Despite attempts to reduce telemarketers and robocalls, numbers are soaring. The YouMail National Robocall Index (YNRI) estimates there were about 2.3 billion robocalls in the U.S. in the month of January alone. That breaks down to about eight automatically dialed calls per person per month.
The Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry was established to cut down on robocalls from legitimate businesses but has actually cleared the pipeline for scammers, who according to the FTC and FBI, are coming from overseas. The number of these overseas robocalls have skyrocketed with oversight from American regulators.
The FTC says they saw a 60% increase in complaints from robocalls in fiscal year 2016. The Federal Communications Commission, who also sets laws for telemarketers, says unwanted and telemarketing calls are their number one complaint. The FTC reports 300,000 consumer complaints every month related to robocalls and the FCC says it gets 18,000 more than that per month.
BBB Scam Tracker ignited earlier this year with thousands of nationwide complaints flooding in from a similar telephone incident, the “Can You Hear Me?” scam.
“Day in and day out, phone scams continue to dominate many of the complaints we see,” says Jim Camp, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central SC and Charleston. “Before the Can You Hear Me scam, it was the fake IRS calls that most people were receiving until the government was able to track down some of the culprits. We advise people to always exercise extreme caution when anyone reaches out to you unsolicited for any reason.”
Other Tips for Robocalls:
1) Don’t give out your number
2) If you receive a robocall- hang up the phone
3) Don’t press any numbers to speak to a live operator – it will probably just lead to more robocalls
4) Report any robocall to the FTC at https://complaints.donotcall.gov. If the recording is offering the sale of an item or service, from a company that you have not given permission to contact you, the call is illegal.
If you encounter any type of business or consumer scam please report it to BBB Scam Tracker.