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Iowa Attorney General Part of Coalition in War Against Spoofing Calls

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DES MOINES, Iowa --When it comes to spoofing calls, folks are running out of patience.

“Well, I mean it's 90% of the calls now are robocalls,” said Drew Langhart.

“I probably get five or six robocalls a day and they're just really annoying,” said Lisa Ellis.

“You're sitting there getting a phone call in a meeting, or if you're like waiting for an important call from someone who may be local or a different area code and you think that might be it so you answer it then you sit there for five seconds. It's just a pain in the butt, said Langhart.”

It doesn’t help that when you make an honest call, those on the other line are skeptical as well.

“Actually today for business I was trying to call someone who wouldn't have had my number and I really needed to talk to him but I'm certain he wasn't picking up,” said Ellis.

Attorneys general from across the country, including Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, have signed an agreement with cellular providers. The agreement contains list of things providers have agreed to do as best practices for preventing spoofing calls. They include offering free call blocking and new technology that prevents the calls from getting to you in the first place.

The technology works in the same way that a internet provider can track your IP address.

“So essentially the call has its own digital signature, and they would be able to identify is this really coming from this number or is this being spoofed. They also have agreed to work with us to try to identify where these calls are coming from, to trace them, and to try to bring these people to justice,” said the Iowa Attorney General’s Office Spokesman Lynn Hicks.

Providers who signed the agreement include Verizon, U.S. Cellular, T-Mobile and others.

“You go to your carrier, see what they offer, see what services they're offering for call blocking; and again, they've promised to offer this free of charge so that's something people should keep in mind,” said Hicks.

The agreement is voluntary, Hicks says the attorneys general are asking congress to pass a law requiring cellular providers provide these services.

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