Michigan AG Nessel Working to Combat Caller ID Spoofing, Illegal Robocalls

There’s nothing worse than having to duck out of an important meeting to take what appears to be an important incoming call on your cellphone only to find out that some telemarketer or robo-caller has spoofed an otherwise immediately recognizable number to make some stupid pitch. Fortunately, work is underway to hopefully make that a thing of the past…or at least dramatically reduce the incidence of such calls.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a bipartisan group of 42 other state attorneys general in filing comments with the Federal Communications Commission to combat the intrusion of illegal robocalls and malicious caller ID spoofing in voice, alternative voice, and text message services.

In the comment letter, the attorneys general urged the FCC to adopt the proposed Ray Baum’s Act rule changes which will allow it to more proactively fight caller ID spoofing activities and robocalls originating outside the U.S.

According to the letter, industry experts estimated U.S. consumers received nearly 48 billion robocalls in 2018, 1.2 billion of which were made to Michigan residents specifically. And already in 2019, experts are estimating residents have received more than 500 million robocalls.

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In Michigan, telemarketing and robocall scams remain on the list of top 10 consumer complaints the Michigan Attorney General’s Office receives each year, coming in at No. 2 on the list for 2018. Last year, the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division received 235 complaints on these scams; 107 complaints have come in since Nessel took office in January.

Nessel says, “Protecting the people of Michigan is our first priority and that’s precisely why I’ve joined attorneys general from across the nation in support of this rule change.” The Attorney General adds, “The exponential surge in scams through spoofing and robocalls that some Michigan residents have fallen victim to compels us to speak up and urge the FCC to take up these new rules so we can provide better protections for our residents and all Americans.”

A copy of the 8-page comment letter can be read by clicking the link below: