Tired of robocalls blowing up your phone? So is the Tennessee Attorney General.
State AG Herbert Slatery said Thursday that he and 51 other attorneys general and 12 phone companies have adopted a new slate of protocols to fight robocalls.
“Robocalls are uninvited, a breach of privacy, distracting, and generally a menace,” said Slatery. “This agreement should better protect Tennesseans from illegal robocalls and enable this office and other attorneys general to investigate and prosecute offenders.”
The new plan would install call-blocking technology at the network level, give consumers free call-blocking technology for their phones, and implement new technology that would ensure callers are coming from a valid source.
Phone companies will assist in the effort by helping to identify bad actors, notifying law enforcement if they find them, tracing the origins of robocalls, and requiring call traceback identification.
“The principles offer a comprehensive set of best practices that recognizes that no single action or technology is sufficient to curb the scourge of illegal and unwanted robocalls,” said Henning Schulzrinne, professor of computer science at Columbia University. ”I hope that all parts of the telecommunication industry, both large and small, will commit to rapidly implementing these principles and work with state and federal authorities to make people want to answer their phone again without fear of being defrauded or annoyed.”
The group is comprised of attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The coalition of companies includes AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream.
If your phone rang in Memphis last month, it was a scammer 40 percent of the time, according to YouMail, host of the RoboCall Index. So, how many calls are we talking here? Nearly 15 robocalls were made every second here last month.
The No. 1 robocaller in Memphis last month was Intelliquent, reminding you to pay your credit card. Other robocallers included prison-call consents, payment reminders, debt collectors, and straight scams.
Memphis ranks 28th on the RoboCall Index with nearly 40 million calls last month. No. 1? Atlanta. More than 187 million robocalls were placed to callers there last month.
See all of the data here