Don’t be Afraid to Just…Block Calls

 

Why do I keep getting robocalls? I’m receiving even MORE spam calls during the pandemic! I’m on the Do Not Call List (state and federal) —why doesn’t that help?

We frequently hear these frustrations from older adults and their families when they call to report a healthcare or consumer fraud scam. We tell them to “SCREEN ALL CALLS – don’t pick up any call unless you’re sure it’s from someone you know”.

But, we also realize that older adults often live alone and look forward to calls from friends and family. Older adults also are more likely to be waiting for return calls from medical professionals. Some older adults are still working in positions that require you to answer unknown callers. Some folks with dementia answer all calls. Further, the telephone has been a lifeline and safe way to stay connected for those stuck at home during the pandemic.

So, what’s the answer? It can be complicated.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shared this blog on How to Stop Unwanted Calls. Here are some of things you can learn about blocking or screening calls by reading the blog:

  • You may need to take a different strategy whether you are trying to block calls on a mobile phone, VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) or a regular landline.
  • Your device may have built-in options.
  • The carrier you use may offer their own options.
  • Some blocking services, apps or devices are free, others may charge a fee.
  • Report unwanted calls to the FTC or 1-877-FTC-HELP.

The blog also reviews the National Do Not Call Registry, robocalls and call spoofing. We recommend you follow the FTC on your preferred social media site.

In addition to the FTC, Indiana agencies are also working to protect you from healthcare and consumer fraud.

Below is a list of trusted resources that can help you identify and report fraud and scams.

Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Senior Medicare Patrol Program (SMP) www.iaaaa.org 800.986.3505
Indiana Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2336.htm 800.382.5516
Better Business Bureau Serving Central Indiana www.bbb.org/local-bbb/bbb-serving-central-indiana 855.833.1173