3 On Your Side

Frustrations continue with robocalls

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If you are on the "Do Not Call Registry" and you're still getting those annoying robocalls, you’re not alone. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) If you are on the "Do Not Call Registry" and you're still getting those annoying robocalls, you’re not alone. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
In May alone, Americans received nearly 3 billion of those calls. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) In May alone, Americans received nearly 3 billion of those calls. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
According to the Federal Trade Commission, internet-powered phone banks have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) According to the Federal Trade Commission, internet-powered phone banks have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

If you are on the "Do Not Call Registry" and you're still getting those annoying robocalls, you’re not alone. In May alone, Americans received nearly 3 billion of those calls.

The phone rings. It's an unwanted phone call many people like Charlotte Shaff are getting.

"I get robocalls like maybe once every couple of days," Shaff said.

Billions of unsolicited robocalls are causing phones to constantly ring, annoying people like Shaff, who says she's an ongoing victim.

"It's very frustrating."

Shaff runs a public relations and social media company here in Phoenix and relies on her mobile device for business calls.

But despite being on the National Do Not Call Registry, she says scammers are still getting through to her phone.

"I posted something on Facebook and I had a variety of people who said the exact same thing has been happening to them too."

According to the Federal Trade Commission, internet-powered phone banks have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world.

In many cases, the callers use software to spoof their numbers that pop up on your Caller ID making it difficult for law enforcement officials to track down or investigate.

In fact, Shaff says telemarketers actually spoofed her number to pop up on people's phones when they were called.

"This caller called and asked me to stop calling him and harassing him about buying a resort time share and I told him that's odd because this is my cell phone number, it's a personal cell phone number."

The government is doing what it can to crack down. The Federal Communications Commission is fining a Florida telemarketer $120 million for making 96 million spoofed robocalls in just three months. The FCC says he violated the Truth in Caller ID Act, which, "prohibits callers from deliberately falsifying caller ID information."

But for people like Shaff, it's not enough.

"What do you do, literally like what do you do?"

While there is not a guaranteed fix yet to stop all these unwanted calls, The FCC has created a Robo Call Strike Force where consumers can find valuable resources to help block future robocalls from coming in.

Shaff says at this point, she's willing to try anything.

"It's kind of discouraging to know that you're on the do not call list but if someone wants to call and scam you they're going to find a way around it."

The experts say if you get a call from a number you don't recognize then don't answer. If it's important, they'll leave a message.

For information about blocking robocalls visit the following links:

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/stop-unwanted-calls-texts-and-faxes#call-blocking-resources

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/media/video-0028-what-do-if-you-get-robocall

https://www.fcc.gov/tags/robocall

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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