Utah AG joins multi-state probe into illegal robocalls

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is joining a coalition in probing illegal robocalls.

In a statement, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes announced his participation alongside 40 other state attorneys general. The coalition is reviewing what telecom companies are doing to combat illegal robocalls.

“To be clear, we are not talking about first amendment protected robocalls like political messages or calls from bona fide charities. While some find these calls annoying, they are legal,” Reyes said in a statement “However, if the recording is a sales pitch and you have not provided authorization, the call is illegal. To trick you into answering a call, many robocalls fake the caller ID information you see on your phone. This is called spoofing and is also illegal. It is these practices and types of robocalls we are focused on stopping.”

More than 187 million illegal robocalls were recorded in Utah alone, the attorney general’s office said. Many come from overseas using spoofed numbers.

The Utah Department of Commerce investigates complaints and, the agency said in a statement, has in some instances successfully taken legal action against callers pitching student loan debt consolidation, vacation packages, solar energy, and timeshare resales.