Phone companies adopt eight principles to help fight scam calls

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Officials announced Thursday that 51 attorneys general and several major phone companies are working together to stop illegal and invasive scam calls.

As a result of a bipartisan, public-private coalition of attorneys general and 12 phone companies, the companies have agreed to adopt eight principles into their business practices to fight illegal calls.

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According to the Attorney General’s Office the agreement with AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon and Windstream will help protect phone users from illegal scam calls and make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors.

They say the eight principles address the nation’s scam call problem in two main ways: prevention and enforcement.

First, the phone companies will work to prevent illegal scam robocalls by:

• Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers.
• Making available to customers additional, free, easy-to-use call blocking tools.
• Implementing technology to authenticate that calls are coming from a valid source.
• Monitoring their networks for scam robocall traffic.

Phone companies will assist attorneys’ general anti-scam call enforcement by:

• Knowing who their customers are so bad actors can be identified and investigated.
• Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers, including notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general.
• Working with law enforcement and states to trace the origins of illegal robocalls.
• Requiring telephone companies with which they contract to cooperate in traceback identification.

Going forward, phone companies will stay in close communication with the coalition of attorneys general to continue to optimize scam call protections as technology and scammer techniques change.