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August 14, 2019

            If you haven't had your fill of robocalls, spoofing, and spamming on your phone, here's a bit of bad news – election season is here and you can expect more annoying calls.  You know, the kind that usually come when you're trying to sit down and have dinner.

            Scammers and spoofers could care less about your life and will continue to call whenever they choose.  But, candidates looking for your vote in November would do well to advise their marketing representatives to set the timers on the robocalls to not interfere with the family dinner.

            So what, if the phone rings during dinner just don't answer it.  Don't worry, the robocaller is programmed to remember that you didn't answer and will call you back again, and again, and again.

            We're at a point in time that being on the Federal or State Do Not Call List does little.  You can report the violation, but less than 1% are ever prosecuted.  So, why should it stop?

            In the Business Section of today's Town and Country is a press release noting that the Federal Trade Commission announced some new rules to make it easier for certain telecom companies to block suspected spam calls on behalf of their subscribers by enrolling them in their call-blocking services by default instead of making them sign up for the service.

            There are so many do's and don'ts to remember when taking calls.  They include: Don't give in to pressure to take immediate action; Don't provide your credit card number, bank account information, social security number, or other personal information to a caller; Don't send money if the caller tells you to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card; and  Don't say anything if a caller starts the call asking, "Can you hear me?" This is a common tactic for scammers to record you saying "yes." Scammers record your "yes" response to use as proof that you agreed to a purchase or credit card charge

            That last one seems to be making the rounds in the local area.  We have received several calls asking us to warn our readers.  In fact, we received three calls over the past week with the caller opening the conversation with "This is a recorded call - can you hear me?"

            The next thing the caller should hear is the sound of you hanging up.

            If you answer "yes, okay, sure, fine" or anything else affirmative, spoofers will parlay that recorded answer into a portion of the conversation making it look like you agreed to their sales-pitch.

            As for the upcoming election season, marketing firms handling robocalls for candidates usually get paid by the number of calls they make.

            As mentioned above, candidates would do well to set a few guidelines with their representatives to keep from making those calls during dinner.

            Be ready, and get ready for more robocalls and more fraudulent attempts to separate you from your money.

· End of article ·  


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