RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s a problem everywhere. Anyone with a cell phone has gotten dozens of those spoof calls.
But it turns out, robocalls are an even bigger problem in Virginia than most other states. The Commonwealth rings in at number seven for most “do not call registry” complaints in the whole country.
The Federal Trade Commission says last year, Virginia submitted 181,936 of those complaints. That’s why Virginia’s Attorney General Mark Herring is joining all of the Attorneys General across the country — to fight against robocalls.
“In a way its kinda led to a whole change in behavior where if you don’t recognize the number you don’t even pick up,” Herring said Thursday.
In 2018 alone, Virginians also filed 118,000 complaints about robocalls with the Feds. Now, a coalition of 51 elected officials are dialing in to get ahead of pesky scammers.
“I’m the Attorney General, I get them I know how annoying they are,” said Herring.
A dozen telecom companies are signing onto this new initiative, too. Big names include the likes of Verizon, Comcast, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T.
As part of the new agreement, 51 attorneys general and 12 carriers will work together to combat this growing nationwide problem. Herring says the initiative is a two prong approach.
“Focusing on both prevention and enforcement,” said Herring. “So, the new information will give law enforcement and attorneys general the tools to identify robocallers and go after them.”
Prevention includes call-blocking technology at no-cost to customers and making sure legitimate calls still get through.
Meanwhile enforcement involves working among states, companies, and law enforcement to identify who the spammers are, and where they’re spamming from.
Herring hopes this teamwork approach will help consumers stay ahead of robocalls even as the scammers try to innovate.
“Try and stay ahead of these technology changes so that when scammers try to find new ways to rip people off we’ll have the tools in place to try and stop them,” said Herring.