RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Attorney General Mark Herring is joining 34 other attorneys general across the country in an effort to stop illegal robocalls.
The group of attorneys general is asking the Federal Communications Commission to create new rules to allow telephone service providers to block more of these calls. This includes the attorneys general from District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
The group is arguing that scammers have found a way to evade a call blocking order that was entered last year by the FCC. One such method — “neighbor spoofing” — allows scammers to disguise their identities.
This new initiative would give phone service providers the ability to identify and block spoofed calls.
“Virtually anyone can send millions of illegal robocalls and frustrate law enforcement with just a computer, inexpensive software and an internet connection,” the attorneys general wrote in the formal comment filed with the FCC.
Herring’s office said in a news release the Federal Trade Commission received 4.5 million illegal robocall complaints in 2017 — which is more than 2.5 times higher than 2014.
According to the FCC and Do Not Call Registry, in 2017 Virginia had the 4th most complaints based on population. Click here to see how all states ranked.
“It seems today like every Virginian has either received these annoying robocalls or they know someone who has, even I have received them and I am the Attorney General,” Herring said in a statement Wednesday.
Herring’s office said service providers would be ready to launch the new authentication method in 2019.
If you haven’t already added your phone(s) to the Do Not Call Registry, you can do that now or file a complaint, at this link.