Phoenix, Arizona - The number one communications complaint across the nation continues to be the flood of illegal robocalls to consumers. In November 2021, Arizonans received more than 18 million unwanted calls, an average of 12.6 calls per person.
The calls go well beyond a universal source of annoyance. Scammers use abusive robocall tactics to threaten and scam people out of their money. The Federal Trade Commission reports that consumers lost $436 million to fraud over the phone and $86 million to text fraud in 2020.
Arizona sits on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General Robocall Technologies Working Group, which works with broadband technology experts and voice service providers to eliminate these harmful robocalls. Efforts include the implementation earlier this year of STIR/SHAKEN technology to authenticate caller ID and combat spoofing. Tracebacks are also on the rise, where state, federal, and industry collaborate to identify the original sources of illegal robocalls.
AGTV spoke with Jennifer Bonham, senior litigation counsel for the Consumer Protection and Advocacy Section of the Arizona Attorney General's Office about the ongoing efforts to get rid of illegal robocalls and how Arizonans can help by reporting the unwanted calls to the AGO.
The AGO maintains a webpage on robocalls and telemarketing that includes consumer tips on how to protect yourself from robocalls and spam texts. The webpage also includes different call-blocking apps and telecom provider services to block robocalls.