Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


An estimated 1.1 million Washingtonians lost money to scam robocalls in 2022

OLYMPIA — Late yesterday, the Legislature passed a bill Attorney General Bob Ferguson partnered with Rep. Mari Leavitt, D-University Place, to help combat illegal robocalls.

According to estimates based on TruCaller survey data, 1.1 million Washingtonians lost money to scam robocalls in 2022 265,000 more people than 2021.

Washington’s current anti-robocalling law is weak and out-of-date. The bill will modernize state laws by:

  • Mirroring federal law to prohibit solicitations to people on the Do Not Call Registry, and providing the Attorney General’s Office authority to enforce this prohibition in state court;
  • Making it illegal to deliberately falsify a caller ID display to disguise a caller’s identity; and
  • Creating accountability for voice service providers by making it a violation to knowingly facilitate illegal robocall solicitations. Voice providers are in a unique position to stop the flow of robocalls because they know the origin, frequency and the duration of calls on their service. This new law creates an incentive for providers to be a partner in blocking illegal robocalls. For example, a voice provider that has an overseas customer making millions of short duration calls a day into the United States, using caller IDs with area codes that match the called number, are clear indications of illegal robocalls. In addition, when a consumer (or a screening service) receives a known illegal robocall, that call can be trace backed to the originating provider. At which point, the provider has received actual knowledge that the content of the call is a scam, and that its customer is a scammer. This law makes providers accountable so that they stop doing business with known bad actors, and so that they implement robocall mitigation measures to monitor for bad actors and stop those robocalls.

The bill, House Bill 1051, passed the Senate late yesterday with a unanimous 48-0 vote. With a unanimous 96-0 vote in late February, the state House also passed the bill. It will now head to Gov. Inslee for his signature.

The legislation is part of Attorney General Ferguson’s anti-robocalling initiative to combat fraudulent, harassing and illegal robocalls. According to YouMail, Washingtonians received nearly 260 million scam robocalls in 2021 — nearly half of the 616 million total robocalls into Washington.

“The legislature has given Washingtonians stronger and clearer legal protections against the daily bombardment of illegal robocalls,” Ferguson said. “This law delivers my office additional tools to hold illegal robocallers accountable. My office will continue to be a watchdog to protect Washingtonians from robocallers trying to scam and harass them.”

“We all know someone who has been harmed by one of these scams,” Rep. Leavitt said. “We have the technology to prevent these fraudulent robocalls and we should use it. I am so glad we found a balance that strongly protects our community and most vulnerable citizens, and ensure our legitimate organizations, businesses, and healthcare entities are not adversely affected.”



Washington’s Attorney General serves the people and the state of Washington. As the state’s largest law firm, the Attorney General’s Office provides legal representation to every state agency, board, and commission in Washington. Additionally, the Office serves the people directly by enforcing consumer protection, civil rights, and environmental protection laws. The Office also prosecutes elder abuse, Medicaid fraud, and handles sexually violent predator cases in 38 of Washington’s 39 counties. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.


Media Contact:

Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.aho@atg.wa.gov

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