The seemingly unrelenting amount of robocalls Americans receive are on the rise and with the holidays approaching, there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. Robocalling or “phone spamming” has a history of increasing during different times of the year and the end-of-the-year holidays are one of the peak seasons.
The National Do Not Call Registry currently has more than 217 million registered phone numbers. The Federal Trade Commission accepts complaints from consumers who receive unwanted calls while on the list and will investigate and fine companies that do not comply with the law. However, robocalls are becoming cheaper and easier than ever for scammers to create and send, making it more difficult for authorities to investigate. Callers can use automated dialers to place thousands of phone calls to random phone numbers at the same time.
Your BBB has some information on how to avoid being a victim of a phone scam:
-Don’t speak or press any buttons and just hang up the phone! Pressing buttons or saying yes will just alert the caller that they have reached a working number. This may subject you to even more robocalls in the future. Always screen your calls.
-Never give out your bank card, credit card information, or social security number to an unidentified person or company over the phone. Verify who is contacting you.
-If a live person happens to be on the line, ask for the company’s physical location. A legitimate company will provide you with this information. If the representative refuses to give you the address, it is most likely a scam.
-Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call list at www.donotcall.gov.
Keep in mind that even if your number is on the national registry, charities, political organizations, telephone surveyors and debt collectors may continue to call you.
With the holiday’s approaching, consumers should be aware of potential fraudulent charities and continued phone scams pertaining to medical alert systems and the Affordable Healthcare Act. For more information on robocalls, visit bbb.org.