NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – As unwanted robocalls become more common, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Division of Consumer Affairs wants residents to know there are mobile phone apps that can help combat them.
They say telemarketing calls with recorded messages are generally illegal unless you have given the company written permission to call you.
The Federal Trade Commission says the number of illegal calls has increased because Internet-powered phone systems have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world and to hide from law enforcement with fake caller ID information.
Apps designed to block robocalls can prescreen your calls before the phone rings; block certain types of calls, such as those that others have flagged as fraudulent or unwanted; block anonymous or “unknown” callers; and use reverse lookup to detect fake caller ID information.
CITA, a trade association representing wireless companies, has a comprehensive list of call blocking apps so you can research which one is right for you and your phone. Click here to check it out.
Tips from TDCI:
- Don’t answer the phone if your number shows up on your phone’s Caller ID.
- Don’t attempt to call the number back, and do not press any buttons if prompted.
- If you do answer the call, don’t give out your personal or financial information. Never give your personal information over the phone to someone you don’t know.
- If you believe you’re the victim of an ID Spoofing scam, file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
- If you lost money on a scam as a result of ID Spoofing, immediately report the theft to your local police or sheriff’s department.