Consumers are looking for help on blocking these never-ending scams and robocalls, and it looks like some relief is on its way.
According to USA Today, U.S. regulators are aiming to halt the number of robocalls received in the U.S., “and a new ruling passed by the FCC [in June] lets phone companies block robocalls before they get to your home phone or mobile device.”
This could be the first step in reducing an overwhelming number of robocalls consumers receive every month. Wzzm.com states that the volume of calls has risen to roughly 5 billion per month, according to call-blocker YouMail, from 2.7 billion in November 2017.
Some landline and cellular providers currently offer call blocking tools, but, as USA Today reports, phone subscribers must opt-in to use them: “The FCC’s rule lets service providers block calls as a default. This will eliminate customers from having to request tools from their carriers or downloading apps from other companies to help them weed out most unwanted calls.”
Robocalls encompass a variety of topics.
But one of the most common is the bogus “social security number call.” Chances are you’ve received one, and it sounds something like:
“…THIS IS YOUR LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY CALLING TO SUSPEND YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER ON AN IMMEDIATE BASIS…”
These are completely bogus claims. And according to the FTC blog (www.consumer.ftc.gov), here’s what you should know:
- Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. You don’t have to verify your number to anyone who calls out of the blue. And your bank accounts are not about to be seized.
- SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer. Every time.
- The real SSA number is 1-800-772-1213, but scammers are putting that number in the caller ID. If you’re worried about what the caller says, hang up and call 1-800-772-1213 to speak to the real SSA. Even if the wait time is long, confirm with the real SSA before responding to one of these calls.
- Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Or your bank account or credit card number.
Read more about the social security number scam at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/12/what-social-security-scam-sounds.
“…MY NAME IS ERIN, AND I’M YOUR VACATION SPECIALIST…”
While not all robocalls are scams, many are nuisance calls, such as those claiming to award a vacation incentive. And most of us would agree that it would be a welcome alternative not to receive these repetitive and annoying calls.
To avoid these numerous travel scams, visit the FTC website at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0027-travel-scams.
As cell phone providers step up, robocalls may start to decline.
As wzzm.com reports, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai anticipates that [cellular] companies “won’t charge extra because it would cost less than the headache of dealing with robocalls and customer complaints about them today.”
Like you, we look forward to a reduction in these robocalls.