Scammers are using illegal robocalls to profit from Coronavirus-related fears. Illegal robocalls are universally hated, so why do scammers still use them? Because scammers need only a few people to take the bait for them to make money. Scammers might do that by getting your bank account number, tricking you into handing over gift card PIN codes, or stealing valuable personal information such as your Social Security number.
Crises such as COVID-19, bring out the best in people, and the worst in scammers who pretend to be from the Social Security Administration, offering fake Coronavirus tests to Medicare recipients, and scaring small businesses into buying bogus online listing services.
To hear examples of illegal robocalls exploiting concerns about the Coronavirus, and to stay up to date on the latest Federal Trade Commission (FTC) information, visit ftc.gov/coronavirus.
Now that you know what Coronavirus robocall scams are like, make sure you share this information with your friends and family members. And, if you get such scam calls,don’t believe them. Instead:
- Hang up. Don’t press any numbers. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
- Consider using a call blocking app or device. You also can ask your phone provider if it has call-blocking tools. To learn more, go to ftc.gov/calls.
- Report the call. Report robocalls at ftc.gov/complaint. The more the FTC hear from you, the more they can help fight scams.
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- Ask students if they or their family members have received such calls. If so, how did they respond?
- How many students or family members have considered using a call blocking app or have contacted their phone provider to block such calls? Summarize their findings.
- Why is it not advisable to ask the caller to remove your name from their call list?
- How does reporting your robocalls help the FTC combat scammers?