For many, robocalls and telemarketers are impossible to dodge.
The calls are often frequent, and outside of measures Apple and Android have implemented to screen potential fraudulent calls, they are seemingly unavoidable.
Telemarketers were identified as the top consumer complaint North Carolinians filed with the N.C. Department of Justice, said Attorney General Josh Stein.
“Robocallers continue to be a daily nuisance and a threat to our hard-earned money,” Stein said in a statement. “I know how frustrating it is to get these calls and texts all the time. That’s why I’m leading the nationwide charge to partner with other attorneys general, federal agencies, and the phone companies to put in place technological solutions to stop robocalls and to go after robocallers who scam North Carolinians. I’ll continue our efforts to cut down on robocalls in 2022 and get back our peace of mind.”
Unwanted calls are also the top complaint of the Federal Communications Commission. In March, the agency issued the largest fine in its history, sending cease-and-desist letters to six voice providers that have consistently violated FCC guidelines, according to their website.
Any scam can happen over the phone, but there are a number of angles scammers like to use, according to the Federal Trade Commission:
Elderly people are often the common targets for phone scams, since they are “considered to be in the naive segments of the population,” according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Seniors lose an estimated $3 billion each year, the National Council on Aging said.
Fake check and employment scams are often aimed at younger people, while middle-aged and older adults fall victim to romance and investment scams, the FTC said. It is estimated that people lost $304 million to romance scams in 2020 alone.
The FCC offers these tips on how to stop unwanted robocalls and phone scams:
Here are some apps you can use to block robocalls and telemarketers:
If you’ve already fell victim to a scam, it can be tough to get your money back. If you act sooner than later, there’s a better chance your money will be returned.
Here are some ways you can get your money back if you fall victim to a scam, according to the FTC:
If you lost money to a phone scam, or have information about the company who scammed you, you can report it at reportfraud.ftc.gov.
This story was originally publishedJanuary 20, 2022 1:00 AM.