Scammers try to dupe unsuspecting people into revealing personal information, like a social security number, address, or password.
And although some residents say they’ve signed up for various apps and systems to prevent getting these calls, they still come through.
You might think that signing up for the Do Not Call registry is enough to protect you, but it’s not always that simple.
“The ‘Do Not Call Registry’ still exists. And the problem with the ‘Do Not Call Registry’ is that with current technology, you can fake a phone number that you’re calling from. So you can pick a random phone number in the community and use that number to call from by basically doing some electronic wizardry,” says Bill Gardner, a Cyber Security Assistant Professor at Marshall University.
He says, although helpful, the Do Not Call list has a few downfalls like its inability to block calls from charities or political affiliates.
Gardner also says these scammers will target anyone who will answer the phone.
“Usually it’s an older person who’s not savvy about what’s going on. People who don’t have email, they’ll just call them and say ‘this is the IRS’ or ‘this is the FBI and your social security card is expired’ or some crazy thing like that,” says Gardner.
What can I do to stop them?
“Don’t answer the phone. If you don’t know the phone number, don’t answer the phone. Even if you do know the phone number, you have to be careful if you pick up the phone and someone’s asking you personal questions about your current living conditions or financial information. Just don’t give it out,” explains Gardner.
He says as we get closer to the holiday season, we can expect to see an uptick in reported scam calls as people are expecting calls from loved ones or are just lonely.
The Better Business Bureau recently put out a list of 12 scams expected to rise over the holidays. Many of those are targeting online and smartphone users.