Scam calls are epidemic and will get worse in 2019. A new report says that 50% of all cell calls will be fraudulent in 2019. In 2017 almost 4% of mobile calls were fraudulent. In 2018 it is almost 30%.

There were 4.1 BILLION Robo phone calls in June 2018. Capital One calls, where a woman claims to be from Capital One Bank to discuss a biz matter, totaled 37 Million calls. Scam Comcast Customer Service accounted for 14 Million calls and 14 Million were allegedly from Wells Fargo.

Ironically as cell calls increase, the landline calls are decreased from 56% to a projected 25% next year. This is obviously because fewer people use landlines. As a lawyer I always request landline and mobile call info from DUI and ACCIDENT clients, and I am amazed at home many clients only use a cell.

If you read my column regularly you are aware of “Neighborhood Spoofing” where a fraudulent call shows up on the caller ID as coming from a local number…..a number often associated with law enforcement, the courts or IRS.

Because of all these calls it is projected that almost 85% of unknown mobile calls are not answered. This could potentially be a serious problem for legit businesses.

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One avenue to consider is RoboKiller and Truecaller to help detect and block unwanted calls. Of course they only block known scam numbers.

With the election around the corner you might receive phony calls from con artists that pretend to be political volunteers who try to get you to donate money by asking for a cash or credit card number. They may even offer to register you over the phone…which of course is illegal.

Because the donation is to a political party or candidate you may never know you have been scammed. The con artist is only interested in getting your credit card info and maxing out your card. When in doubt, don’t give it out!

Also be aware of scam calls claiming to be charities or helping veterans. It is suggested you go on line to check out the name of the charity and words like scam or complaint. Go to BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity a group that look into the validity of charities.

You can also check whether the charity is registered with The California Charity Regulator. Check NASCO (National Association of State Charity Officials). Always ask for the website of the charity and its address. Inquire about The Charities Mission and what percentage of the money goes to the charity. If it is a veteran charity ask how many service members are helped.

Some popular phone scams: IRS, Police, Utility Co, Government Clerk, Jury Duty Clerk, Puppy Breeder, Ticket Seller, Bank Verifier, Big Winner Announcement, Long-distance lover, Military Rep, Social Media Scams, Genealogy site scams.

If any of these happen to you, then when you spot a Scam report it to FTC or state charity regulator through nasconet.org. That is the only way to try to protect the next guy.

If you paid for a product through one of these scam sites, report it to your bank and credit card company site below:

Inspector General 1-800-269-0271 or via https://oig.ssa.gov/report

Fraud alert hotline: 855 303 9470 or http://www.aging.senate.gov/fraud-hotline

FTC ID Theft Hotline 877 ID Theft/ www.consumer.gov/idtheft<http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft

SS hotline 800 269 0271/www.ssa.gov/oig   

Equifax: 800 525 6285/ www.equifax.com

Experian: 888 397 3742/ www.experian.com

Transunion: 800 680 7289/ www.transunion.com

Questions or ideas for future columns contact Dale Gribow 760-837-7500 or dale@dalegribowlaw.com.

DALE GRIBOW

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