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CHARLESTON - A coalition of 51 attorneys general and 12 phone companies have reached an agreement that will result in the phone companies adopting eight principles to fight illegal robocalls.

The bipartisan, public-private agreement will help protect consumers from illegal robocalls and make it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors, according to a news release from the office of West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. He had joined the agreement.

The coalition's agreed-upon principles address the robocall problem through prevention and enforcement.

Phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls with implementation of call-blocking technology at the network level, along with greater availability of easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools, all at no cost to the consumer, according to the release.

The phone companies also will monitor their networks for robocall traffic and implement technology to authenticate that calls are coming from a valid source.

The companies will help attorneys general with enforcement by investigating and taking action against suspicious callers, such as notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general of suspicious callers and working with government officials to trace origins of the illegal calls.

The attorneys general and phone companies plan to stay in close communication with hopes to continue optimizing robocall protections as technology and scam techniques change, according to the release.

"This is another step forward in the effort to get rid of these terrible robocalls," Morrisey said in the release.

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