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Anti-Robocall Attorneys General Coalition Adds Member

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is joining a bipartisan coalition of 51 attorneys general from across the nation in an attempt to slow down the weekly barrage of robocalls that citizens are faced with.

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(TNS) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is hoping there is strength in numbers when it comes to fighting the scourge of foreign-based illegal robocalls.

Morrisey, a Republican, announced Monday he was joining a bipartisan coalition of 51 attorneys general from across the nation in an attempt to slow down the weekly barrage of robocalls that citizens are faced with.

Morrisey said the attorneys general are asking the Federal Communications Commission to require gateway providers, or those companies that allow foreign calls into the United States, to take steps to reduce how easily robocalls have been able to enter the U.S. telephone network. Those steps specifically include the implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication technology that helps prevent spoofed calls.

“Robocalls continue to be an annoyance we all face, and our office is happy to partner with attorneys general from other states to urge major players in communications to stop these frustrating calls,” Morrisey said in a prepared statement Monday. “Our goal is to stop scammers overseas from preying upon American consumers as we continue fighting robocalls.”

The 51 attorneys general argue that gateway providers should be required to implement the technology within 30 days of it becoming a rule to help eliminate spoofed calls and to make sure that international calls that originate from U.S. telephone numbers are legitimate.

Monday’s announcement is the latest move by Morrisey to fight robocalls.

Last month, the same 51 state coalition helped in persuading the FCC to shorten by a year the deadline for smaller telephone companies to implement the blocking technology. The states also are asking the FCC to take additional steps to block robocalls. Those additional steps include:

—Responding to requests from law enforcement, state attorneys general, or the FCC to trace back calls within 24 hours.

—Blocking calls when providers are aware of an illegal or likely fraudulent caller.

—Blocking calls that originate from numbers that are on a “do not originate” list — such as government phone numbers that are for incoming calls only.

—Ensuring that foreign telephone companies they partner with are guaranteeing that calls are being made from legitimate numbers.

Morrisey said Americans lost more than $520 million through robocall scams in 2020.

© 2022 the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Bluefield, W.Va.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.