ATLANTA — According to a recent study by YouMail, Atlanta residents received more than 100 million robocalls just in January.
Atlanta’s 404 area code topped the list with nearly 50 million calls received. The area code 678 came in fourth.
Channel 2’s consumer advisor Clark Howard breaks down the first rule of robocalls.
“My rule is to never, ever answer your phone if you don’t recognize the number calling,” Howard said.
We all see that number we don’t recognize, but many of us answer the phone anyway.
“It happens every day. It’s crazy because I usually tell them it’s the wrong number. My grandma deals with it a lot, when they introduce money and say you won, you won,” said Ashley Green.
Howard said answering the call is the first mistake.
“They get hooked in and think, 'I’m going to win.' Before people realize they have been had, they have coughed up information on their checking account and the money is gone,” Howard said.
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The company YouMail tracks telemarketers and robocalls and said in January alone, robocallers placed 2.3 billion calls targeting 324 million people, which averages out to seven calls per person.
So how do you get off the list?
“There is no such thing as getting off the list,” Howard said.
Channel 2’s Craig Lucie asked Howard about reporting the calls.
“Don’t even bother reporting numbers because it doesn’t do anything for you. These calls are being placed by criminal elements outside of the U.S. and they don’t care about our laws,” Howard said.
Lucie asked Howard why Atlanta’s 404 area code is the most robocalled.
“I don’t think anybody has a good answer as to why we are so targeted by robocalls,” Howard said.
The second rule of robocalls: “If you don’t recognize it, do not answer it.” said Howard.
The third rule: Do not answer your phone if it's a number you do not recognize.
YouMail said the top robocall comes from this number: 1-800-955-6600, which is a credit card debt-collection agency. They made 20,181,500 calls in January.
Cox Media Group