Despite continued investment and efforts to fight illegal robocalls plaguing telephone customers, Mid-Rivers has been informed of recent scam calls in the area targeting the customers of local Electric Cooperatives. These calls show up on your caller ID as the reputable local business name. Scammers are “spoofing” the caller ID (sending through fake caller ID names and/or numbers) to look like names you recognize, hoping to increase the chances of getting you to answer.
Scammers may pretend to be your power company, phone or Internet provider, a local bank, city or county government, local law enforcement, hospitals, schools, or other recognizable names to trick you into giving them sensitive information or money. In a recent known incident, the scammer gives the customer a phone number to call to make a payment – a number that does not belong to the local business – in an attempt to obtain the customer’s credit card information.
These callers regularly change the fake numbers they are using to get around call blocking services. Many of these calls originate in foreign countries.
Unfortunately, there is no fail-safe tool for stopping these calls because it is so easy for scammers to fake their true location. You can help protect yourself from illegal robocalls by following these tips:
- If you receive an unsolicited call from a company that you do business with, and the caller asks for personal information, tell them you will call back on their publicly available number. Do not give out personal information or financial information or call any numbers they give you. Look up the business’ publicly available telephone number from a billing statement or the phone book to call back.
- Do not answer calls you are not expecting or calls from unfamiliar names or numbers.
- Never respond to a robocall. Hang up as soon as you realize it is a robocall. Don’t “press 1” or “press 2” or speak to the caller. If you respond, it may lead to more robocalls because the caller will now know they have reached a working number or a “live” prospect.
- Make sure your landline and cell phone numbers are on the Do Not Call Registry by going to donotcall.gov or calling 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you want to register.
- Report unwanted calls at donotcall.gov and consumercomplaints.fcc.gov.
For more Robocall tips, please visit https://midrivers.com/telephone/robocall-tips/.