Madigan sent letters Monday to officials at AT&T, CenturyLink,
Frontier Communications and Consolidated Communications, which
provide the vast majority of landline telephone service for Illinois
residents, urging the companies to develop technology to block the
onslaught of computer-generated robocalls that seek to scam
consumers who pick up the phone.
"Because the potential financial harm from calls like these is
real, phone companies should be exploring ways to reduce the number
of automated calls targeting Illinois residents," Madigan said.
"Experts have demonstrated that there are technological solutions
available that phone companies can use to cut down on these calls."
Despite coordinated efforts by Madigan's office, other state
attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission, Illinois
residents continue to report robocalls to their homes, even when
residents have placed their numbers on the Federal Trade
Commission's "Do Not Call" list. The calls frequently originate from
scammers in foreign countries, using technology to hide their
location and identity, which makes enforcement efforts against them
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As recently as this summer, Madigan issued an alert about the latest
series of robocalls targeting Illinois seniors, which asked them to
provide personal financial information to pay for services they
never asked for or wanted. Across the country, during a three-month
period in 2012, the FTC received an average of 200,000 complaints
per month about robocalls. This figure marked a more than 200
percent increase from the same period only three years earlier.
In her letter this week, Madigan asked the phone companies to
explore technological solutions that would put a stop to these
automated calls before they ever reach a consumer's home.
[Text from file received from the office
Illinois Attorney General Lisa