CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Attorney General Bridget Hill has joined a nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force that aims to cut down on illegal robocalls across the country.
The attorneys general of 47 states have joined the task force with the intention of investigating and taking legal action against telecommunication companies that are responsible for allowing the majority of foreign robocalls into the United States, a Tuesday press release from the Wyoming Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit said.
“Robocalls are a significant problem both here in Wyoming and nationwide,” Hill said in the press release. “That is why I am proud to join my fellow Attorneys General in working together to combat this menace. We will take this fight to anyone who helps these scammers and robocallers.”
The Task Force has issued civil investigative demands to 20 entities that are alleged to be responsible for the majority of foreign robocall traffic in the country.
“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,” the press release said. “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 Wyoming residents receive and benefit the companies that are following the rules.”
There are over 33 million scam robocalls made to people in the U.S. every day, according to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center.
“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,” the release added. “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.”
Hill and the Consumer Protection Unit offered the following tips to avoid scams from robocalls:
• 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 hang up and do not provide any personal information.
• File a Do Not Call or Text complaint here: www.donotcall.gov.Wyoming Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit