May 6, 2019
Attorneys General Press FCC for Additional Action to Reduce Spoofed Calls and Texts
Carson City, NV – Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford sent comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting that further action be taken to stop the growing number of illegal robocalls and spoofing. Spoofing is on the rise, and is a technique that allows scammers to disguise their identities, making it difficult for law enforcement to bring them to justice. “Spoofers” can manipulate a call, regardless of where the call originates, to appear on a consumer’s caller ID as being made from a phone number that has the same local area code as the consumer. This manipulation of caller ID information increases the likelihood that the consumer will answer the call.
In formal legal comments delivered to the FCC, AG Ford and a bipartisan coalition of 41 attorneys general urged the FCC to adopt its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing on calls to the United States originating from overseas, while also addressing spoofing in text messaging and alternative voice services. These provisions are included in the FCC appropriations authorization bill also known as the RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018.
“My office is heavily invested in protecting Nevadans from falling victim to scams,” said AG Ford. “In recent years, the number of spoofed calls and the consumer financial losses tied to these scams have nearly doubled, and my office is proud to work with other attorneys general to influence policy decisions regarding robocalls.”
The Office of the Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection receives complaints each year with respect to illegal calls, including scam calls, telemarketing complaints, and robocalls. In their letter, the attorneys general note that Americans received almost 18 billion scam robocalls in 2018, and that robocalls increased by 57 percent between 2017 and 2018. The FCC reports that imposter scams have reportedly cost consumers $488 million in 2018 alone.
In addition to Nevada, attorneys general from the following states and territory participated also signed on to the comment letter: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia.
To view the issued comment letter, click here.