(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by the Office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
and received via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by
August 26, 2013
MADIGAN URGES PHONE COMPANIES TO ACT TO REDUCE AUTOMATED
ROBOCALLS TO ILLINOIS RESIDENTS
Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan today urged four leading
telephone companies to address the growing problem of robocalls
targeting Illinois residents.
Madigan sent letters today to officials at AT&T Inc.,
CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and Consolidated
Communications, which provide the vast majority of landline
telephone service for Illinois residents, urging the companies
to develop technology to block the onslaught of computer-generated robocalls that seek to scam consumers who pick up the
“Because the potential financial harm from calls like these is
real, phone companies should be exploring ways to reduce the
number of automated calls targeting Illinois residents,” Madigan
said. “Experts have demonstrated that there are technological
solutions available that phone companies can use to cut down on
Despite coordinated efforts by Madigan’s office, other state
attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC),
Illinois residents continue to report robocalls to their homes,
even when residents have placed their numbers on the Federal
Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” list. The calls frequently
originate from scammers in foreign countries, using technology
to hide their location and identity, which makes enforcement
efforts against them difficult.
As recently as this summer, Madigan issued an alert about the
latest series of robocalls targeting Illinois seniors, which
asked them to provide personal financial information to pay for
services they never asked for or wanted. Across the country,
during a three-month period in 2012, the FTC received an average
of 200,000 complaints per month about robocalls. This figure
marked a more than 200 percent increase from the same time
period only three years earlier.
In today’s letter, Madigan asked the phone companies to explore
technological solutions that would put a stop to these automated
calls before they ever reach a consumer’s home.
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