More people receiving scam and spam calls on their cells than ever before

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We’ve all heard of robo-calls on landlines but now those same calls are coming through on our cell phones.

“The thing is there are so many people who don’t have anything but mobile phones now,” says Tom Stephens from the Better Business Bureau,

The BBB says you may feel like you’re being held hostage but it’s best to only answer your phone if you know for sure who’s calling.  “We’re always getting people who say –  these people are calling me all the time.  I don’t know who they are, they’re trying to sell me this or trying to sell me that.”

Stephens warns that people need to be careful.  He says if possible, don’t answer your phone unless you know who’s calling. He “These people are called con artists, and artist is a good word for that because they’re really good at what they do.  They have developed a skill of getting smart people to do dumb things.”

When it comes to calls, a new survey by First Orion says people are simply being harassed by nuisance and scam calls, that Americans receive up to 30 million nuisance calls a day.  It also says about 15 million Americans gave up personal information like credit card numbers, which is about twice that of 2015

“So to see this increase year after year is surprising, says Jonathan Sasse from First Orion. “I think it goes to show that these people – their everyday job is to figure out how to steal information and they’re getting increasingly good at it.  It is remarkable that someone is able to get you on the phone and be able to coerce you into giving away that kind of information.”

First Orion sells phone apps that block spam calls but Sasse says they also offer free apps. “We automatically block any known scammers and scam phone numbers that we know people are using to try to defraud you,” he says.

Tom Stephens, Better Business Bureau, “It’s because these people that do this are called con artists, and artist is a good word for that because they’re really good at what they do.  They have developed a skill of getting smart people to do dumb things.”

The BBB advises:

** Never give personal information to a caller you don’t know.
** Don’t be pressured by someone into giving your credit or debit card number to pay a so called “fine” over the telephone.  It says law enforcement agencies and the IRS will not call you asking for money.
** If you feel uncomfortable during a call the best thing to do is simply hang up

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