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LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — How many times a day do you receive a robocall from a “spoofed” phone number about your car’s extended warranty either in Kentucky or across the U.S.?

According to a private analysis, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said U.S. consumers received nearly 4 billion robocalls per month in 2020.

In July 2021, the FCC enacted new rules to help reduce the number of these robocalls with their STIR/SHAKEN anti-robocall protocols. But Attorney General Daniel Cameron wants to do more.

Cameron has sent another letter to the FCC urging the agency to adopt measures to reduce the number of illegal international robocalls which often lead to scam attempts on Kentuckians.

“Illegal robocalls lead to frustration for Kentucky consumers and are often scam attempts that can result in significant financial losses,” said Cameron. “Joining this letter is one part of our concentrated effort to protect Kentuckians from the harm associated with fraudulent calls, and I am grateful to my fellow attorneys general for partnering with us on this initiative.”

Letter from the coalition

In the letter, the coalition calls for the FCC companies that allow foreign calls into the U.S. to take steps to reduce the number of robocalls that enter the U.S. telephone network.

The attorney general wants these gateway providers to be required to implement STIR/SHAKEN anti-robocall protocols, a caller ID authentication technology that helps prevent spoofed calls, within 30 days of the FCC’s adoption of the rule.

This deadline will help eliminate spoofed calls and ensure international calls that originate from U.S. telephone numbers are legitimate.

The attorneys general wants the phone companies to block calls from gateway provides who don’t meet their measures to reduce robocalls:

  • Respond to requests from law enforcement, state attorneys general, or the FCC to trace back calls within 24 hours.
  • Block calls when providers are aware of an illegal or likely fraudulent caller.
  • Block calls that originate from numbers that are on a “do not originate” list – such as government phone numbers that are for incoming calls only.
  • Require their foreign telephone company partners to ensure calls are made from legitimate numbers.

In November 2020, a group of 51 bipartisan U.S. attorneys general sent a letter to the FCC supporting the agency’s efforts to reduce the access that illegal robocallers have to legitimate phone numbers. 

Protecting yourself from robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission released the following tips to deal with unwanted spam calls:

  • Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail.
  • If the caller claims to be from a legitimate company or organization, hang up and call them back using a valid number found on their website or on your latest bill if you do business with them.
  • If you answer and the caller (often a recording) asks you to press a button to stop receiving calls, or asks you to say “yes” in response to a question, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify, and then target, live respondents, or to use your “yes” to apply unauthorized charges on your bill.
  • Be aware: Caller ID showing a “local” number no longer means it is necessarily a local caller.
  • If you answer and the caller asks for payment using a gift card, it’s likely a scam. Legitimate organizations like law enforcement will not ask for payment with a gift card.
  • If you receive a scam call, file a complaint with the FCC Consumer Complaint Center by selecting the “phone” option and selecting “unwanted calls.” The data we collect helps us track trends and supports our enforcement investigations.
  • If you have lost money because of a scam call, contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance.
  • Ask your phone company if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage them to offer one. You can also visit the FCC’s website for more information about illegal robocalls and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls.
  • Consider registering your telephone numbers in the National Do Not Call Registry. Lawful telemarketers use this list to avoid calling consumers on the list.