Attorney General Todd Rokita takes more action to protect Indiana from foreign robocallers

Indiana

INDIANA (WEHT) – Attorney General Todd Rokita called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to put measures in place to better prevent foreign-based illegal robocalls aimed at scamming Americans.

“Hoosiers are sick and tired of getting scam calls, along with everyone else in the country,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Bad actors who willfully or blindly enable illegal robocalls have no place in the calling ecosystem. We will continue to fight to stop those calls. We will keep working to protect Hoosiers’ privacy and hard-earned money.”

In October, Attorney General Rokita filed a lawsuit against an Indiana company that allegedly acted as a gateway into the United States for robocallers in India, the Philippines and Singapore. The robocallers allegedly made more than 5 million phone calls to Hoosiers and hundreds of millions of calls to other states.

Now Attorney General Rokita and a bipartisan group of attorneys general are calling for the FCC to require gateway providers, which are companies that allow foreign calls into the United States, to take steps to make it more difficult for robocalls to enter the United States’ telephone network. This includes implementing STIR/SHAKEN, which is a caller ID authentication technology that helps prevent spoofed calls.

Gateway providers, the attorneys general argue in a letter, should be required to implement this technology within 30 days of it becoming a rule. This step would help eliminate spoofed calls, which are calls deceptively made to appear to originate from numbers other than their actual source. In December, Attorney General Rokita and other attorneys general successfully convinced the FCC to move the deadline for smaller telephone companies to implement STIR/SHAKEN, which was shortened by a year. The attorneys general are also asking the FCC to require these gateway providers to take additional measures to reduce robocalls, including:

  • Responding to requests from law enforcement, state attorneys general, or the FCC to trace back calls within 24 hours.
  • Blocking calls when providers are aware of an illegal or likely fraudulent caller.
  • Blocking calls that originate from numbers that are on a “do not originate” list, such as government phone numbers that are for incoming calls only.
  • Ensuring that foreign telephone companies they partner with are ensuring that calls are being made from legitimate numbers.

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