Automated prerecorded robocalls which, for commercial purposes are always illegal, are the number one consumer complaint reported by the public to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and are used to perpetrate a wide variety of frauds at a cost of approximately 9.5 billion dollars annually. The ease by which illegal robocalls may be made by computers accounts for much of the problem.
Recently people are reporting robocalls totally in Chinese. The Chinese language robocalls are targeted at Chinese immigrants to the United States and through “spoofing” are made to trick your Caller ID to make the call appear as if the call is coming from the Chinese consulate in New York. The real Chinese Consulate General in New York has issued an alert on its website warning people that the real Consulate General “would not ask for personal information, deliver parcel pick-up notice or ask people to answer inquires from police department by way of phone calls. The Consulate General would not ask for bank account information.” Despite this warning, in New York City alone, victims of the scam have lost millions to the scam this past summer. Many English speaking people are reporting receiving these calls which are no concern for the scammers because the calls are made en masse through computers so the scammers don’t care if they reach many people who immediately hang up because they don’t recognize the language because the scam can be so profitable when they do reach a vulnerable victim.
There are a number of options for preventing robocalls including a number of apps that for free or a small fee will prevent robocalls.
Samsung’s SmartCall informs you if the call you are receiving is from a known robocaller. This feature is available with newer Samsung Galaxy phones. Here is a link to information about SmartCall and instructions as to how to activate this app.
Google also has a spam blocker that will warn you when you are receiving a robocall and your screen will turn red. Here is a link to information about the app and how to install it.
AT&T also offers free apps to block robocalls on iPhones and Android phones. Here is a link to information about these apps.
Verizon’s CallerName ID offers a service for iPhones and Android phones that will alert you to suspected robocallers. Here is a link to Verizon’s app.
T-Mobile offers a free scam blocker of known robocallers for Android phones which you can activate by merely dialing #662#
Sprint offers a paid service to protect your iPhone or Android phone from robocalls. For more information, use this link
Here is the link for YouMail
For landlines as well as smartphones there are a number of apps such as Nomorobo, Truecaller, Hiya, RoboKiller and YouMail that offer robocall blocking for free or for small monthly charges. Here is a link to those apps. I have used Nomorobo for years and find it to be tremendously useful
Finally, you can just choose to ignore any calls that come from numbers you do not recognize.  If they are legitimate calls, they will leave a message and you can call them back.
If you are not a subscriber to and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”