Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced last week an initiative to combat robocalls in Washington state. The Attorney General’s Office created a new complaint form for Washingtonians tailored for reporting robocalls and launched a website with descriptions of robocalls and telemarketing scams, including strategies for combating them.
“Robocalls are more than just annoying — they can also be illegal,” Ferguson said. “Many of our cases are based on tips we receive from Washingtonians. If robocalls are harassing you, please file a complaint with my office.”
Robocalls are a type of phone call that comes from automated systems where computers play a recorded message when someone answers the phone or when it goes to voicemail.
Tuesday’s launch is a continuation of the attorney general’s work to stop illegal robocalls, according to the news release. In the past two years, Ferguson filed three lawsuits aimed at holding illegal robocallers accountable.
Prior to the creation of the specific complaint form for robocalls, Washingtonians could report any suspicious calls through the Attorney General’s Office general consumer complaint form.
The creation of a specific complaint form for robocalls will give attorneys, investigators and staff more precise information for quicker reaction to complaints, according to a news release from Ferguson’s office.
The robocall complaint form includes specific questions for reporting the details of a suspicious call to help the office better track and discover patterns for robocalls in the state — and prevent other Washingtonians from getting more illegal calls.
Even if illegal robocallers fake their caller identification, the Attorney General’s Office has resources to track these calls when Washingtonians report their telephone number, telephone provider and the exact time and date of the call, according to the news release.
Washingtonians who suspect they have received an illegal robocall can now report the call at
The informational website about robocalls and telemarketing scams is accessible at atg.wa.gov/robocall-and-telemarketing-scams.
Washingtonians can also report illegal telemarketing or other types of phone scams via the general consumer complaint form at atg.wa.gov/file-complaint.
Washingtonians can also make complaints about robocalls to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In February alone, the FTC received 6,075 complaints from Washingtonians regarding telephone solicitations, according to the news release.
A few types of robocalls are allowed without permission, including political calls about candidates, charities asking for donations or any message that is purely informational, like calls about a flight status or school closure, according to the news release.
Some robocalls or telemarketers may come from legitimate charitable organizations, but it is wise to contact the Washington Secretary of State’s Charitable Division at 1-800-332-4483, or visit their website, to make sure any charity is registered with the state before you give money or credit card information, according to the news release.
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