Attorney General Yost Urges Feds to Block Robocallers’ Access to Legitimate Phone Numbers



(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and his counterpart in every other state are trying to stop illegal robocallers who dupe the public by purchasing verified numbers from phone carriers in an effort to bypass new federal regulations meant to crack down on “spoofing.”

Spoofing is the process of disguising a call so that it appears to be from a known, trusted source when it isn’t.

“If you have to lie about something as basic as the phone number you’re calling from you’re not up to any good,” Yost said. “No more fake IDs.”

Yost and the other attorneys general sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of the agency’s efforts to reduce access to those legitimate phone numbers for robocalls that seek to scam people out of their hard-earned money.

Earlier this year, phone companies were required to implement STIR/SHAKEN, caller ID authentication technology that combats spoofing by ensuring that phone calls originate from verified numbers. The telecommunications industry continues to implement the technology, but STIR/SHAKEN has led to a 29 percent decrease in robocalls since June.

Robocallers, however, are now seeking to circumvent the new requirement by obtaining legitimate numbers – something they do by providing false identifying information to the companies with access to the legitimate numbers. 

To keep the numbers from being sold, leased or rented to illegal robocallers, the attorneys general support the FCC’s proposals to implement a more thorough application, review and monitoring process for phone companies requesting direct access to the numbers and to require the companies to verify customers’ identities.

This includes limiting the use of both temporary phone numbers for trial customers and untraceable payment mechanisms.

Attorney General Yost is joined in sending this comment letter by the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

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