AGs announce agreement to crack down on robocalls

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro arrives at a news conference in Philadelphia, Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro arrives at a news conference in Philadelphia, Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Pennsylvania’s attorney general is touting an agreement he and other attorneys general have made with a number of the country’s biggest phone companies.

It’s aimed at cracking down on unwanted robocalls.

Not all robocalls are illegal.

But many are — particularly ones from unknown numbers trying to sell people things without their consent.

And studies have shown they’re on the rise.

As Congress works on a package of bills aimed at curtailing the calls, attorneys general in all 50 states — including Pennsylvania — and Washington DC have announced a victory on an initiative of their own.

They’ve agreed to a voluntary memorandum of understanding with 12 of the biggest phone companies in the country.

The companies have agreed to offer free call-blocking to customers and technology that can authenticate callers, plus monitor robocalls more actively.

They’ll also help law enforcement identify and track robocallers.

State Attorney General Josh Shapiro said part of the reason he’s pursuing the issue is because people in the commonwealth have told him how annoying they find robocalls.

Plus, he said, the calls are “not simply an annoyance–they are illegal, and they are used to take advantage of our seniors and other vulnerable populations.”

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