(CBSDFW.COM) – If you have a phone, chances are you’ve gotten a robocall. Consumers received more than 18 billion robocalls in 2017, a 75 percent increase from the year before, according the CBS News.
They are the number one consumer complaint to the Federal Communications Commission. It receives more than 200,000 protests a year, and robocalls make up roughly 60 percent of all complaints to the FCC.
According to Youmail, a free service that tricks robocallers into thinking your number is out of service, Texas is the number one most-robocalled state in the country, and the numbers are skyrocketing.
“Dallas gets about 160 million robocalls a month right now. That works out to about 30 for every person in the area.” Alex Quilici, CEO of Youmail told Consumer Justice Investigator Cristin Severance. “That’s in a month, at least one call a day for everybody.”
Quilici and others say most people don’t realize the mistakes they’re making when they try to stop these calls. “The worst thing you can do when you get a robocall call is answer it,” said Quilici. “The next worst thing you can do is keep up the conversation, because now they know your phone number is active.”
Tricks like “spoofing” where the scammer uses local area codes make it tough for people to know which calls are robocalls.
Colleyville resident Beverly Figueroa has had her own number spoofed. “There must have been thousands of people called with my phone number,” she said.
Thousands of people thought Figueroa called them when it was really a scammer. Many upset people called her back and some even told her off, thinking she was the robocaller. “I’m like, ‘I can’t do this’ and I don’t know how long this is going to last,” she said.
Figueroa has since changed her number.
Experts say services like Youmail or apps like Hiya, Trucaller or Nomorobo are the best ways to try and fight these calls.