Deal made with phone companies to crack down on robocalls

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Three state attorneys general were together Thursday for a joint announcement about a 50-state crackdown on the calls their offices get the most calls about: robocalls.

North Carolina AG Josh Stein, New Hampshire AG Gordon MacDonald and Arkansas AG Leslie Rutledge have reached an agreement with every attorney general in the country and a dozen phone companies to protect consumers from illegal robocalls and make it easier for the state’s top law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute the callers on the other end of the line.

“Every single Arkansan, every single American is absolutely sick and tired of illegal robocalls,” Rutledge said.

“To many of us, it’s an annoyance, but to others, it’s their life savings,” Stein said.

According to the three states’ top law enforcement officials, American consumers receive more than 160 million robocalls every day and some of them have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because they picked up the phone and a scammer was on the other end.

“Today, we are sending an even stronger message that we are going to work together to shut down these calls,” Rutledge said.

The attorneys general and 12 phone companies have reached an agreement to adopt eight principles to fight illegal robocalls. They include blocking the calls at the network level at no cost to customers and requiring companies to trace the illegal calls to the source.

Similar measures in Congress would have the same effect, but they are stalled due to concerns that legitimate calls could also get blocked.

“As states who are responsible for our constituents, we don’t want to wait on Washington to do anything,” Stein said.

These phone companies are on board because they say robocalls are bad for their business.

“People just aren’t answering calls anymore. That’s not good for us. That’s not good for consumers,” said Patrick Hawley with USTelecom.

To get people to pick up the phone, this group promises they’ll soon hang up on illegal robocallers.

Studies show that nearly half the calls Americans get on phones are robocalls and many are “spoofed,” faking a caller ID to trick recipients into thinking it must be a call from a friend or a neighbor. This agreement aims to end spoofing and make notifications such as, “Likely Scam,” appear on phone screens across the board.


Colder and quiet rest of the week

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A good 20° swing Wednesday morning with temperatures in the lower to mid 20s this morning with feel-like temperatures in the teens. it will be a clear start then brighter heading through the rest of the morning and the afternoon! Sunshine won’t help us out too much in terms of temperatures today. Daytime highs should warm to the upper 30s. Wednesday night will be a cold one with lows in the lower 20s with a partly cloudy sky.

Thursday will be another cold one with highs struggling to reach 30°. It’ll still be a bright one with a mostly to partly sunny sky. A slow warming trend will start Friday with highs warming to the upper 30s with a mixture of sun and clouds.

This weekend will be split with a chance of showers arriving late in the day Sunday. Highs will continue to warm to the mid-40s Saturday with a partly sunny sky. Clouds return Sunday with showers later in the evening and overnight. Rain will continue through Monday. Tuesday looks to be a dry day for now then showers should return by midweek with highs in the mid 40s.