In January, attorney generals representing all 50 states called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to put a plan in place to counter what they perceived to be a growing tide of fraudulent robocalls. The FCC proposed states act collaboratively to share information for investigations which it claims would prevent duplicative efforts, allowing pooling of resources, and accelerate investigations. Recently the FCC stated it reached agreements with 36 states to realize its plans.
On May 31, 2022, attorney generals from 41 states including California, Pennsylvania, and New York, signed a letter to Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel of the FCC. The letter was intended to address what the attorney generals now describe as “the scourge of robocalls.” The letter’s undersigned attorney generals commended the FCC’s encouragement to states to enter into information sharing agreements, which they claim facilitate and expedite robocall investigations. Additionally, the letter notes that the signing attorney generals that do not yet have information sharing agreements are committed to acquiring and executing said agreements. All of the signing attorney generals expressed commitment to working collaboratively with the FCC to promote robocall investigations.
Nearly all of the state executive branches are now aligned with the FCC in their feud against robocalls. The union will likely create dramatically increased enforcement on robocall and automated dialing system related issues. In light of the increasing pressure, debt collectors and other businesses which utilize automated calling systems should confirm their current practices are up to date and compliant. Nationwide communication and consistency for larger businesses will be key to mitigate potential exposure. Finally, the attorney generals’ letter should serve as a reminder of the government’s general aversion to the employment of automated calling systems.