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Attorneys general in North Dakota, Minnesota join national push for robocall law

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North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem

BISMARCK — The attorneys general in North Dakota and Minnesota have joined a unanimous number of their peers nationwide in urging the U.S. Senate to approve legislation to curb illegal robocalls and spoofing.

A letter sent by Wayne Stenehjem of North Dakota, Keith Ellison of Minnesota and other attorneys general to the Senate's Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation said the legislation would enable states, federal regulators and telecom providers to take further steps to combat the calls.

The legislation would:

  • require telephone service providers to adopt authentication technology to verify a call is legitimate before connecting it to a consumer’s phone.
  • require the Federal Communications Commission to adopt rules to help protect subscribers from receiving unwanted calls or text messages.
  • broaden the scope of the FCC’s enforcement authority and extend the statute of limitations to give the agency up to three years after a robocall is placed to pursue violators.
  • increase the FCC’s maximum penalty to $10,000 per call, from $1,500.
  • create a working group that would explore, in consultation with state attorneys general, additional actions to reduce robocalls and hold telemarketers and robocallers accountable.

The illegal calls have been the No. 1 consumer complaint reported to Stenehjem's office in the past three years. Nationwide, more than 48 billion robocalls were made last year, and consumers lost millions of dollars because of the calls.

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison

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