New Jersey to work with FCC on robocall investigations

The New Jersey Attorney General’s office will partner with the Federal Communications Commission to investigate illegal robocalls, officials said Monday.

More than twenty states have agreed to work with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau to support robocall investigations and protect American consumers and businesses.

 In 2020, around 1.1 billion robocalls were made in New Jersey, while 2019 saw 1.5 billion calls made. The state leads the nation in complaints from residents about robocalls.

“We all know unsolicited robocalls are annoying, but they also are a tool scammers use to commit fraud,” said Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin. “Our new partnership with the Federal Communications Commission will help us crack down on abusive robocalls and protect New Jersey residents.”  

During joint investigations, both the FCC’s enforcement bureau and state investigators will seek records, talk to witnesses, interview targets, examine consumer complaints, and take other steps to build a record against possible bad actors. Officials said the partnership can provide critical resources for building cases and preventing duplicative efforts in protecting consumers and businesses nationwide. Officials said the FCC offers partner states the expertise of its enforcement staff and other resources to support state investigations such as other work from federal agencies and robocall blocking companies, and will provide support for critical investigative tools including subpoenas and confidential response letters from suspected robocallers.  

“The Division hears from consumers fed up with robocalls regularly, and some of the complaints involve residents who have lost money,” said Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs Sean Neafsey. “I am pleased to join this coalition to further our commitment to protecting our residents from unwanted calls and scams.”

In 2021, a lawsuit filed by New Jersey, the Federal Trade Commission, 38 states, and the District of Columbia permanently shut down a charitable fundraising scam operation that made 1.3 billion deceptive fundraising calls – the bulk of them illegal robocalls – while collecting more than $110 million dollars from unsuspecting donors.

The New Hersey Division of Consumer Affairs offers consumer information about New Jersey’s Do Not Call Law, as well as tips on robocalling and telemarketing scams and how to avoid them. For more information, or to file a complaint about robocalls or scams, visit the division’s website.