SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – Are you tired of receiving phone calls stating that you have won a free trip, or you owe money on your credit card or student loans? These robocalls are becoming more frequent but the Better Business Bureau says the spam calls will never stop.
According to the YouMail Robocall Index, 187 million robocalls were made to Utah area codes in 2017. Last month almost 28 million calls were made to Utahns.
Jane Driggs, President of the Better Business Bureau of Salt Lake City said the “scammers are making a lot of money” so when “one call center shuts down another one opens right back up.”
If you’ve never received a robocall, here’s how it works:
An automated call delivers a pre-recorded message and if you speak or press a button, an actual person comes on the line and tries to scam you out of money.
They try to make you pay up on things such as, but not limited to, “credit cards, student loans, and home improvement work,” said Driggs.
Driggs says the Federal Trade Commission does use its authority to stop companies that make these calls but advanced technology is giving criminals the upper hand.
“They have these robodialers where they can just dial hundreds of numbers at a time. Not even having your number out there, they just use every number that’s out there,” stated Driggs.
Robocallers have become more advanced over the years. They’ve now moved to something called “spoofing.” The robocallers will call you from your same area code as a way to entice you to answer the phone.
“A lot of people are of the belief that if it’s not from their area code, they’re not picking up, so the scammers have to tweak it,” Driggs said.
Despite what you’ve been told about the ‘Do Not Call List,’ that only prevents actual telemarketing companies from calling, not scammers.
“Scammers don’t care about a do not call list. They do not care about it. They are going to ignore it. They’re not going to pay for it because you have to pay for it. They are criminals. They’re just stealing the numbers and making the calls,” Driggs told News4Utah’s, Brittany Johnson.
What to do if you receive a robocall:
- Do not press any numbers
- Hang up
- Report the call on BBB Scam Tracker – then others can see the scam number and that information is reported to government agencies
How to minimize the amount of spam calls you receive:
- Block each robocall number on your phone or through your carrier
- Download an app that crowd sources the scammers numbers (the apps let you know when a scammer is calling)
- Keep your number to yourself
- Don’t give out your number to local businesses and grocery stores when signing up for rewards programs