The Most Common Florida Robocalls and How to Fight Them
Did you know that, according to WFLA, Florida was the 18th state with the most robocalls per capita in 2019? The same source suggests that there were as many as 354,315 robocall complaints that year. According to PR News, Florida received over 3 billion robocalls in 2019, with an average of 232 robocalls per person. As time went by, not much has changed—the Sunshine State remains one of the most heavily attacked by robocalls.
Have you had this unpleasant experience yourself? Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably heard of someone who has. If you want to stay one step ahead of the potential scammers, you need to know how to fight against robocalls, as well as find out more about the common forms of robocalls in Florida.
What Is a Robocall?
Robocalls are made by a device or computer program called the autodialer. Depending on who’s behind them and what their purpose is, robocalls can be useful or rather annoying and even dangerous. These are some of the most common uses of robocalls:
- Political campaign
- Charities asking for donations
- Public-service announcements
- Appointment reminders
Robocalls can save companies a lot of time, as they offer a fast and easy way to contact many people in a short time. However, those with bad intentions, too, can make robocalls and disturb people or even cause them some damage. If the latter is the case, we are talking about robocall scammers, whose goal is to steal your money or your identity. The main problem here is that it is sometimes challenging to differentiate between a legal robocall and a scam. Luckily, we are here to tell you more about this, too.
How Do Robocalls Work?
Robocalls are made to deliver a pre-recorded message—the one you hear if you pick up the phone when they contact you. Robocallers use a computer program to record a message that they want their target group of people to hear.
Regardless of the purpose of their calls, robocallers can buy many phone numbers to contact rather easily. They usually start by looking to buy from a legitimate broker, but even if that’s not possible, there’s always a shady operator that can ensure a long list of contacts.
When everything is ready, they use robocalling software to dial all those phone numbers and contact as many as one million people in only an hour. This increases the chances of actually reaching the desired number of people.
In case a scammer looking to steal your money or your personal information is behind a call, the next phase would be to patch you with a real person that commits the actual fraud.
The Most Common Robocalls in Florida
With the constantly rising number of robocalls in Florida, it is crucial that you find out about the most common forms in which robocall scams appear. That way, you will know how to respond if you recognize a suspicious number on your caller ID. New scammers appear all the time, but these are some of the most common robocall scams in Florida for the time being:
|866-408-4070||Barclays Bank Debt Collection Bank Debt Collector|
|800-266-2278||Comcast Customer Service/Bill Collector Debt Collector|
|877-647-8552||Wells Fargo Debt Collector|
|772-242-0376||Port St. Lucie, FL Onvoy, LLC Electric Bill Scam|
|800-955-6600||Capital One Payments/Collections Debt Collector|
As you can see, scammers in Florida mostly impersonate debt collectors, mortgage company agents, and cable provider reps. The safest thing you can do if you notice any of these is not to pick up your phone. Even if you make a mistake and answer the phone, never give any affirmative answers, let alone provide any of your personal or payment information.
How to Stop Robocalls in Florida?
If you live in the Sunshine State and you don’t know what to do with all those annoying robocalls, legal or illegal, you should consider getting a call-blocking device or app.
If robocallers are disturbing you on your landline, you can install a call-blocking device and attach it to your home phone to control all calls you receive and stop the unwanted ones. Such a device usually gives you the option to block numbers based on the geographic area, which can help you be more specific if you know for sure where your robocallers are operating from.
In case they harass you on your mobile, the fastest solution is to install a call-blocking app to filter the calls you receive. You can adjust the settings based on how you want the app to deal with unwanted numbers. For instance, you can forward all unwanted calls straight to voicemail.
Be on Alert for the Most Common Robocall Scams
One of the crucial things to do to protect yourself from robocall scams is to learn more about them. How are you going to save yourself from this unpleasant experience if you don’t know how to recognize a scam, right? Some are less obvious than others, so you need to be extra careful with those. Without further ado, these are the most common robocall scams that you should beware of:
Common Robocall Scams
Things to Know About Them
|Scammers know very well that people are tempted to believe the statement after the word “guarantee.” That’s how they came up with the investment fraud—they offer you a guaranteed gain after you invest a certain amount of money in their venture. Your first instinct is to believe this, especially if you’re a risk-taker. They make it sound like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so you feel like it would be a real shame to miss it. The tricky part with these scams is that the fraudsters behind them go to great lengths to make their offer believable. They prepare documents with official-looking seals and logos, so you’d think that there’s nothing wrong with them. Don’t fall into their trap!|
Fake robocalls from banks
|Have you ever received a robocall impersonating your bank and telling you that your credit or debit card information has been stolen? They might have also told you that they’ve noticed unusual activity on your bank account. Whatever the case, you’ve been a victim of fake robocallers who impersonate banks to steal money from people. They rely on the fact that people won’t question whether it’s really their bank on the other end when they hear such claims. Unfortunately, it works more often than you’d think.|
|Another thing scammers usually rely on is people’s desire to win and have luck in life. To take advantage of human nature once again, they record messages telling people that they’ve won something, be it a lot of money, a trip, or something else. Even though many are aware that winning such a huge prize out of nowhere sounds too good to be true, they can still fall into the trap.|
|Another way to trick someone into answering a risky call is to make the number look familiar or similar to their own. This is what many scammers do, and it’s called neighbor spoofing—they manipulate numbers to make it look like they’re calling from the local area. People jump to the conclusion that it must be a neighbor calling them, so they pick up without thinking. Sometimes, that’s all the scammers need to get you into trouble.|
Do Not Hesitate to Report Robocalls
A robocall every once in a while may annoy you, but receiving them repeatedly for days or weeks on end is downright frustrating. When scammers are behind these calls, and they even cause you some damage, a robocall lawsuit is the means to fight them.
