Originally on WXII

February 24, 2020

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is asking the public to help him combat robocalls as part of a new initiative.

"It has gotten completely out of control. These are people who do not respect the do not call list; they're criminals and I'm just personally offended by their behavior," Stein said via Skype Monday morning.

Stein launched Operation Silver Shield last week. He said more than 1,000 complaints have already come in. He said the initiative specifically tries to combat calls and fraud against vulnerable groups such as senior citizens.

One element of the operation includes a new reporting system. Consumers can file a complaint or call a new, staffed hotline to file their complaint.

"What we want to do is then partner with the phone companies and trace back: Where does this call come from? Where was it originated? The hope is we can identify if these bad actors exist in North Carolina and then we can shut them down."

Billions of calls are made to people within the state, Stein said. The number is often a number similar to a contact a consumer frequently dials. Stein said seniors are often targeted, resulting in millions of dollars in losses.

"It's really devastating," he said. "It breaks your heart. We want to do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable in our state."

The new reporting system aims to document who is calling, what the caller wants and what the phone number is, with hopes of bolstering investigation into scammers.

Claims to the Robocall Report Task Force can be made through a web form found at this link or by calling a dedicated robo-report hotline at 1-844-8-NO-ROBO.