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Interest in AG Nessel's Robocall Crackdown Team Grows
February 10, 2020
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today that more than 1,700 people have signed up to become members of the Attorney General’s Robocall Crackdown Team, and since the mid-November launch of the initiative, more than 1,800 robocall complaints have been submitted.
In that short time frame, the Robocall Complaint Form has become the most viewed complaint form on the Attorney General’s website.
Michigan residents in 2019 received more than 1.5 billion robocalls. The top three topics mentioned in complaints submitted to the Attorney General’s office – with examples of the calls – are:
Recordings provided by YouMail
Hundreds of Michigan complaints have been utilized as the first step in opening investigations.
“Michigan is stepping up to help put an end to illegal robocalls,” Nessel said. “Robocall scammers are not only a nuisance, they are preying on the pocketbooks of good honest people, and that has to stop.”
Aside from the common types of robocall topics mentioned above, the Attorney General’s office in January noticed an uptick in new robocall campaigns, including:
Recordings provided by YouMail
“Robocallers will continue to adjust their approaches to scam us, and we must remain vigilant in our efforts to expose them,” Nessel said. “The public can be instrumental in our investigations through our Robocall Crackdown Team and each day we’re continuing to learn more about how these bad actors operate.”
To further address the pervasive problem of robocalls, the Attorney General’s office is:
- Continuing preliminary investigative work into potential targets involved in major robocalling operations;
- Working with the telecom industry on solutions and approaches to tracing illegal robocalls to their sources;
- Developing protocols and procedures to expand and guide participation in our Robocall Crackdown Team and to supplement our enforcement efforts; and
- Working with our partners in the Legislature to enact new laws that will allow our department to hold bad actors accountable.
The best way to deal with robocalls is to simply hang up or don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number. However, to aid investigators in their efforts to hold robocallers accountable, certain pieces of information are extremely helpful to the department’s efforts to investigate, particularly when submitted to the Attorney General’s office as part of an official complaint:
- Robocaller’s phone number;
- Your phone number and service provider (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc.);
- The date and time of the robocall;
- Whether the robocall was soliciting goods or services worth at least $25; and
- The topic of the robocall scam (e.g. student loans, Social Security numbers, IRS liability, etc.).
Please note: Robocalls to landlines cannot be traced back so any complaints about landline calls cannot be used to further the department’s investigation.