ROUGE, LA - The seemingly daily barrage of unwanted and illegal scam
and robocalls are the target of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry
and 34 other state attorneys general. The bipartisan
coalition is calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to
create new rules allowing telephone service providers to block more of
these calls before they reach consumers.
"Call spoofing is something that affects virtually every Louisiana resident with a phone," said General Landry. "The FCC should take further action to help end these aggravating, inconvenient, and invasive calls."
After General Landry and 29 other AG's previously encouraged the FCC to adopt rules allowing providers to block calls from numbers on do-not-originate lists or that are invalid, unallocated, or unused - a Call Blocking Order was put in place. Despite that FCC Order, robocalls continue to be a major irritant to consumers. In 2017 alone, the Federal Trade Commission received 4.5 million illegal robocall complaints, two-and-a-half times more than in 2014.
States have also seen a rise in neighbor spoofing which allows calls to appear with a similar area code as the consumer. Rather than all calls being 800 numbers, neighbor spoofing causes consumers to believe the call they are receiving is more likely someone they know or someone who lives near them.
In the recent comment letter to the FCC, General Landry and his colleagues offer support for phone service providers to be granted the ability to authenticate legitimate calls as well as to identify illegally spoofed calls and block them. They also recommend service providers be allowed to use new technology to detect and block illegal spoofed calls.
Furthermore, General Landry encourages Louisiana consumers to familiarize themselves with the following tips:
- If you get a strange call from a government phone number, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information.
- Do not give out – or confirm – your personal or financial information to someone who calls.
- Do not wire money or send money using a reloadable card.
- If pressured to act immediately, just hang up; that is a sure sign of a scam.
- Report illegal phone calls to the FCC at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=39744.
"As in any scam or spoof, education goes a long way in prevention of
becoming a victim," said General Landry. "My office
and I will continue to do all we legally can to limit and hopefully
eliminate illegal phone calls."