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Despite continued investment and efforts to fight illegal robocalls plaguing telephone customers, Mid-Rivers has recently noticed an increase in scam calls in the area that show up on caller ID as reputable local business names. 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 the called party to answer.

Our own business name has been used by scammers trying to obtain personal account information. They may also pretend to be a local bank, city or county government, your power company, law enforcement, hospitals, schools, or other recognizable local business names to trick you into giving them sensitive information or money.

These callers use unassigned numbers or may even copy the name and number of the party they are calling, and 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 the location from which they are calling. You can help fight illegal robocalls by following these tips:

Do not give out personal information or financial information. 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 number of record.  Look up their 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. If you happen to pick up a call, hang up as soon as you realize it is a robocall.  NEVER “press 1” or “press 2” or speak to the caller. If you respond it will 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 www.donotcall.gov or calling 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you want to register.

Report unwanted calls at www.donotcall.gov and consumercomplaints.fcc.gov.

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