Robocalls huge problem in U.S., use voicemail to fight back

Newly released numbers from AARP get into the scope of the robocall problem in the United States.

We did a survey in April of this year and found out 48 billion robocalls came into the United States last year,” said Mary Tritsch with AARP Kansas. “That’s a lot. We like to answer the phone. It may be something important, like a school closing or weather information. For example, I got a call from the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office the other day about car burglaries.”

It may be information you need, but if it is, you can get it via voicemail. If they never talk to you, you can’t get scammed.

“The problem is that most people like to answer the phone,” said Tritsch. “They do use their Caller ID, but there’s so much spoofing going on now by scam artists that they can make the number look like its your area code or one of your family members area codes.”

To help protect against illegal robocalls, the AARP Fraud Watch Network recommends that consumers add their numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry.

“Sometimes it’s hard, when they’re trying to talk you into something, to say no and hang up,” said Tritsch. “That’s the
difficulty of it. We’ve found that most people are responding to calls that are threats, like, you didn’t show up for jury duty, we’re going to have to come arrest you, or you didn’t pay your bill to the IRS, we need to get money from you, versus those kind of calls where they say you’ve won the lottery or something.”

The bottom line is, if you’re not expecting a call or it’s not from someone you know, let the voicemail take it. If they’re legitimate, they’ll leave a message.