How to protect yourself from robocalls
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Federal Communications Commission says US consumers get nearly 4 billion unwanted Robocalls every month.
Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird says robocallers are exploiting “Iowa Nice” to scam people.
“One thing about us here in Iowa is we’re nice, we’re friendly. We were raised to answer the phone and to talk to people. The robocallers are trying to use that against us, particularly older Iowans. It’s important - don’t answer the phone if it’s a number you don’t recognize,” Bird said.
Bird says her office often hears from people after they’ve been ripped off.
Whether it’s romance scams or fake law enforcement scams where they’re asking Iowans to pay money to not be arrested or to get a grandkid out of jail. That’s wrong, so we ask Iowans to report those to law enforcement and call our office too,” Bird said.
Robocallers who are trying to scam people will often ask for money.
“Never send money. Never send cash, cryptocurrency, gift cards, or bank transfers. Those are all big red flags,” Bird said.
Chris Coleman with the Better Business Bureau says there are ways to crack down on the number of robocalls you get.
“Put yourself on the Do Not Call List. You can go to DoNotCall.Gov and put all your phones on there. We hear from people all the time that said, ‘I did that. I did it years ago. And we always suggest that you update it every year,” Coleman said.
Coleman also says you should ask your phone provider what call-blocking apps they recommend.
“That is a good tool because it you individually but it also provides great information to the carriers so they can crack down on it and regulators have better information as well,” Coleman said.
Coleman says with the growth of artificial intelligence, robocallers are getting better at imitating voices and gathering information on you that they could trick you with. That’s why it’s so important to use call blockers.
Robocalls from healthcare providers, charities, and political campaigns are legal. They are also exempt from the Do Not Call list.
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