116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced Tuesday his office has joined a nationwide task force of state attorneys general working to cut down on illegal and unwanted robocalls used to scam seniors and defraud consumers nationwide.
The bipartisan group has issued 20 civil investigative demands to 20 gateway providers and other entities that are allegedly responsible for a majority of foreign robocall traffic in the United States, according to a news release.
The task force will focus on “the bad actors” throughout the telecommunications industry, to help reduce the number of illegal and unwanted robocalls that Iowans and other Americans receive, according to the release.
More than 33 million robocalls are made to Americans every day, according to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center. And an estimated $29.8 billion was stolen through scam calls in 2021, with most of the robocall traffic originating overseas.
“The Task Force is focused on shutting down the providers that profit from this illegal scam traffic and refuse to take steps to otherwise mitigate these scam calls,” according to the release.
Miller also offered the following tips for Iowans to avoid scams and unwanted calls:
- Be wary of callers who ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer or cryptocurrency. For example, the Internal Revenue Service does not accept iTunes gift cards.
- Look out for prerecorded calls from impostors posing as government agencies. Typically, the Social Security Administration does not make phone calls to individuals.
- If you suspect fraudulent activity, hang up and do not provide any personal information. You can also contact the Consumer Protection Division within the Iowa Attorney General’s Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (515) 281-5926 or (888) 777-4590.
- Iowans can also file a “Do Not Call or Text” complaint at iowaattorneygeneral.gov.
BROADBAND MAP: The state released its latest broadband internet map, which brings the state’s map in compliance with federal guidelines in order to ensure the state is eligible for potential future federal grants.
There is a public comment period for the map, during which time Iowans can challenge the map’s accuracy. For example, an Iowan can file a challenge if they believe the map inaccurately displays access to high-speed broadband internet in any given area.
The new map, which is the fifth version of the state’s broadband access map, can be viewed at the Office of the Chief Information Officer’s website at ocio.iowa.gov. The site also includes a link to where Iowans can challenge the new map. Challenges are due by Sept. 1.
The new map contains more detailed data, showing broadband access information down to individual addresses. Locations with access only to internet speeds of lower than 100 mbps download and 20 mbps upload could be eligible for future federal assistance.
“We are making important progress to connect all Iowans to high-speed broadband, but many communities remain unserved,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a news release. “I’m asking all Iowans to visit the broadband map and let us know if the broadband service reported at their location is inaccurate. This feedback will help us to direct resources to areas with the greatest need for broadband investment in the future.”
LOTTERY GAMES: Fourteen Iowa Lottery instant scratch games are ending as part of the lottery’s standard procedures. Players have until Oct. 31 to collect prizes in the games.
The 14 scratch games that are ending are, according to the Iowa Lottery: “5 Spot,” “9s In A Line XL,” “Word Match,” “$50,000 Classic Black,” “$20 Grand,” “Baseball Winnings,” “Win It All,” “Multiplier Mania,” “Holly Jolly Luck,” “$100,000 Holiday Crossword,” “Snowball Cash,” “Peas Be A Winner,” “Lucky Green,” and “Reindeer Games.”
A complete list of all current games can be found at ialottery.com.
Gazette Des Moines Bureau