ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Minnesota Attorney General and the Federal Trade announced plans to combat illegal robocalls.
The new program involves attorneys general from all 50 states and will focus on cracking down on illegal calls by targeting robocallers, the companies that use them, and lead generators who provide consumers’ numbers to robocallers.
The enforcement is focused on shutting down the providers that profit from illegal robocalls that scammed an estimated $29.8 billion dollars 2021.
"Everybody hates robocalls — and everybody gets them, including me. Minnesotans file more complaints about robocalls with our office than about any other single problem. When it’s tough to afford your life, the last thing any of us needs is a scammer coming at us," Attorney General Ellison said in a release. "Minnesota is continuing to join forces in this fight with the federal government, attorneys general, and law enforcement around the country. We’re going to keep at it until every Minnesota is safe from this scourge."
Ellison offered some tips to avoid robocalls:
- If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang up and do not provide any personal information
- Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. For example, the Internal Revenue Service does not accept payment in iTunes gift cards
- Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies. Typically, the Social Security Administration does not make phone calls to individuals
Additionally, AG Ellison said hanging up on scammers can be difficult for Minnesotans, "Above all, don’t hang on — hang up. We Minnesotans are polite folks who don’t like hanging up on others, even when they’re being rude, or we suspect they’re trying to scam us. But scammers don’t deserve our politeness or respect, so protect yourself and your family and hang up immediately," Ellison said.