COLORADO SPRINGS — Is your phone number registered with the National Do Not Call List? While it won't stop every unwanted call, fraud experts say it's an important step that takes just a few seconds to accomplish. News5 takes a deep dive into 2021 complaint trends and having your phone number on this list matters.
There is a national no call list and one that is specific to Colorado. Consumer experts recommend making sure your phone numbers are on both of these lists. It's true, bad actors won't follow the rules. They'll call you anyway, but it will make it easier to spot a scam call.
"1,911 robocalls are made in the United States per second. It's incredible. Consumers are getting bombarded," said "Dr. Fraud" J. Michael Skiba, international counter fraud expert and program director for criminal justice at CSU Global.
He says with so many prolific scam artists on the attack getting your number on a do not call list matters.
"So it might not be 100%, but even if it cuts it down half it's still going to cut down on the places a fraudster can actually penetrate," said Skiba.
The National Do Not Call Registry has been around for 18 years now and has at least 244 million phone numbers. This has led to millions of complaints about bad calls. In 2021 Colorado was ranked 4th for most complaints filed.
"It helps locate trends, it helps researchers like myself and other policy makers and state agencies to actually get a handle on what's going on with the scams," said Skiba.
According to some of that 2021 data on top call complaints, imposter calls topped the list followed by calls about warranties and protection plans, reducing debt, medical and prescription calls and tech support calls.
Andy Tsui is the special agent in charge for IRS criminal investigations at the Denver office. He says fraudsters on the other end of the line are looking to get paid and once you pay them, the money's likely gone forever.
"I will say it's very difficult to get back some of that money. A lot of these scams are being perpetrated overseas and once the money leaves the U.S. it's really tough to get back," said Tsui.
And now investigators say fraudsters like to get people mixed up by talking about cryptocurrency.
"We are seeing the use of cryptocurrency as a way of driving a scam either investing in one, or something related to it and because it's such a difficult industry to do your normal research on to see if it's legit, they are getting away with it more often because it is harder to verify," said Tsui.
Consumers may register online at The National Do Not Call Registry or by calling toll-free, 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236), from the number that is to be registered. Registration is free.
Here is The National Do Not Call Registry official website: https://www.donotcall.gov/
The Public Utilities Commission has this information about Colorado's No Call List: https://puc.colorado.gov/coloradonocall
Click the top button to sign up to be included in the Colorado No-Call List. The button links to the designated agent's website. Consumers may sign up for the Colorado No-Call List on the website or by calling 303-776-2678 or the toll free number 1-800-309-7041.
Consumers who continue to receive unwanted telemarketer calls after registering on the Colorado No-Call List may file a complaint by calling 1-800-309-7041or submitting a complaint on the no-call website by clicking Colorado No-Call Complaints. The fifth button, leads viewers to the Colorado No-Call Rules.