NewsLet ABC15 Know


More Arizonans getting harassing calls, here's how to protect yourself

911 texting: Some cities experimenting with call-free system
Posted at 5:00 AM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 12:42:38-04

You may have gotten calls about your Social Security account or about a car warranty that supposedly expired.

Last year, Arizonans reported 128,841 harassing robocalls or calls from telemarketers that they should never get.

It makes our state number one among all states for getting and reporting these calls to the government.

It's no surprise when so many of you let me know every day that you're getting them and that you're very annoyed.

But the calls can also be dangerous.

Many of these callers aren't just selling, they're scamming and talking to them can cost you thousands.

In Arizona, the most reported calls involve impostors posing as government officials or others, followed by calls about warranties, debt collection and computer support.

The reports went to the Federal Trade Commission, and all were made to people who are on the Do Not Call Registry.

Telemarketers are not supposed to call those numbers, but many still do.

Also, political, charitable and some business calls are allowed.

Even though the Do Not Call Registry doesn't stop the calls, they should limit them and it's worth registering your phone numbers.

And then do more.

Check your cell phone provider apps T-Mobile's Scam Shield, AT&T's Call Protect, and Verizon's Call Filter.

Also look for free versions of other highly related call blockers like Hiya, Youmail and Truecaller, and Data Doctors Ken Colburn says get a second number as well.

Colburn says since scammers target cell phone numbers, the more you use yours, the more likely it is to get in their hands.

He suggests getting a second number through Google Voice, it's free, it rings to your phone or computer, and it keeps your real number from being as exposed to scammers.

"You would start to use that, just like you do your regular number but it all rings on your phone," he says.

Colburn says you'd give out this new number for less important things, like deliveries, waiting for restaurant tables, and some shopping.

When you get calls back, it will show that it's coming from this other number.

So, if you're not expecting a call, you can ignore it.

It's not perfect, but it's another tool to use.

I just don't answer my phone unless it's a contact, that way anyone important will call leave a message and I avoid all of the scam calls I get every week.