SPECIAL REPORT: How you can avoid scam and robocalls

According to the FCC, US citizens got 2.4 billion robocalls per month in 2016

How you can avoid scam and robocalls

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Everyone around the country is susceptible to getting robocalls.

You probably get them even from your own area code, but how do you deal with them? The WAFF 48 News team wanted to find out.

Athens business owner Joseph Harris says he gets scam and robocalls all the time. He even says they come in with a 256 area code.

“I got a call from the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department, and I normally don’t answer numbers that I don’t know who they are, but that one was programmed into my phone. Along with a contact for Caleb Durden, who’s an investigator up there. So, I just answered the phone expecting it to be him, and it wasn’t," Harris said.

Harris says he gets at least one call a day, but this call wasn’t the first time he’s been told it’s the sheriff’s office or another legitimate organization.

The Federal Communications Commission reported in 2016 alone, people in the United States got 2.4 billion robocalls per month.

The WAFF 48 News team talked with cyber security experts on how to combat this worldwide problem. H2L Solutions Vice President, Stan Lozovsky, says he’s been dealing with robocalls for as long as he can remember.

“I actually use a google pixel phone, and it gives you the ability to screen calls. What it does is screen the call it uses voice to text and you will see what you know the person on the other line is saying before you even answer it," Lozovsky said.

The local cyber security guru says there are ways to prevent these calls from coming through. There’s apps like Hiya and Robokiller that block calls.

Lozovsky says Hiya aggregates the blocked call list, so when you block a call, anyone else using the app will also have that number blocked.

If you get a robocall, Lozovsky says ask as many questions as possible. Athens local Joseph Harris says he did just that.

“Started asking more questions, you know, how much money, what not. They wanted like six or seven thousand dollars, which also didn’t make any sense because you don’t really settle out of court over the phone," Harris explained.

Robocalls put you on the spot, so it’s tough to think fast. Click here for tips from the FCC you can follow if and when you receive those calls.

Lozovsky also has one more piece of advice for all of us.

“The biggest thing is being able to be vigilant and information sharing amongst people that ‘hey this is one of the ways to combat.’ Two, it’s a nuisance, but I think FCC is actually making progress to make it more difficult," Lozovsky said.

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