A coalition of 51 attorneys general – including North Dakota’s Wayne Stenehjem – has reached an agreement with 12 national telephone companies to help protect customers from illegal robocalls.
The companies have agreed to provide call-blocking technology for customers at no cost. They also have agreed to monitor their networks for those robocalls, and use technology to help trace where those calls are coming from.
"We need to have the tools, and I think they exist, so we can find out exactly where the calls are coming from, so we can take civil action, criminal action against them," Stenehjem said. "People are fed up with these calls."
Stenehjem said the companies deserve kudos for stepping up.
"They also will assist us in doing 'tracebacks,' Stenehjem said. "We can find out where the calls are coming from, and try to put a stop to it."
Stenehjem said the scammers are making millions of calls each month.
"People tell me, 'I pay for that phone, for my comfort and convenience, not for the convenience of people who want to scam me, or my grandmother out of her hard earned money," Stenehjem said.
The participating companies are AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon and Windstream.