(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Pennsylvania has joined a multi-state task force to combat robocalls.

Practically everybody with a phone number is familiar with robocalls — one is enjoying a mug of coffee, reflecting on yesterday and preparing for today when the phone rings with a familiar area code. “Hello?” one may say as they answer their phone. There’s no response. One repeats themselves, “Hello?” and the spiel about an expiring car warranty begins. The morning is ruined.

Block the number, mark it as spam — it often doesn’t help get rid of the dreaded robocalls.

“Robocall scammers are relentless,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “The best way for us to fight back against them is by working together to track their behavior across the country. I’m dedicated to doing all that I can do to ensure these calls stop plaguing Pennsylvanians and collaborate to shut them down.”

The Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force is comprised of 50 attorneys general. The task force will investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the United States, an announcement from Shapiro’s office said.

The Task Force has issued 20 civil investigative demands to 20 gateway providers and other entities that are allegedly responsible for a majority of foreign robocall traffic. According to the announcement from Shapiro’s office, gateway providers are responsible for ensuring that the foreign traffic they bring into the U.S. telephone network is legal.

“These providers are not taking sufficient action to stop robocall traffic. In many cases, they appear to be intentionally turning a blind eye in return for steady revenue,” the announcement said. “The task force will focus on the bad actors throughout the telecommunications industry, to help reduce the number of robocalls that Pennsylvanians receive.”

The National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center reports that more than 33 million robocalls are made to Americans every day. The scams include Social Security Administration fraud against seniors, Amazon scams against consumers, and other scams targeting all consumers and vulnerable citizens. Some $29.8 billion was stolen through scam calls in 2021. Most of the scam robocall traffic is from overseas.

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Shapiro’s office included tips on how to avoid robocall scams, including being wary of paying by gift card, wire transfer or cryptocurrency; looking out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies; and immediately hanging up on suspected frauds.