INDIANAPOLIS — They’re irritating and sometimes illegal: the constant unwanted calls and texts that clutter voicemails and sometimes threaten people’s money.
In its April report, YouMail, a robocall blocking app and analyzing service, says robocalls decreased roughly 7% from March to April. But, that is still an average of 131 million calls each day and roughly 36% of those are scams.
“Any illegal call that goes to one of our users, it’s bundled up and sent off to authorities,” Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail explained.
How to stop scam calls
- Register for the Do Not Call list. This free resource prevents telemarketers from calling or texting. But, it does not legally stop people with charitable organizations or licensed insurance agencies from calling you.
2. Sign up for your phone carrier’s tool to block or filter unwanted calls.
3. Use your iPhone’s feature to block unwanted calls. If you have iOS 13 or higher, you can go to Settings > Phone > SIlence Unknown Callers and then turn on the button to silence callers.
Why scam calls are so dangerous
While the messages and calls are annoying, they can also be harmful. YouMail estimates roughly half of all calls made are unwanted, which means half the time you could be talking to a fraudster.
“Pretending to be Apple, pretending to be Norton and they’re all doing the same sort of scam which is, ‘hey we just charged your credit card $299 for an iPhone, $399 to renew some service, if that’s a problem call us,'” Quilici said.
Once a person calls back, Quilici said the fraud begins.
“They get your social security information or your account information, they’re just off to the races,” Quilici said.
YouMail is confident the issue of spoofing, or making up numbers, will eventually go away. Quilici said the carriers are catching more of these calls.
“That’s good news and so that usually should catch your own number calling you because the carrier owns your number,” Quilici explained. “They know whether or not they authenticated the call to your cell and can likely block it.”
You can learn more about unwanted call schemes by visiting, www.in.gov/attorneygeneral.