When robocallers begin to harass you, that’s a clear sign that you should report them. If you rely on FCC’s guide on dealing with robocalls, you’ll see that the first thing that they advise you to do is to put your phone number on the National Do Not Call List. When you do that, it is also advisable that you know how to check if a number is on the Do Not Call list. If you’re not sure how to do this, here are some options:
- Dial 1-888-382-1222
- Dial 1-866-290-4236 to call via TeleTypewriter
- Verify your registration online
It might happen that you continue to receive robocalls even after you registered on the Do Not Call list. There’s no such thing as Do Not Call expiration date, so you shouldn’t assume that this is the reason why robocallers can still reach you. There are some Do Not Call exceptions, though, so you should check these to see if the calls you’ve been receiving fall under this category.
What Robocalls Are Considered Legal?
Just because all robocalls are annoying and disturbing, that doesn’t mean that you can stop them all. Some robocalls are legal, and companies or organizations that make them are entitled to do so, so you may not even be able to block them. Here are the main differences between legal and illegal robocalls to help you understand these categories:
|When a company asks for your written consent on making robocalls, its representatives are allowed to contact you this way if you previously agreed to it.||Robocalls made with the aim of trying to sell people a product or service are almost always illegal.|
|Service providers, too, are allowed to make robocalls about your subscription if you give them your phone number willingly.||Robocalls that ask you to leave your personal information are, in most cases, illegal, so you shouldn’t reveal anything if you want to avoid identity theft.|
|Charitable organizations often use robocalls to reach as many people as possible to ask them for donations, which is legal to do.||Robocalls that ask you to reveal your credit card information are usually suspicious, so they are considered illegal in most cases.|
|Robocalls can be made as part of a political campaign. They are legal and sometimes can’t even be blocked.||Robocalls offering exclusive prizes for free and out of nowhere are illegal and can cause you quite some trouble if you fall into the trap.|
|Robocalls about government-approved studies asking you to participate are legal.||Robocalls might only look like they are coming from the government or another reliable institution, in which case they are illegal.|
|If you’re struggling with paying bills and you have some unsettled debt, a debt collection agency is allowed to make robocalls to contact you about anything debt-related.||Robocalls made by fake debt collectors who force you to pay your bills in a short time to avoid being disconnected are illegal. Scammers behind such calls might also offer to lower your bills if you transfer the money into a certain bank account.|
How Can DoNotPay Help You Get Revenge on Robocall Scammers?
Even if a robocall fraudster found a way to trick you and wrong you, the good news is that you can get robocall revenge with DoNotPay at your disposal. We are here to give you the justice you deserve, so there’s no need to worry about anything—our Robo Revenge option is here to save the day. We understand how overwhelmed you must be already, so we don’t want you to go through any additional trouble. That’s why we made this process rather straightforward:
- Log in to DoNotPay via the web or an iOS device
- Head to Robo Revenge section
- Register your number on the Do Not Call list
- Get DoNotPay’s virtual credit card
- Give robocallers the virtual credit card number instead of the real one, when they contact you next time
Understanding DoNotPay’s Robo Revenge Option
Robo Revenge is not difficult to understand, as the method behind it is rather simple. Here are some of the crucial things to keep in mind to understand the principle:
- With our free virtual credit card, you get to fully protect your real card info, as the virtual card is not linked to the real one
- When robocaller scammers get the virtual credit card number, they can’t tell that it’s not your real card, so they will try to take your money. By doing that, scammers practically give DoNotPay access to their own information, based on which we can figure out who they are
- When we gather the necessary data, you can file a complaint against them
- If you find it more convenient, DoNotPay will be more than glad to send a demand letter for compensation on your behalf
Is There a Way to Prevent Robocalls?
How satisfying is it to just know that you can stop robocalls, right? How about preventing them altogether? If you are dreaming about this, here are the crucial things to remember about protecting yourself from robocalls:
- Register your number on the National Do Not Call List
- Never give your phone number to anyone who asks for it, no matter how naive this might seem
- When an unknown caller asks for your credit card info, remember that giving your payment information to a fraudster can cause severe credit card issues, so it’s never worth the risk
- Just because you like the idea of really winning that money or exclusive trip, it doesn’t mean that you should accept the prize offered
- Find an unlisted phone number to use
What Else Can DoNotPay Do to Help You?
In addition to giving you a hand with robocalls, DoNotPay can assist you in getting a Florida DMV appointment faster, renewing your Florida driver’s license faster, managing your bills, and much more. You just need to open DoNotPay via the web browser or an iOS device and select the service you need. Here are some other things that our app can help you out with to save you some trouble:
- Jump phone queues so you can reach customer support faster
- Appeal parking tickets anywhere you need
- Manage all your subscriptions and memberships
- Dispute your traffic tickets
- Prepare the paperwork needed for suing someone in small claims court
- Fight your speeding tickets
- Make sure you get compensation for robocall scam
- Give you a hand with all credit card-related issues
- Schedule other DMV appointment faster than ever
- Help you lower accumulated bills
- Make sure you get airline compensation for delayed and canceled flights