LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt rules that would allow telephone providers to block illegal robocalls that use Caller ID spoofing technology.
The FCC has requested public comment on rules that would allow providers to block several types of spoofed calls, in which a call appears to be coming from one number but is actually coming from a different number. Rutledge’s office routinely receives reports of scammers using spoofed calls to hide their identity and to trick consumers into believing that their calls are legitimate.
“Arkansans want the unwanted and unlawful calls to stop, and these proposed FCC rules will help make that a reality,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “By stopping these types of calls, consumers will be saved thousands of dollars and undue stress from burdensome daily calls from con artists.”
Regulatory roadblocks currently prevent telecommunications companies from blocking many illegal robocalls. If the new rules are adopted, providers would be allowed to block calls coming from invalid numbers, unallocated numbers and numbers whose owners have requested be blocked. For example, phone providers would be able to block a scammer that is using a telephone number that clearly cannot exist because it has not been assigned.
The letter supports the FCC’s proposal to remove the regulatory roadblocks and raises the alarm that these types of calls are growing in number with many coming from overseas, making it increasingly difficult to locate and prosecute offenders. “Simply put, legitimate businesses do not need to use any of these methods to contact consumers. As such, allowing providers to block these calls would stymie scammers without burdening businesses,” the letter reads.
Rutledge’s consumer alert this week warned against a scam that is using Caller ID spoofing technology. The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) has received at least four reports of a scammer calling Medicaid Savings Program clients claiming to work for DHS. The caller reportedly asks questions about the client’s insurance then asks for their credit card number to continue their service or offer other special discounts through the Medicaid Savings Program – many times requesting a $500 processing fee.
Rutledge was joined on the bipartisan letter by attorneys general from Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin.