How to Identify and Stop Robocall Scams

Phones light up with billions of calls every month, and an estimated four in 10 are scams. Take KARE of Your Money shows you how to avoid them.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – It’s relentless. Day after day our phones are inundated with calls. Some seem useful, offering to lower your interest rate or help you with your student loans.

Others are threatening, trying to trick consumers into thinking the government is ending Social Security benefits or that the IRS needs to talk to you.

And it gets worse.

In April alone, it is estimated that Americans received 4.4 billion automated calls, over 6 million per hour, 1,700 per second.

About 41% of them were fraudulent calls, according to robotracker.com.

And all too often, vulnerable people become victims.

Angela Stancik says her grandmother was one of those victims. “There must have been a phone call, after a phone call, after a phone call, so they could reach her,” she said.

Stancik says his grandmother was hunted down by a Costa Rica-based ring. They didn’t stop until she mortgaged her house and cashed out her life insurance, leaving her with just $ 69 in her bank account.

Desperate, Angela’s grandmother committed suicide.

She was raped in every way. To lose all his money and his life. They stole it. Everything, ”Stancik said.

And while her case may be extreme, she isn’t the only one being targeted or deceived.

Will Maxson of the Federal Trade Commission says he gives this advice to his family.

If your number is not on the “Do not call” list, put your number on the “Do not call” list, ”he said.

But wait – haven’t we done that already? Why does the phone always ring?

“That won’t stop you from getting calls from scammers telling you they’re part of the IRS or Social Security administration,” Maxson said.

Maxson recommends asking your telephone company what call blocking or call tagging services they provide.

Try downloading a call blocker app. There are a lot of free ones.

If you’re answering a robocall, he says, don’t press any buttons and don’t engage. Hang up.

And Maxson says, unsuccessful as it sounds, when you receive an illegal robocall, notify the FTC.

“The more complaints we receive, the easier it is for us to locate the people who are making these calls.”

Finally, experts say they are keeping an eye on elderly or vulnerable family members and asking to check their finances.


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About Matthew Berkey

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