South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson Urges the FCC to Strengthen Efforts to Stop Robocalls

COLUMBIA, SC (STL.News) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to encourage telecom companies to implement call blocking and call authentication solutions that would protect consumers from illegal robocalls and spoofing.  Today’s comment letter to the FCC comes after Attorney General Wilson and a bipartisan public-private coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies unveiled the Anti-Robocall Principles to fight illegal robocalls last week.

“We have 12 phone companies signed on to this effort but we really need all of them to put these solutions in place to be able to reduce the number of robocalls,” said Attorney General Wilson.  “That’s why we’re urging the FCC to put its weight behind this effort and encourage all the telecom companies to take action.”

In their comments to the FCC, the coalition of attorneys general state that telecom providers should:

  • Offer free, automatic call-blocking services to all customers.  The call-block services should be based on reasonable analytics and should not block important calls, including emergency alerts or automated calls that customers have signed up for, like medical reminders.
  • Monitor network traffic to identify patterns consistent with robocalls and take action to cut off the calls or notify law enforcement.
  • Implement the STIR/SHAKEN caller ID call authentication technology, which will help ensure that telephone calls are originating from secure, verified numbers, not spoofed sources.  The coalition supports the FCC’s proposal to take regulatory action against telecom companies that do not comply with STIR/SHAKEN.
  • Develop caller ID authentication to prevent robocalls to landline telephones.  This is particularly urgent because many of the people scammed by robocall scammers are elderly consumers or live in rural areas and primarily use landline technology.

Many of these actions are also covered in the Anti-Robocall Principles, a set of eight principles focused on addressing illegal robocalls through prevention and enforcement.  Twelve phone companies, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, have already signed on to the principles.

Attorney General Wilson is joined in signing these comments by attorneys general from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.