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State Attorney Generals, Including Pa.'s Shapiro, Working With Major Carriers To Combat Robocalls

NEW YORK (AP/KDKA) -- Major phone companies are telling the country's state attorneys general that they will do more against robocalls.

It's the latest step from government and industry to combat the growing problem.

Americans get nearly 5 billion calls from scammers, telemarketers, debt collectors and others every month. The agreement echoes some steps already taken by regulators and Congress, which is working on anti-robocall bills.

The state AGs say phone companies will offer call-blocking tools free to all but traditional landline users. They will also block calls for everyone at the network level.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is part of the joint effort.

In a press release, he said: "Robocall scams are not simply an annoyance — they are illegal, and they are used to take advantage of our seniors and other vulnerable populations. I've heard the people of Pennsylvania loud and clear that they want action. I'm proud to stand with my colleague attorneys general and 11 major telecom companies today in announcing this ringing success in the fight against illegal robocalls. I look forward to continuing to work together to combat this issue and deliver results for Pennsylvania consumers."

The Federal Communications Commission has called on phone companies to block unwanted calls and expects carriers not to charge. It also calls on them to make sure caller ID numbers are real, not faked.

The agreement doesn't have a timeline.

(TM and © Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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