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Dealing with Robocalls
The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs and the Scam Squad have received numerous reports of robocalls of all types. Some residents are reporting repeated, abusive calls – for example, 15 to 20 calls a day, just minutes apart. Follow these tips to ease your frustration with these pesky calls:
- Do not pick up calls from unknown numbers. Let calls from unknown numbers go to voicemail so you can screen them. Answering a robocall or scam call just gets you more unwanted calls.
- If you pick up by mistake, hang up. Don’t ask robocallers to stop calling or interact with them at all. Interacting or following prompts to talk to someone only confirms your number is working and that they have reached a live person. This can lead to more scam calls.
- Be wary of calls from numbers that resemble yours. Robocallers may try to trick you into picking up by using “spoofed numbers” that fake your area code/exchange or duplicate your phone number. Resist the urge to answer the calls out of curiosity.
- DO NOT automatically call back numbers that called you. If the unknown caller did not leave a message, treat it like a scam call.
- Don’t be scared into paying or sharing personal info. Many robocalls are designed to scare you into thinking you are under investigation, owe money to the IRS or another government agency, or have run afoul of the courts. No legitimate agency will tell you of an impending arrest or court action by phone. Treat all unexpected calls seeking personal information or money as suspicious.
- If calls are persistent: Opt for peace and quiet and turn the ringer on your phone off for a day or two (just leave yourself a reminder to turn it back on.) Abusive repeat calls tend to subside after a couple days.
- Report robocalls. File a complaint with the Scam Squad 216-443-SCAM (7226).
The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs serves as a clearinghouse for Scam Squad, a multiagency financial fraud task force. Scam Squad provides one-on-one help to scam victims and refers scam reports to the agency best suited to investigate. Reporting scams helps law enforcement and your community.
The Department of Consumer Affairs’ mission is to make sure people who live or shop in Cuyahoga County get what they pay for.