LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel yesterday joined 50 Attorneys General and 12 major telecom providers in an agreement to fight illegal robocalls. The Anti-Robocall Principles established with AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream will better protect residents from illegal robocalls and make it easier for states to investigate and prosecute bad actors.
“This is a major step forward in combating robocalls in Michigan and across the country,” said Nessel. “Far too many residents fall victim to illegal robocall scams and we cannot wait any longer to address this egregious public nuisance. This should serve as a notice to bad actors that my colleagues, the phone companies and I will be relentless in our efforts to stop these predatory calls.”
The principles crack down on illegal robocalls in two primary ways – prevention and enforcement.
Phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls by:
- Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers;
- Establishing additional free and easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools for customers;
- Implementing technology that authenticates callers are coming from a valid source; and
- Monitoring service networks for illegal robocall traffic.
Phone companies will assist states’ anti-robocall enforcement by:
- Implementing “Know Your Customer” policies so that it becomes more difficult for bad actors to gain access to providers’ networks;
- Investigating and taking action against suspicious network traffic and robocallers – 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 phone companies they contract with to cooperate in traceback identification.
The 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.
Michigan joins 49 other states, Washington, D.C., and the phone companies in establishing the Anti-Robocall Principles.