Pennsylvania Joins Task Force to Fight Robocalls

Robocall© Bill Oxford / Getty Images Signature / Canva

HARRISBURG, PA — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced that Pennsylvania this week joined an Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force of 50 attorneys general to investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the United States. This bipartisan nationwide Task Force has one goal: to cut down on illegal robocalls.

“Robocall scammers are relentless,” said AG Shapiro. “The best way for us to fight back against them is by working together to track their behavior across the country . I’m dedicated to doing all that I can do to ensure these calls stop plaguing Pennsylvanians.”

The Task Force has issued 20 civil investigative demands to 20 gateway providers and other entities that are allegedly responsible for a majority of foreign robocall traffic. Gateway providers that bring foreign traffic into the U.S. telephone network have a responsibility to ensure the traffic is legal, but these providers are not taking sufficient action to stop robocall traffic. In many cases, they appear to be intentionally turning a blind eye in return for steady revenue. The Task Force will focus on the bad actors throughout the telecommunications industry, to help reduce the number of robocalls that Pennsylvanians receive.

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According to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center, over 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day. These scam calls include Social Security Administration fraud against seniors, Amazon scams against consumers, and many other scams targeting all consumers, including some of our most vulnerable citizens. An estimated $29.8 billion dollars was stolen through scam calls in 2021. Most of this scam robocall traffic originates overseas. The Task Force is focused on shutting down the providers that profit from this illegal scam traffic and refuse to take steps to otherwise mitigate these scam calls.

AG Shapiro wants to remind Pennsylvanians of a few things they can do to help protect themselves from robocall scammers:

  • Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency.
  • Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies.
  • If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang-up and do not provide any personal information.
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Pennsylvanians are encouraged to report all suspicious robocalls to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection by visiting OAG’s website, emailing [email protected], or calling 1-800-441-2555.

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