Some problems just don't go away. For example, we are still receiving unwanted robocalls on our cellphones.
This despite a number of new state and federal laws that were suppose to bring an end to this nuisance.
For his part, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says his office is still working with telecom companies and partnering attorneys general to stop the scourge of unlawful robocalls.
The Mountain State implemented the Anti-Robocalls Principles in the summer of 2019 as part of an agreement between 51 attorneys general and several phone companies. Since September 2019, the involved companies have identified more than 52 billion spam or spoofed number calls, authenticated the caller ID numbers of hundreds of billions of calls and blocked more than 32.5 billion spam, spoofed or illegal calls, according to Morrisey's office.
“Far too many unlawful robocalls still slip through and we remain committed to even greater success, yet, the progress realized over the past two years is quite impressive,” Morrisey said last month. “Two years ago, consumers had no automatic way of detecting a spam call, but thanks to persistent pressure applied by our coalition, the telecom companies have implemented technology that detects and alerts consumers to many suspicious calls.”
The measure adopted by the Mountain State in 2019 required companies to offer customers free call labeling and blocking tools, implement network-level call blocking, combat caller ID spoofing on their networks with new technology, confirm the identity of commercial customers, analyze and monitor high-volume network traffic consistent with robocalls, investigate suspicious calls and calling patterns on their networks, and cooperate in traceback investigations while also aiding law enforcement.
Enforcement actions have also increased as a result of these efforts. Morrisey says the industry Traceback Group, working alongside state attorneys general, has run 4,769 traceback investigations – about three times as many as were conducted prior to the adoption of the 2019 rules. The agency also has identified 319 domestic and foreign providers as originating the majority of robocalls.
Unfortunately, a lot of robocalls are still getting through. We get them on a regular basis on our cellphones. So do a lot of our readers.
So it is clear that state and federal lawmakers, along with all of the state attorneys general, still have a lot of work to do if we are to ever bring the unwanted nuisance known as robocalls to an end once and for all.
Until then, anyone who believes they have been the victim of a robocall can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.