Published: 4:28 pm, Fri. Aug. 5th, 2022
ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has announced that New Mexico is joining a 50-state Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force to investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the United States.
This bipartisan nationwide task force has one goal: cut down on illegal robocalls.
“Robocalls have become a nuisance and a tactic for malicious actors to scam our most vulnerable citizens, and telecommunications companies that turn a blind eye to illegal robocalls in favor of profits will be held accountable,” said Balderas.
According to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center, more than 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day. These scam calls include Social Security Administration fraud against seniors, Amazon scams against consumers, and many other scams targeting consumers.
An estimated $29.8 billion was stolen through scam calls in 2021. Most of this scam robocall traffic originates overseas, allowed into the U.S. by gateway providers that are legally obligated to confirm that these calls are legal.
The task force has issued civil investigative demands to 20 of these gateway providers and other entities that are allegedly responsible for a majority of foreign robocall traffic.
Balderas offers the following tips to avoid scams and unwanted calls:
• Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer or cryptocurrency. No legitimate business, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), nor your local power utility will require gift cards or pre-paid credit cards as payment.
• Look out for pre-recorded 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. You can always do an internet search to reach the real company or agency to inquire whether anyone has been attempting to contact you for a legitimate purpose.
• Contact the Office of the Attorney General toll-free at 1-844-255-9210 or submit a complaint online at www.nmag.gov/file-a-complaint.aspx.