Special Report: How to get relief from those never-ending, unwanted robocalls

Special Report: How to get relief from those never-ending, unwanted robocalls

Consumers received more than 18 billion robocalls last year, a 75% increase from the year before.

They are the number one consumer complaint to the Federal Communications Commission and new numbers show their impact on Wisconsin.

The robocall indexing site 'You Mail' found that the area code 414 received approximately 12.3 million robocalls in June, that's over 12 per person. People with 262 numbers got 6.5 million robocalls in June, a big increase from 3.5 million in February. 

"It's a massive annoyance and it really interferes with my business." Those calls can be more than just a nuisance. One study found that roughly 25 million Americans lost an estimated $9 billion to phone scams last year.

The federal government says they know what it's a big problem.

"Both the private sector companies and the public sector, like the FCC, I think are on the same page when it comes to the priority it deserves," said Ajit Pai, Chairman FCC.

In the past year, the FCC adopted new rules allowing phone companies to block calls that are likely to be fraudulent.

And this spring, Senator Tammy Baldwin co-sponsored the 'Robocop Act,' a bill that would require phone companies to verify that caller ID is accurate and provide customers with optional free robocall-blocking technology.

But if you don't want to wait for Congress, more and more apps are hitting the market.

Nomorobo costs $1.99 a month and says it stops robocalls before they get to you.

Robokiller costs $2.99 a month but deploys answer bots that will waste the scammer's time.

If you don't want to pay, Hiya is free and will provide a caller profile and whether it's a scam.

Regardless of what you try, most experts we spoke with agree on a basic course of action.

"Do not answer the phone. As simple as it sounds, that's the best way to make sure you won't be talking to a scammer," said Jim Temmer with the BBB.

Certain parts of the country are bigger targets than others. A report found Atlanta was inundated with the most robocalls nationwide with a whopping 183 million in June alone, followed by 97 million in Dallas, 93 million in Miami, and 88 million in New York.

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