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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison joins national lawsuit to tackle robocalls

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ROCHESTER, Minn.-Attorney General Keith Ellison is joining a nationwide lawsuit to crackdown on what he said are 'gateway companies' that enable foreign robocalls. 

Ellison said the investigation has identified at least 20 companies that are accused of allegedly providing robocallers, or mismanaging, American's cell phone information. 

Its estimated that around more than 33 million robocalls are made to Americans everyday and cost people more than $29 billion dollars in scams in 2021, according to the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center. 

If found guilty, penalties could range from financial payment or an order to stop operations, according to Ellison. 

"We like to do it once and end it for all. So, what we would do is we would get a permanent injunction not to operate. We could exact financial penalties against them but some of these companies frankly might close down and open up under another auspice. So, these are not good companies doing something that are not good. These are bad companies that are doing things that are bad," Ellison said. 

Ellison said Minnesotans should hang up if they receive a robocall. 

"Don't hang on, hang up. Hang up on these people but make sure that if you get a robocall that you somehow write down the number they called from, if you can and then provide it to me so we can at least try to hold these people accountable and so you can assist us in our investigation," Ellison said. 

Ellison to call his office at 651-296-3353 to report robocalls. 

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