Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor yesterday announced that Oklahoma is joining a nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force of 50 attorneys general to investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for allowing illegal foreign robocalls into the United States. This bipartisan nationwide Task Force has one goal: to reduce illegal robocalls. The Task Force will focus on shutting down the providers that profit from this illegal scam traffic and refuse to take steps to mitigate scam calls.
“Over 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day,” said Attorney General O’Connor. “These scam calls include Social Security Administration fraud against seniors, Amazon scams against consumers, and many other scams targeting all consumers, including some of our most vulnerable citizens. An estimated $29.8 billion was stolen through scam calls in 2021. Most of this scam robocall traffic originates overseas.”
The Task Force has issued 20 civil investigative demands to 20 gateway providers and other entities that are allegedly responsible for a majority of foreign robocall traffic. Gateway providers that bring foreign traffic into the U.S. telephone network have a responsibility to ensure the traffic is legal, but these providers are not taking sufficient action to stop robocall traffic. In many cases, they appear to be intentionally turning a blind eye in return for steady revenue. The Task Force will focus on the bad actors throughout the telecommunications industry, to help reduce the number robocalls that Oklahoma residents receive.
“I am proud to join my fellow attorneys general in investigating and taking action against anyone who helps these scammers and illegal robocallers,” said Attorney General O’Connor. “Together, we are fighting to protect our families, neighbors, and loved ones in Oklahoma and across the United States from falling victim to fraud. If the telecom industry won’t police itself, this Task Force will.”
Attorney General O’Connor offers the following tips to avoid scams and unwanted calls:
- Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. For example, the Internal Revenue Service does not accept iTunes gift cards.
- Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies. Typically, the Social Security Administration does not make phone calls to individuals.
- If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang-up and do not provide any personal information.
- Contact our Consumer Protection Division at 405-521-2029 or by email at ConsumerProtection@oag.ok.gov.
- File a Do Not Call or Text complaint here.