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Robocalls in Florida and How to Protect Ourselves

Yes yes we know, they call, you answer, and you realize that was a mistake, but somehow we can't seem to get rid of all those pesky robocalls. Some or innocent enough some are malicious and meant to trick you.

Now the good news is that Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a new investigative partnership against illegal caller ID spoofing and robocalls with the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC and state leaders share a common enemy: robocall scammers targeting consumers and businesses around the country, said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.My team's commitment to protecting consumers fits hand-in-glove with the state Attorneys General's ongoing efforts to combat these scams.

This is meant to provide Florida access to more resources. It will also allow broader communication between federal and state investigators.

Let's first understand - What are Robocalls?

A robocall is a call that delivers pre-recorded messages through auto-dialing software to millions of people each day. If you answer your phone and hear a recorded message instead of a real person speaking, you are listening to a robocall.

Now a more important question is - are robocalls legal?

In the US, some robocalls are considered legitimate. These include:

1. Informational messages An example would be robocalls telling you that your flight has been canceled or reminding you about a medical appointment.

Debt collection calls - A business that is legitimately trying to collect a debt is allowed to use recorded messages to reach you. However, services that attempt to sell you services to reduce your debt are not (and are probably scams).

Healthcare provider calls - Pharmacies remind you to refill a prescription.

Messages from charities

Since there are so many illegal ones out there it is important to keep vigilant. The best way is to hang up when you see an unknown number and use the service of free Florida Reverse Phone Lookup to see who is behind that number. And often you will find out that it is a robocall and not have to worry. That way you save yourself both time and nerves.

Now, you should also be concerned about an even more sinister one - caller ID spoofing - this practice means that a caller disguises themselves and provides a false caller ID. That can be confusing, and yet again we have to go back and stress the fact that in most cases it will not be a government agency calling to ask for your money or details via phone.

Car warranty scam robocalls and why Floridians hate them

This one is particularly annoying and all too familiar to all of us. This scam isn't new, but it has reached new heights. The Federal Communications Commission says auto warranty robocalls were the top call complaint filed by consumers in 2020, and the trend is continuing all the way to 2023.

While ignoring the National Do Not Call Registry, scammers are trying to sell you a $3,000 or so car warranty. They lead you to believe that you're extending your current warranty. This is deceptive but more importantly, it is very much illegal. To make things even more frustrating, you can't simply block the calls. The system spoofs area codes and numbers so that you're never called by the same number twice. Yes, it is that annoying and if you press a digit during the call, they use it as confirmation that there is a person there, and a wrong digit might mean that you accepted sth, so be very careful to just hang up.

It is easier to make a call to your insurance agency and check whether or not your car insurance has expired than to react to this type of robocall.

The government is doing its best, but much like mushrooms after a long rain, they just keep springing up.

How do I protect myself from robocalls?

Your best move when you realize it's a robocall is to hang up the phone immediately. There is one thing that you should never do: press any numbers on your phone during the call.

Next, just check with the Florida Reverse Phone Lookup to see who it was that was calling you and if necessary report the number. Yes, more will come but at least someone else won't get the call from that same number. So you did a good deed.

Finally, always keep in mind that whoever it is - asking for your personal details or money over the phone is just not a way decent businesses operate, and if they start scaring you into it even more reasons to just hang up.

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