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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > December 2019 > Frustrated with Unwanted Calls? AG Yost Continues to Aggressively Address Robocalls

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Frustrated with Unwanted Calls? AG Yost Continues to Aggressively Address Robocalls

It can be frustrating to answer the phone and hear an automated telemarketing message, especially when your phone number is on the national Do-Not-Call Registry.
Generally, a robocall occurs when you hear an automated message instead of a live person when you answer your phone. While there are some exceptions – such as calls from charities or political organizations – if you receive a call that is an automated message and you haven’t given your written permission, that call may be illegal or part a scam. Even businesses you have a relationship with are generally barred from making sales robocalls to your landline phone unless you have given your written permission.
To help reduce the number of robocalls consumers receive, Attorney General Yost and 50 other attorneys general recently announced an agreement with 12 phone service providers – including Verizon, Sprint and AT&T – to adopt anti-robocall practices. The agreement will help protect consumers from illegal robocalls and make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors.
“This agreement brings phone service providers on board as critical allies in our fight against illegal robocalls,” Yost said. “By adopting these commonsense business practices, service providers will reinforce our ongoing efforts to crack down on this growing nuisance.”
Under the agreement, the service providers will work to prevent illegal robocalls by:
  • Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers.
  • Providing customers with free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools.
  • Implementing technology to verify that calls are coming from a valid source.
  • Monitoring their networks for robocall traffic.
Additionally, the companies will assist attorneys general with anti-robocall enforcement by:
  • Knowing who their customers are so bad actors can be identified and investigated.
  • Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers, which includes notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general.
  • Working with law enforcement, including attorneys general, to trace the origins of illegal robocalls.
  • Requiring phone companies with which they contract to cooperate and trace back identification.
Going forward, the phone companies will stay in close communication with the coalition of attorneys general to ensure that robocall protections develop as technology and scam tactics change.

The phone service providers that joined the initiative are AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon and Windstream.

Consumers who suspect an unfair business practice or want help addressing a consumer problem should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.