Utah AG: State joins anti-robocall litigation task force

Headsets. Photo: Pixabay/LogistaHomeTech

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 2, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah is joining a nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force to investigate and take legal action against telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the United States.

This bipartisan Task Force, including 50 attorneys general, aims to reduce illegal robocalls, says a statement released by the office of Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes.

“Robocalls aren’t just a Utah problem. They are a nationwide threat,” Reyes said in a prepared statement.

“We will take this fight to anyone who helps these scammers and robocalls. We’ve appreciated working with the telecom industry to try and address this issue. We know they have attempted to curtail illegal robocalls. But it’s still not enough.”

The Task Force has issued 20 civil investigative demands to 20 gateway providers and other entities allegedly responsible for most foreign robocall traffic.

”Robocalls are particularly damaging to consumer trust,” said Margaret Busse, Utah Department of Commerce Executive Director. “Virtually everyone has received these types of calls.

“When consumers get an unsolicited call, it can sow distrust in all marketing calls. We support all efforts to stop companies from unethical marketing practices.”

According to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center, more than 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day. These scam calls include Social Security Administration fraud against seniors, Amazon scams against consumers, including some of our most vulnerable citizens.

An estimated $29.8 billion dollars was stolen through scam calls in 2021, the Reyes news release says, adding that “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 mitigate these scam calls otherwise.”

The statement urged consumers to:

  • Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. For example, the Internal Revenue Service does not accept iTunes gift cards.
  • Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies. Typically, the Social Security Administration does not make phone calls to individuals.
  • If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hand up and do not provide any personal information.
  • Contact the Department of Commerce’s Division of Consumer Protection consumerprotection.utah.gov.


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