ATLANTA, GA — Attorney General Chris Carr recently joined a coalition of 42 attorneys general in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt rules that aim to stop the proliferation of illegal robocalls and spoofing.

“It is evident that the explosive growth of caller ID spoofing and robocalls is being driven in large part by scams,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “State attorneys general are on the front lines fighting the criminals behind these scams, and in Georgia, we will continue to work with our federal partners to stop those who try to take advantage of our citizens.”

Although not all robocalls are illegal (e.g., school and doctor notifications), it is no coincidence that the number of robocalls is exploding at the same time there is a similar explosion in scams perpetrated via telephone. The exponential growth in unlawful scam robocalls is putting more and more of our vulnerable populations at risk.

The industry estimates that 47.8 billion robocalls were made in the U.S. in 2018, a 56.8 percent increase over 2017. Of these 47.8 billion total estimated robocalls, 37 percent were scams related to health insurance, student loans, easy money scams, tax scams, travel scams, business scams and warranty scams. The FCC similarly reports that imposter scams – including bad actors falsely representing that they are with the government, romance scams, and technical support scams – were the most common consumer complaint in 2018, resulting in $488 million in consumer losses, a 48.7 percent increase over 2017.

In formal legal comments delivered to the FCC, the attorneys general urged the FCC to adopt its proposed rules on enforcement against caller ID spoofing on calls to the U.S. originating from overseas, while also addressing spoofing in text messaging and alternative voice services. These provisions are included in the FCC appropriations authorization bill also known as the RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018. The coalition also offered its continued support of a proactive, multi-pronged approach to battle the noxious intrusion of illegal robocalls, as well as malicious caller ID spoofing in voice, alternative voice, and text message services.

The coalition included Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.