West Virginia joins Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force

New FCC regulations may have led to a reduction in robocalls, which fell from 87.6 million in...
(Cronkite News)
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 12:29 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - West Virginia has joined a nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force that aims to take legal action against telecommunication companies responsible for the robocalls.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the only goal of the task force is to reduce “illegal robocalls.”

“Over time, one of the most frequent complaints our office has received has concerned robocalls and the scams they often produce,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “This obviously impacts not just West Virginia but the entire nation. That is why this bipartisan effort is so important. We are now poised to take the fight to anyone who helps these robocallers, including those in the telecommunications industry.”

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, according to Morrisey.

Morrisey claims the gateway providers that bring foreign traffic into the U.S. telephone network often do not take sufficient action to stop robocall traffic.

In order to help reduce the number of robocalls that West Virginia residents receive, Morrisey says the task force will focus on those throughout the telecommunications industry who fail to mitigate these scams. This will also aid the companies that do follow the rules.

According to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center, Americans receive more than 33 million scam robocalls every day, and an estimated $29.8 billion was stolen through “rip-off” calls last year. Most of the scam activity originates overseas, according to Morrisey.

Attorney General Morrisey offers the following 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 any phone calls to individuals.
  • If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang up and do not provide any personal information.

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