Attorney General Becerra Announces National, Bipartisan Effort to Fight Robocalls
SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that he has joined a bipartisan working group of 40 state attorneys general seeking to end illegal robocalls. The coalition is reviewing the technology that major telecommunications companies are pursuing to combat illegal robocalls, and is working to ensure that consumer protection remains the companies’ highest priority.
“As families gather around the dinner table each night, they shouldn’t be bombarded by unwanted robocalls,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Robocalls made from fake numbers are more than just a nuisance – they’re illegal. We should be doing everything in our power to eliminate these types of calls, which far too often lead to identify theft and financial loss. Consumers and their personal information continue to be at risk, so we are working with our industry partners to provide every landline and wireless customer with access to free and effective call-blocking tools.”
Robocalls are the number-one consumer complaint reported to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The California Attorney General’s Office is a leader on this issue, pressing the FCC and telecommunications companies, as recently as last year, to do even more by providing call-blocking technology to consumers. Since it was formed, the multistate group has had in-depth meetings with several major telecom companies. These productive meetings have led to greater information sharing about the technological capabilities currently in existence or development to fight these calls.
Attorney General Becerra and his colleagues are working to:
- Develop a detailed understanding of what is technologically feasible to minimize unwanted robocalls and illegal telemarketing;
- Engage the major telecom companies to encourage them to expedite the best possible solutions for consumers; and
- Determine whether states should make further recommendations to the FCC.
Attorney General Becerra is committed to protecting consumers as a top priority. Since assuming office, he has announced a $53.25 million judgement against Dish Network after it engaged in illegal telemarketing calls to consumers on the Do Not Call registry; a $33 million multi-state settlement with Johnson and Johnson marketing over-the-counter medicines that failed to meet quality standards; a $586 million multi-state settlement with Western Union for wire fraud scams; and a record $18.5 million multi-state settlement with Target, in response to allegations that over 40 million customers had their payment card information compromised during the 2013 holiday season after the company failed to provide reasonable data security.