COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - We live in an era where we heavily rely on our handy smart devices, but now robocalls are becoming such a problem that experts say if you do not know the number, you should not answer.
Police say robocalls are spiraling out of control with one in every three phone calls will likely be an automated voice.
According to the Washington Post, there have been more than ten billion robocalls only three months into 2019.
Sgt. Jason Brown with the Columbus Police Department says scammers’ main targets are the elderly.
“There might be a product that they need or are paying a lot of money for or that they don’t have access to and on the other end of that line we can get this to you for free,” said Sgt. Brown.
Brown says the moment you pick up the phone and they hear a human voice, you are automatically a target for more robocalls.
He also says you should never give out your personal information, like your Social Security number or bank account number, over the phone to someone who is making you believe you are in trouble if you do not pay up.
“The ones that bother me most are the threatening ones or people representing law enforcement agencies, tax debt collectors, IRS people," said Sgt. Brown, “basically saying on a recorded line, saying we’ve got your house surrounded, we’re coming to get you.”
Approximately 90 percent of complaints to the Federal Communications Commission are about robocalls.
Apps like Google Voice can help protect your personal number by creating one you can be comfortable giving to the public.
“For example, small businesses, it could be reporters, it could be law enforcement investigators, that when you’re dealing with the public to a capacity, you may not want to give out your personal cell phone number,” said Brown.
It is a good idea to check with your cell phone providers to see if they have systems in place to permanently block robocalls for free because Sgt. Brown says even if you block them yourself, they still find a way to keep calling.