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Consumer Alert: Robocalls, scam calls hit record high

Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 11:20 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Robocalls and scam calls are hitting a new high. According to a recent report, American received more than four billion robocalls in January alone.

In Wisconsin, the Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection put a list together of the top five calls reported last month, using a tracking system of calls coming into their consumer protection hotline.

The number one complaint is utility scams - a call or text that your utilities will be disconnected if you don’t make an immediate payment.

In the number two spot - tech support scams. If a caller says your computer has a problem, hang up. Don’t give them access to your computer.

Coming in third is social security and government scams.

In fourth place - prize scams. These calls say you have won a big prize but first you have to pay to cover fees.

In fifth was auto warranty calls, telling you your warranty is about to expire.

One Action 2 News viewer, named Neil, says he got a phone call from someone who claimed to be a Brown County Sheriff’s Sergeant, and told him he missed a jury summons.

Neil said the call was pretty elaborate, and the person went through a number of legal explanations about his case. He added when he called back the number he was given, he heard police dispatch noises that made it more believable.

Neil was then asked for his drivers license number, and was told he needed to post $5,000 cash bond. That’s when Neil said it became very apparent that the call was a scam.

He wanted others to be aware that they try to get you to think you’re in trouble and have to act fast, and then bypass your normal defensive instincts with this type of call.

Remember, these scammers will use any story to try and get you to believe them - they use fake caller ID information to look like local businesses or trusted companies.

Don’t answer, and definitely don’t call back.

Consumer experts say look into call blocking - a lot of cell carriers now offer apps that block robocalls, or send alerts for suspicious calls.

That can help cut down on the scam calls.

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