Missouri joins national, state agencies in crackdown on robocalls

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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is teaming up with other states and agencies as part of a new initiative to rein in robocalls. 

A spokesperson said Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has joined the Federal Trade Commission's "Operation Call it Quits." 

It is "part of the commission's ongoing effort to help stem the tide of universally loathed pre-recorded telemarketing calls," Chris Nuelle said in a press release.

Centralia woman Judy Pollock said she's fed up with the number of robocalls she gets every day.

“On my cell phone I get probably 20 and on my land line anywhere from 5 to 15,” Pollock said.

Earlier this summer, Pollock said she got a call from someone who told her she owed money, and if she didn't pay, there could be legal consequences.

“[They said] they had put out a warrant for my arrest, that I had outstanding bills which is not true," Pollock said. "[They said] they were going to send a police officer to my home and they would be arresting me.”

Pollock said she immediately knew it was a scam, but she knows other people may think calls like the one she received are legitimate.

The program will push to educate consumers about illegal robocalls. It will also promote the development of "technology-based solutions" to block robocalls and prevent caller ID spoofing, he said. 

In addition to this state's attorney general's office, 25 federal, state and local agencies are taking part in Operation Call It Quits.

Nuelle said the attorney general's office will begin promoting educational materials in the coming weeks. Consumers can call 866-BUZZOFF to report illegal robocalls to the Missouri No-Call List. 

Pollock said she's glad to see leaders stepping in to address the robocall problem.

"They’re the guys that are getting paid to do their job," Pollock said. "What can we do at home? Not answer our phone?"

The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday it was was taking enforcement actions against four companies for violating robocall regulations.