Constant robocalls got you down? Nessel and 41 AGs want the FCC to stop them.

    Dana Nessel, March 22, 2019 | Susan J. Demas

    If you don’t pick up the phone anymore to avoid the flurry of annoying automated sales calls, 42 state attorneys general are trying to fight back.

    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a bipartisan group that filed comments this week with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against what they call the “noxious intrusion of illegal robocalls” and malicious caller ID spoofing in voice, alternative voice and text message services.

    Last year, 1.2 billion robocalls were made to Michigan residents, according to industry experts. There were roughly 48 million calls made nationwide. In 2019, experts estimate residents have received more than 500 million robocalls.

    In Michigan, telemarketing and robocall scams remain on the list of top 10 consumer complaints the Michigan Attorney General’s Office receives each year, coming in at No. 2 on the list for 2018, the office said. Last year, the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division received 235 complaints on these scams, and 107 complaints have come in this year.

    In the comment letter, the attorneys general urged the FCC to adopt the proposed Ray Baum’s Act rule changes they say will permit the agency to “proactively fight caller ID spoofing activities and robocalls originating outside the U.S.”

    “Protecting the people of Michigan is our first priority and that’s precisely why I’ve joined attorneys general from across the nation in support of this rule change,” Nessel said in a statement. “The exponential surge in scams through spoofing and robocalls that some Michigan residents have fallen victim to compels us to speak up and urge the FCC to take up these new rules so we can provide better protections for our residents and all Americans.”

    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.


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