending a letter calling on USTelecom to improve enforcement against illegal robocallers. In August, the office sent a letter to the FCC urging the Commission to implement the STIR/SHAKEN anti-robocall technology more quickly.

Attorney General Cameron continues to work with other states through the Robocall Working Group and U.S. Telecom’s Internet Traceback Group to identify and stop scammers.

See a copy of the letter here.

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