CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined a coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies in reaching an agreement that will result in the phone companies adopting eight principals to fight illegal robocalls.
A release from the Attorney General’s Office stated that the bi-partisan, public-private agreement will help protect consumers against robocalls and make it easier attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors.
“This is another step forward in the effort to get rid of these terrible robocalls,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Our team has been working on this for a long time, and we continue to work with other smaller providers to bring every telecommunications provider into the fold.”
The release stated that Morrisey began discussions this year with several phone companies in an effort to gain their commitment to expedite the deployment of scam-blocking technology. The coalition’s agreed upon principles address the robocall problem through prevention and enforcement, according to the release.
Morrisey’s Office stated that the participating phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls with the implementation of call-blocking technology at the network level, along with greater availability of easy-to-use blocking and labeling tools, all at no cost to consumers. The release also stated that the phone companies will also monitor their networks for robocall traffic and implement technology to authenticate that calls are coming from a valid source.
The phone companies will help attorneys general with enforcement by investigating and taking action against suspicious callers, according to the Attorney General’s Office. This includes notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general of suspicious callers and working with government officials to trace origins of the illegal calls, according to the release.
The release stated the phone companies also agreed to gain better knowledge of their customers to assist in identifying bad actors and make efforts so that any phone company they contact with cooperates in traceback identification.
The attorneys general and phone companies in the coalition plan to stay in close communication with hopes to continue to optimize robocall protections as technology and scam techniques change, according to the release.
West Virginia joined the North Carolina-, New Hampshire- and Indiana-led principles with attorneys general from every state and Washington D.C. The phone companies involved in the coalition include AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon and Windstream.
The eight principles being adopted by the coalition can be found here.