Some Connecticut officials have a plan to cutdown on robocalls in hopes of protecting residents from falling victim to scams and being inundated with unwanted calls and also place limits on telemarketing calls.
Attorney General William Tong and several lawmakers said they are proposing legislation that would update state statutes addressing robocalls.
The plan is also intended to include text messages, prevent telemarketers from contacting Connecticut residents before 9 a.m. and after 8 p.m., clarify protections the Do Not Call List provides and more.
Tong’s office said there were 471 million robocalls to Connecticut consumers in 2022 alone, and 26 percent of them were scams.
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“Americans lose billions of dollars each year to robocall scams. Our laws have failed to keep pace with the tactics and technology these scammers use. Our bipartisan proposal brings Connecticut’s robocall laws into the modern era. It’s not just phone calls anymore -- we need to crack down on fraudulent text messages too. And we need to take on the gateway providers that get rich off patching overseas scammers into our American networks. With strong, modern laws we can shut down this telecom fraud highway and bring scammers to justice,” Tong said in a statement.
His office said the calls predominantly come from overseas and use automated dialing systems, chat bots and prerecorded calls.
The attorney general’s office said Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, gateway providers play a big role by allowing foreign calls into the U.S. telephone network and the proposal is intended to hold the gateway providers accountable.
“Americans lose billions of dollars each year to robocall scams. Our laws have failed to keep pace with the tactics and technology these scammers use. Our bipartisan proposal brings Connecticut’s robocall laws into the modern era. It’s not just phone calls anymore-- we need to crack down on fraudulent text messages too. And we need to take on the gateway providers that get rich off patching overseas scammers into our American networks. With strong, modern laws we can shut down this telecom fraud highway and bring scammers to justice,” Tong said in a statement.
“As the ranking member of the General Law Committee, my top priority is to deliver effective solutions for my constituents, particularly senior citizens, who are increasingly plagued by intrusive and predatory robo-calls. These calls are often used by dishonest actors to deceive even the most discerning individuals,” State Sen. Paul Cicarellasaid in a statement. “Not only are these calls unwanted, but they are also misleading — they often appear to originate from local sources when they are actually coming from thousands of miles away. We must take a stand against these malicious practices and work to prevent people from being exploited through their phones, which are our primary connection to the world around us.”
Connecticut is one of the 16 states on the executive committee leading the nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force.
Tips on Avoiding Scams, Unwanted Calls
Last summer, Attorney General Tong offered several tips to avoid scams and unwanted calls:
- 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 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.
- If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang-up and do not provide any personal information.
- Help bolster investigations in Connecticut by reporting your robocalls to https://www.dir.ct.gov/ag/complaint/
- File a Do Not Call or Text complaint with the National Do Not Call Registry
Tips for avoiding spam texts:
- Consumers can report fraudulent texts to their wireless providers by forwarding it to 7726 (“SPAM”).
- Don’t respond to texts that look suspicious, or come from an unknown number
- Don’t click links in suspicious texts
- Don’t provide any sensitive personal or financial information
- If a business sends you a text, call them to verify the communication using a valid number. (Be aware that scammers may make their fraudulent numbers appear in a Google search, and be ready to accept your call. Try to use something other than a search engine to confirm the telephone number.)