Phone calls from across multiple state lines, threatening representatives claiming to be government or credit agencies, neighbor spoofing; if any of this sounds familiar, you've been the victim of robocalls, a daily pain that the American public is getting increasingly fed up with. In testimony today, the FTC recommitted itself to fighting robocalls, citing the ever increasing rate of complaints by the American public over the past two years.
Last year the FTC recieved 3.4MN robocall complaints, in just 8 months of 2017 that number has already been surpassed with 3.5MN complaints.
"Illegal robocalls are more than just a frustrating invasion of consumers' privacy," the release reads, "callers frequently use fraud and deception to pitch their goods and services, leading to significant economic harm. Such robocalls are also often used by criminal imposters posing as trusted officials or companies."
One of the most aggresive robocall scams occurred last year in August, when telemarketers were pretending to be IRS agents, demanding personal information over the phone and threatening to have people arrested and jailed if they did not comply. Last month, 2.8BN robocalls were made, an average of 9 calls per person for the entire U.S.
The agency states they have resolved 124 cases of fraudulent robocalls and delivered over $120MN in compensation to harmed consumers. Most notably charging $280MN in penalties to Dish Network (DISH) in June for reaching out to millions of consumers who were on the 'Do Not Call' registry using robocalls.
"The best advice: 'If you pick up the phone and hear an unwanted telemarketing robocall, hang up. Period.'" says the FTC.
You can report any unwanted calls and register your phone for the Do Not Call registry here.
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