ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Attorney General Letitia James joined a nationwide partnership of 50 attorneys general to form an anti-robocall task force on Tuesday. The coalition will investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies that are responsible for the majority of robocalls in the country.
“Robocalls are more than just a nuisance,” James said. “They are used to scam seniors and defraud customers,” she added.
Over 33 million robocalls target Americans every day, according to data from the National Consumer Law Center and Electronic Privacy Information Center. Many of them include fraudulent calls against seniors, online shoppers, and other vulnerable groups.
These calls involve scammers impersonating government agencies or well-known companies to deceive targets. Most recently, the criminals have been known to pose as family members to gain the trust of their victims.
Precautions you can take to avoid being scammed:
- Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay with gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrency. The IRS does not accept iTunes gift cards, or similar methods of payment, for example.
- Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies. One of the most commonly-used agencies is the Social Security Administration. They do not make phone calls to individuals.
- If you suspect fraudulent activity, hang up and do not provide any personal information.
- To report a scam, file an online complaint with the Attorney General’s office.