How to Avoid Robocall Scams

At least one of every five phone calls now made is a robocall, and many are the work of scammers. You may hate these automated annoyances, but scammers love them: They’re cheap, far-reaching and hard to trace. No surprise that the Federal Trade Commission receives some 200,000 complaints about these calls each month. Here’s what you need to know: 1. If they’re selling, assume they’re scamming. Fraudsters may tout “free” in their recorded messages, but ask yourself this: Since when …

Tax Scammers Up Ante With Robocalls

In the four months since it made history as “the largest scam of its kind,” a now infamous IRS imposter telephone scam has escalated with a recent new spin. As fraudsters continue to pose as agents with that agency or the U.S. Treasury Department in “live” calls that threaten arrest or deportation, along with the seizure of property, businesses and driver’s licenses, they’ve recently upped the ante to now also incorporate robocalls in this widespread ruse. Either way, the story is …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. Put on a new heart-healthy diet, gorillas Mokolo and Bebac each dropped 65 pounds. (Learn more at Case Western Reserve University) 2. Every dollar of Social Security benefits doubles in the economy. (Learn more at AARP) 3. Earth will be too hot to sustain life as we know it in 1.7 billion years. (Learn more at Discovery) 4. Just now entering the job market? Women and men won’t earn equal pay until you’re ready to …

‘Microsoft’ Calling? Don’t Believe It

Some people deal with pesky (and usually illegal) telemarketing calls by simply not answering the phone when their Caller ID displays an unrecognized or “private” number. I answer and even engage, so I learn more about telephone scams de jour. But these calls usually end the same way: After I hear their claims, obviously conning callers get their own earful: A blast of a portable air horn into the handset. You know, the kind favored by sea-stranded sailors because it …

Robocalls: A Major Annoyance Gets Worse

I wish someone would research the detrimental health effects of constantly receiving those annoying robocalls. Maybe then those miserable irritants could be banned as a health hazard and we could finally escape their escalating, uncontrollable presence. Not likely, I know, and despite all the national “Do Not Call Registry” efforts, the number of these unwanted calls is increasing, according to a recent story in the New York Times. Writer Alina Tugend had written an earlier column about whether she should …