Automated computer generated robocalls, such as those which we have all received from “Rachel from card services” that try to induce us to get a new credit card or some other service are a scam that has been with us for many years and despite the best efforts of the Federal Trade Commission, still are victimizing many people. The calls sound legitimate and if you are not sufficiently skeptical, you can end up having your identity stolen or become scammed out of money for a worthless product being sold. It is easy to identify a robocall that is a scam. If you get a robocall, it is a scam. Commercial robocalls have been banned for many years Only politicians, charities and poll taking researchers are legally allowed to use robocalls.
In 2016 I first told you about the Federal Trade Commission and the Florida Attorney General bringing legal action against Life Management Services for operating illegal robocall scams in which they offered non-existent credit card interest rate reduction services and credit card debt reduction services that also were bogus. Those people falling for this scam paid between $500 and $5,000 in upfront payments for which they received nothing. Now seven years later the case has been settled and the FTC and Florida are returning $540,000 to victims of the scam. For more information about the refund program, go to the tab entitled “FTC Scam Refunds” on the first page of the Scamicide website.
We, as consumers have a number of options for preventing robocalls including a number of apps that for free or a small fee will reduce and, in some instances 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. https://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/apps/smart-call/#:~:text=The%20Smart%20Call%20function%20lets,Suspected%20to%20be%20spam
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 is a free 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
Finally, you can just choose to ignore any calls that come from numbers you do not recognize. This is a good option. If they are legitimate calls, they will leave a message and you can call them back.
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