For the uninitiated, a robocall is anytime you pick up your phone and hear a pre-recorded message instead of a live person on the other end. They are often trying to sell you something or scam you in some way — many of which have been highly effective.
In the last couple of months alone: a Cobb woman lost $35,000 to scammers and a University of Georgia student was scammed out of $30,000.
In both cases, the scams started with a robocall claiming their social security numbers had been compromised, the AJC previously reported.
“Don’t ever say, ‘Please, that’ll never happen to me,’” Karen Faulkner, the Cobb woman who was scammed, told the AJC. “Don’t ever say that, because it can happen to you.”
While not all robocalls are scams (others come from telemarketers or companies reminding you to pay bills), that does account for the largest slice of the pie in Atlanta. About 44.2% of the robocalls Atlantans received in November were scams, according to the YouMail report.
These were the most common robocalls in Atlanta in November:
800-955-6600, Capital One, Bank/Credit Card Payment Reminder
888-934-6489, Customer Call, Service Appointment Reminder
855-245-7098, Toll Free, Debt Collector
404-475-6611, Inteliquent, Generic Scammer
800-318-2596, Toll Free, Health Insurance Spam
Here are some tips from the Federal Communications Commission on ways to avoid scams from robocalls:
- Don't answer calls from unknown numbers
- Just because a number is local, doesn't mean it's a local caller
- Don't respond to any questions or press any numbers — even if the caller says it means you will stop getting similar calls
- Don't give out information like your social security number, mother's maiden name or passwords over the phone
- You can block the number or report it to the Federal Trade Commission