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How many robocalls would you expect on average per day? One, three, 19? Honestly there is no number you could say that would surprise me.
The reason for this is that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently seen a significant increase in the number of illegal phone calls because Internet-based phone systems have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make calls from anywhere in the world.
The agency has been trying for years to stop these illegal calls. Now we may see progress in the endless struggle. Four major culprits responsible for billions of illegal abuses have been arrested.
What is being done to stop Robocallers?
Government agencies are not the only ones who seek to fight the robocallers. Verizon finally decided to take it seriously, to stop it too.
And there is good news to report. The FTC announced this week that it has taken a huge bite out of robocall scams. They took down four separate companies that used numerous company names. They were behind billions of illegal robocalls.
The fraudsters introduced things like car warranties, debt services, home security systems, fake charities, and Google search results. All four illegal events agreed to settle charges that violated the agency's FTC and Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), including the emergency call.
As a result of the settlement, the defendants were excluded from robocalling and most telemarketing activities, including those using an automatic dialer, and pay significant financial judgments. One of the defendants provided the software platform that resulted in more than a billion illegal abuses.
Which telemarketing companies have the FTC closed?
Here are some of the names of companies that have come down after settlements: TelWeb, NetDotSolutions, TeraMESH, Salisbury, World Connection LLC, World Connection SA, Higher-End Marketing, Life Management Services, Pointbreak Media and Veterans of America (VOA).
It would not be surprising if you would get a robocall or 10 from any of the above companies. They were responsible for billions of robocalls every year.
One struck me especially. Veterans of America (VOA), operated by Travis Deloy Peterson, has allegedly used fake veteran charities and illegal robocalls to get people to donate cars, boats and other valuables. Peterson allegedly sold these items for his personal benefit. Speaking of sleazy!
Peterson also used other company names in this vile scheme. These were called Vehicles for Veterans LLC, our soldiers rescued, their car donated, the car donated, LLC of Valor and Medal of Honor.
He allegedly made millions of robocalls and asked people for donations to the veterans' charities and were tax deductible. In fact, none of the companies were tax-exempt charities. Peterson is now banning phone calls, misleading and abusive telemarketers and imposing an almost $ 550,000 judgment on him. This is a good start.
Even after this big bust you will still receive many unwanted attacks. Unfortunately, it is the way of the world right now. But you do not have to sit back and take. Continue reading on how to proactively stop this scourge in society.
FCC Tips to Prevent Unwanted Robocalls
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to help consumers stop robocalls and avoid phone fraud. Here's a list of FCC suggestions to help combat:
- Do not answer calls from unknown numbers. If you accept such a call, hang up immediately.
- You may not be able to tell immediately if an incoming call is fake. Please note: The caller ID with a "local" number does not necessarily mean that it is a local caller.
- When you answer the call and the caller – or a recording – prompts you to press a key to end the calls, you should simply hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
- Do not answer any questions, especially those that can be answered with "yes". That's because it's a scam, "Can you hear me?" Give, which can cost you a lot in the end.
- Never give personal information, such as bank account numbers, social security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information, to unexpected calls or if you're suspicious at all.
- If you receive a request from someone stating that they represent a business or government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your bank statement, in the phone book, or on the company's website or authority for authenticity to check the request. You will usually receive a written statement by email before receiving a call from a legitimate source, especially if the caller requires payment.
- Be careful when promptly asked for information.
- If you set up a voicemail account with your telephone service, make sure you set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access when calling from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and access your voicemail if you do not set a password.
- Talk to your phone company about the blocking tools that they may have and check which apps you can download to your mobile device to block unwanted calls.
- If you're already using robocall blocking technology, it's often helpful to tell the company which numbers are causing unwanted calls to block those calls for you and others.
- Block phone marketing calls, register your number in the call log. Legitimate telemarketers can follow the list to avoid calling both fixed and mobile numbers on the list.
You do not believe that the latest models of robocallers! Here are ways you can outsmart them
You've heard them – the annoying robot calls that try to cheat you with vacations or false threats from the IRS. It is estimated that scammers make 2.5 billion robocalls in one month alone. This poses a very real risk for consumers as it becomes more difficult to detect and avoid malicious automated calls. Watch this comando-on-demand podcast to learn how you can protect yourself and your family from falling victim to these delicate and downright dangerous phone conversations.
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