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AG Kaul: Wisconsin joins nationwide task force to cut down on illegal robocalls

An estimated $29.8 billion was stolen through scam calls in 2021, according to the Department of Justice.
Robocalls 010220
Posted at 3:12 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-02 16:12:05-04

MADISON, Wis. — Attorney General Josh Kaul announced Tuesday that Wisconsin is joining a nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force to cut down on illegal robocalls.

The task force is made up of 50 attorneys general to investigate and take legal action against telecommunications companies resposible for foreign robocalls in the United States, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement Tuesday.

“We have to reduce the number of illegal robocalls that folks receive,” said AG Kaul. “I’m proud to join this bipartisan group of AGs in working to crack down on the telecom companies that are failing to do their part to stop illegal scam calls.”

The task force issued 20 civil investigative demands to 20 gateway providers and other entities, DOJ said.

"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," DOJ said Tuesday. "In many cases, they appear to be intentionally turning a blind eye in return for steady revenue."

Over 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day, according to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center. An estimated $29.8 billion was stolen through scam calls in 2021, DOJ said. The scam calls include social security fraud against seniors and Amazon scams against consumers.

Kaul offered the following tips to avoid scams and unwanted calls:

  • Be aware of callers who ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency.
  • Be wary of prerecorded calls posing as government agencies.
  • If you suspect fraudulent activity, you should not provide any personal information and should immediately hang up.
  • Contact the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) by email at DATCPHotline@Wisconsin.gov or through a toll-free hotline at (800) 422-7128.
  • File a Do Not Call or Text complaint with DATCP here.

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