August 22, 2019
Carson City, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced an agreement to combat illegal robocalls as part of a bipartisan, public/private coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies. As part of the agreement, the phone companies have agreed to adopt eight principles that will help protect phone users from illegal robocalls and make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors. Going forward, phone companies will stay in close communication with the coalition of attorneys general to continue to optimize robocall protections as technology and scammer techniques change.
“Every Nevadan has been affected by illegal and annoying robocalls, and some of these calls can be outright dangerous when scammers demand money and make threats,” said AG Ford. “Rest assured my office and others across the country are working together to attack this problem and defend consumers at the network level.”
The principles primarily address the prevention and enforcement aspects of robocalls. Phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls by:
- Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers;
- Making additional free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools available to customers;
- Implementing technology to authenticate that calls are coming from a valid source; and
- Monitoring their networks for robocall traffic.
Phone companies will assist attorneys’ general anti-robocall enforcement by:
- Confirming the identities of customers so bad actors can be identified and investigated;
- Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers, including notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general;
- Working with law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to trace the origins of illegal robocalls; and
- Requiring telephone companies with which they contract to cooperate in traceback identification.
"The principles offer a comprehensive set of best practices that recognizes that no single action or technology is sufficient to curb the scourge of illegal and unwanted robocalls,” added Henning Schulzrinne , Levi Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Columbia University. “I hope that all parts of the telecommunication industry, both large and small, will commit to rapidly implementing these principles and work with state and federal authorities to make people want to answer their phone again without fear of being defrauded or annoyed."
The coalition of attorneys general includes all 50 states and Washington D.C. The 11 companies include: AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon and Windstream.