(Woodland, CA) – July 23, 2018 - Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig is warning residents to be wary of robocall telephone scam calls which have increased in 2018. Residents of Yolo County are receiving these phone calls on both their landlines as well as their cell phones. The number of robocalls which target cell phone lines has increased dramatically since more and more people are only using their cell phones and no longer landlines for communication.
Chances are, if you own a smartphone, you have received a robocall or two, or possibly a few hundred in the past year. Some robocalls are legitimate such as appointment reminders from your doctor or information from your child’s school. Unfortunately, the majority of robocalls are scams. To make matters worse, the scammers are using Caller ID Spoofing, a method to change the appearance of the phone number, to make the incoming caller's number appear familiar like they are coming from your own area code. Many residents say that the robocalls which they receive have the 530 or 916 area code which makes residents believe someone local is calling them. Don’t be fooled. The scams can be very deceitful and if you stay on the phone long enough, a live person will come on the line attempting to commit fraud and try to steal your money or your identity.
Here are some basic tips to help you protect your personal information:
1. Download a Robo Blocker app. These apps help prevent the robocalls from even coming into your smartphone.
2. Add your number to the “do not call” registry. You can call 1-888-382-1222 or visit donotcall.gov.
3. Don’t answer ANY calls that are not known to you.
4. If you do happen to answer an unknown call, do not push any options to opt out. Simply, hang up.
5. Don’t engage if a real person is on the other line and do not give out any information they are asking for. If you speak with them, they tend to call back multiple times since they believe you are willing to listen to them.
The official sounding phone call which often states your name, date of birth, and physical address is designed to frighten you into responding quickly when you are upset and not thinking clearly. As with most scams, the con artists are either trying to scare the victim into “wiring” money or trying to get a hold of personal information like a Social Security or Credit Card number. Legitimate companies who are attempting to get in contact with you regarding a civil judgment do so by mail with official court documents only. They will never call you or ask for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the phone.
According to District Attorney Jeff Reisig, “The complexity and frequency of these types of scams have increased during 2018. Nobody is immune from being targeted by these persistent crooks. The best defense against becoming a victim of such a scam is knowledge and vigilance.”
For more information about these and other types of scams or to report suspected scams to the Yolo County District Attorney, please call the Fraud Hotline at 855-4-YOLO-DA or visit Yoloda.org.