Ken Paxton

Texas Joins Task Force Targeting Robocalls and Scammers

Avoid scam callers who ask to be paid by wire services or with gift cards and cryptocurrency

Pile of Cell Phones Robocalls
NBC News

The office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) announced Tuesday the state was joining 49 other states in a nationwide Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force to deal with the overflow of robocalls in the U.S.

According to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center, more than 33 million scam robocalls are made every day targeting Americans.

An estimated $29.8 million was stolen through scam calls in 2021, consisting of phony Social Security calls, Amazon scams and more.

Their purpose of the Task Force is singular: to reduce the number of illegal robocalls Texans receive.

They has already began working toward their goal by issuing 20 civil investigative demands to 20 gateway providers suspected of foreign robocall traffic.

Gateway providers, said the Task Force, are in charge of making sure the traffic brought into the U.S. is legal, but have been turning a blind eye to the matter. Most scam robocalls originate overseas.

To help minimize robocalls, the Task Force is focused on shutting down the providers that profit from the illegal traffic and refuse to take preventative steps. The Task Force will also provide incentives to companies that abide by the rules.

"We will take this fight to all who assist or enable these scam calls," Paxton said. "If the telecom industry refuses to create and comply with reasonable regulations, then our Task Force will demand compliance."

HOW TO AVOID SCAMS AND UNWANTED ROBO CALLS

Paxton warned Texans to be wary of callers who specifically ask for payment via gift card, wire transfer or cryptocurrency. For example, the Internal Revenue Service does not accept iTunes gift cards.

You must also look out for prerecorded calls from people posing as government agencies. Typically, the Social Security Administration does not make phone calls to individuals.

If you suspect any fraudulent activity, do not provide any personal information and immediately hang up.

File a Do Not Call or Text complaint here.

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