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Socially distancing from COVID-19 robocall scams

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Scammers – and scammy companies – are using illegal robocalls to profit from Coronavirus-related fears. Listen to some of the latest scammy robocall pitches, so you can be on the lookout and know how to respond. (Here’s a hint: hang up!)

Illegal robocalls are universally hated, so why do scammers still use them? Because they need only a few people to take the bait for them to make money. They might do that by getting your bank account number, tricking you into handing over gift card PIN codes, or stealing valuable personal information like your Social Security number.

Times of crisis bring out the best in people, and the worst in scammers – as you can hear in these sample calls from Coronavirus scammers pretending to be from the Social Security Administration, offering fake Coronavirus tests to Medicare recipients, and scaring small businesses into buying bogus online listing services.

To hear more examples of illegal robocalls exploiting concerns about the Coronavirus, and to stay up to date on the latest FTC information, visit ftc.gov/coronavirus. The FTC is taking the fight against illegal Coronavirus robocalls to companies that help scammy telemarketers. That includes companies that transmit or carry these kinds of calls for telemarketers, or that give the phone numbers that scammers use for people to call them back. Today, the FTC sent letters to nine VoIP providers and companies that license phone numbers, warning them about the penalties for helping telemarketers that use these kinds of illegal robocalls.

Now that you know what Coronavirus robocall scams sound like, make sure others do too – share, link, or like this post, and encourage them to subscribe to the FTC’s consumer alerts. And, if you get scam calls like these, don’t believe them. Instead:

  • Hang up. Don’t press any numbers. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
  • Consider using a call blocking app or device. You also can ask your phone provider if it has call-blocking tools. To learn more, go to ftc.gov/calls.
  • Report the call. Report robocalls at ftc.gov/complaint. The more we hear from you, the more we can help fight scams.
Tagged with: robocall, scam

Comments

Is there NO end to the low people will stoop to? Everyone of them should be affected by this.

These Robocalls and scam callers do not stop...everyday i get call,text or emails from scam callers. I've complained and even added my number on the donot call list over and over and still get the same result. Ive installed my robocall app and still nothing. These people don't stop!

I let my personal voice mailbox fill up so they can't leave messages. Now, i don't get half as many calls as i used to because they think I have a "dead" phone number. People know how to call back-to-back twice so I know to answer. I'd tell you other tricks but I'm pretty sure those people are reading these messages.

Thank you

I simply don't answer numbers I don't recognize.

Thanks for your valuable input and advice. This will go a long way in keeping us alert for possible scams that are increasing day by day. It is quite import and helpful to report any such incidences instead of being quiet. This is the only way we can keep such cons at bay.

I received a Voice Mail from my D. Card that "for 3 days only we are offering Interest rates on your D. Card for as low as 1% but you must call within 3 days to take advantage of this offer". Interestingly, the caller *left* a Voice Mail, most likely to appear legit. I would never return a call like that. I haven't answered my phone in decades which is really awful right now with service providers calling from home and private cell phones- I'm missing urgent calls thanks to the 50 spoofed scam calls I receive all month all year. If my credit card lenders are offering deals they do so with the mo. Statements or on line via secure emails linking us to the website that requires a 90 step login in process. that links to the website where me must sign in.

Please be CAREFUL, even when you see a" familiar" ph number!
I saw on my phone iD, a number I recognize, and answered.
The man said he called from Company ABC , urgent - but he had such a heavy accent , that I hung up. I called my self that company who said: we did not call you; pl do not fully trust ID; bec crooks know how to use others' ph numbers to fool people..

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