RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Attorney General Jason Miyares says Virginia is joining a nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force.

The bipartisan nationwide group consists of 50 attorneys general to investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the United States.

The task force has issued 20 civil investigative demands to 20 gateway providers and other entities that are allegedly responsible for a majority of foreign robocall traffic.

The Task Force will focus on the bad actors throughout the telecommunications industry, to help reduce the number of robocalls and benefit the companies that are following the rules.

According to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center, over 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day. These scam calls include Social Security Administration fraud against seniors, Amazon scams against consumers, and many other scams targeting all consumers, including some of our most vulnerable citizens.

An estimated $29.8 billion dollars was stolen through scam calls in 2021. Most of this scam robocall traffic originates overseas.

Below are tips to avoid scams and unwanted calls:

  • Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. For example, the Internal Revenue Service does not accept iTunes gift cards.
  • Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies. Typically, the Social Security Administration does not make phone calls to individuals.
  • If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang-up and do not provide any personal information.

Virginians who have a question, concern, or complaint about a consumer matter should contact Attorney General Miyares’ Consumer Protection Section: