SC joins nationwide anti-robocall task force

South Carolina is joining a nationwide task force designed to fight robocalls and protect...
South Carolina is joining a nationwide task force designed to fight robocalls and protect consumers from fraud.(Live 5)
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 12:50 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2022 at 7:12 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina’s attorney general says the state is joining a newly-formed group to fight robocallers and protect consumers.

Attorney General Alan Wilson says the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force will educate consumers, investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the United States.

“We all get robocalls and we all hate them,” Wilson said. “But South Carolina cannot fight them alone because robocalls are a nationwide problem. That’s why I am proud to join my fellow attorneys general as we take this fight to anyone who helps these scammers and robocallers.”

This bipartisan nationwide Task Force has one goal, Wilson says: to cut down on illegal robocalls.

Wilson’s office says 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, Wilson’s office says.

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 of robocalls that South Carolina’s residents receive and benefit the companies that are following the rules,” a release from the attorney general’s office states.

The National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center says over 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day. 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 dollars was stolen through scam calls in 2021. Most of this scam robocall traffic originates overseas. The task force is focused on shutting down the providers that profit from this illegal scam traffic and refuse to take steps to otherwise mitigate these scam calls.

Wilson 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.
  • File a Do Not Call or Text complaint here: https://www.donotcall.gov/report.html

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