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HARTFORD — An effort to fight back against a drastic increase in robocalls has led to 32.5 billion spam, spoofed or illegal calls being blocked since 2019.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said Wednesday that efforts by telecom companies who agreed to anti-robocall principles in 2019 have implemented systems that identified more than 52 billion spam or spoofed number calls, leading to the 32.5 billion calls being blocked. Tong said as the number of reported spam or spoofed number calls continues to rise, however, there is more work to do in order to address the issue.

“Robocalls are more than a nuisance. These incessant, intrusive calls are the top tool of scammers seeking to steal our money, identities and personal information,” Tong said.

Our work has just begun, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting American families from these malicious calls,” he continued. “Our website has recently been updated to allow consumers to directly submit audio recordings of robocalls.”

In 2021 alone, 391,453 Americans filed reports with the FTC about robocalls, reporting totals of at least $356 million in losses. These numbers underscore the need to continue to fight back against the scourge of robocalls, officials said.

Under the principals agreed to by telecom companies, efforts in place include free call labeling and blocking tools, network-level call blocking, using STIR/SHAKEN technology to combat caller ID spoofing and investigate suspicious calls and call patterns.

In the past two years, the promise has led the Industry Traceback Group, working alongside state attorneys general, to run 4,769 tracebacks, about three times as many investigations as were conducted prior to the principles. The effort led ITG to identify 319 domestic and foreign providers as originating the majority of robocalls.

— Jason Vallee

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