CONSUMER ALERT: Protect yourself from Robocall Scams

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Attorney General Bill Schuette on Thursday announced the release of a new "Robocall" scam consumer alert to help protect Michiganders from being scammed.

The most recent rash of robocalls have been threatening to arrest people for failure to pay their requests for money.

“Most people carry a cell phone wherever they go, meaning scammers are finding ways to contact residents 24/7,” said Schuette. “The easiest step to take if you get a suspicious or threatening call: hang up. Neither the State of Michigan nor the Federal Government will ever threaten you via phone.”

But how do you know if it's a robocall? If you answer your phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person - that's a robocall. That call is most likely designed to get you to give out some personal information or money, or both. So don't give them that. And if they leave a message, don't call them back.

The AG's office says that calls are often disguised as someone calling from the Government, threatening you, instilling panic, saying that you have outstanding charges or a case against you. They say to listen for broken English or poor grammar because many robocalls are placed from foreign countries.
Watch for these area codes - they were the top ten worst offenders in 2017: (202); (469); (312); (817); (832); (210); (281); (909) and (214)

There are ways to avoid getting scammed, like just hanging up the phone. You can ask for written verification of any debt. You can even use an app on your mobile phone to block robocalls.

Report the call! Report government imposters to the Federal Trade Commission.
File a complaint with the Michigan Attorney General's office.

And remember, it is illegal for any telemarketer to accept a cash-to-cash money transfer; a PIN from a cash reload card; or a remotely-created payment using your bank account information as a form of payment.

Also, if you owe a debt, you still have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.