(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s signing of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act:
“I applaud the president and a nearly unanimous Congress for creating and signing into law the most important new tool in a generation to fight robocalls and fraud. The bipartisan support of this measure reflects just how widespread this nuisance has become. It’s time for these scammers to get the message – enough is enough.”
In March 2019, Yost and other state attorneys general voiced their support of the TRACED Act in a letter to the U.S. Senate. The new law targets illegal robocalls by requiring service providers to offer free, automatic call-blocking technology to consumers at the network level. The technology helps ensure that phone calls originate from secure, verified numbers, not spoofed sources.
12 phone service providers have agreed to adopt anti-robocall practices as part of an initiative with his office and 50 other attorneys general.
The agreement with Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and other service providers 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.