Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Friday, July 3, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 81° Clear
News >  Business

BBB Tip of the Week: Scammers take advantage of our connections to our phones

By Lauren Hall Marketplace Manager

If you feel like your phone has been plagued with more robocalls lately, you’re not exaggerating. In the past year, BBB Scam Tracker has received more than 500 reports of robocalls throughout the country.

According to YouMail, the volume has skyrocketed in recent years, reaching an estimated 3.4 billion in April, adding up to 112 million calls each day nationwide. April’s monthly total marks the nation’s highest robocall rate since the YouMail Robocall Index was launched in 2015.

Nowadays our phones are glued to our hands. Scammers know this and take advantage by flooding us with robocalls. It’s a tricky problem to solve, but multiple organizations, law enforcement and even federal lawmakers are addressing the issue.

Both the House and Senate have either passed or introducedlegislation aimed at curbing abuses. Federal regulators also issued new rules in November that give phone companies the authority to block certain robocalls.

Better Business Bureau Northwest & Pacific offers these tips to help prevent robocalls:

Consumers should avoid answering calls from numbers they do not recognize. Legitimate contacts will leave a detailed message. If a scammer leaves a message, this will give consumers time to think about what is being asked of them.

Just hang up. It is imperative that consumers are aware that scammers are calling and impersonating local businesses, organizations and charities. The best thing one can do to prevent from falling victim is to hang up, find the appropriate phone number and call them directly to speak to a representative.

Find a robocall blocking app. If you plan to take matters into your own hands, consider researching apps that block robocalls on your phone. Remember to check the app’s abilities to ensure it’s the right fit for you and the right price. Some apps are free, but others may require paid subscriptions.

Avoid pressing any numbers on the keypad. Consumers should be cautious of automated messages asking them to “Press 9” to be taken off of their call list. It’s best to just hang up. Pressing a number on the keypad is a way to alert the caller that they have reached an active number.

Join the Do Not Call Registry. This can be done at DoNotCall.gov. Although this won’t stop scammers, consumers will receive fewer calls, making it easier to spot the fraudulent ones.

Report the number. Write down the phone number of those scam callers and file a scam report with the BBB’s Scam Tracker and on the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call List.

If you fall victim to a scam involving a robocall, be sure to report it via the BBB’s Scam Tracker tool.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.



Swedish Thoracic Surgery: Partners in patient care

 (Courtesy Bergman Draper Oslund Udo)
Sponsored

Matt Bergman knows the pain and anger that patients with mesothelioma feel.