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Use Of A Prerecorded Or Robotic Voice

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On calls or voice messages, a company cannot use a mechanical voice or prerecorded human voice. Congress made it illegal to place unsolicited calls using these methods because it enabled a company to make millions of phone calls, without being limited by the number of humans it had to make calls. The penalty for using an artificial or pre-recroded voice is between $500 to $1,500 for each call or voicemail message.

How To Opt Out Of Junk Mail

The first step toward eliminating a large portion of ones junk mail is to participate in the DMAchoice program from the Data & Marketing Association . This program was created to give you control over what mail you receive and help the DMAs more than 3,600 members avoid mailing to uninterested customers.

The categories of mail you may opt out of receiving include credit card offers, catalogs, magazine offers , donation requests, bank offers, retail promotions and more. You can choose to opt out of specific direct mail categories like the ones above or all of them. Once registered, the DMA forwards your preferences to the appropriate members.

To register, visit and enter your information. There is a $2 fee to register online, but this registration lasts for 10 years. Caregivers also have the option to register on behalf of their care recipients to prevent them from receiving junk mail as well. Just visit the DMA websites Do Not Contact for Caretakers page and follow the instructions. There is no cost for removing a vulnerable senior from the DMAs databases.

Changing Your Final Court Orders For Custody/residence/access/support

You can get help from a Family Law Information Centre at the courthouse if you have a final court order and you want to ask the court to change it. You must qualify for this service.

If there is a legal aid lawyer available, you can get 20 minutes of free general advice. The advice lawyer may also give you a referral to a family law service centre. See if you qualify for advice lawyer services.

If you do not qualify for legal aid services and you do not have a lawyer, visit our Making a motion to change without a lawyer page for more information.

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Technology To Fight Technology

Technology is allowing these criminals to place the calls and evade detection, and technology hopefully will ultimately thwart the calls. The Federal Communications Commission is the federal agency that has authority to regulate the telecommunications industry. Some phone companies previously claimed that federal laws that required them to connect dialed calls prohibited them from blocking unwanted calls. The Attorney Generals Office joined forces with attorneys general from other states to petition the FCC to require phone companies to invent call blocking technology to solve this problem. Following the submission of our petition, the FCC in 2015 encouraged phone companies to develop such technology. Since then, this Officeâagain working with other states attorneys generalâasked major phone companies to make such call-blocking technology available to their customers.

In response to the growing wave of unlawful robocalls and spoofing, the FCC implemented a caller ID authentication and verification framework to ensure that calls made using Voice over Internet Protocol contain accurate caller ID information. The FCC also authorized phone companies to block illegal calls without consumer consent, as long as they disclose such blocking, establish a dispute resolution process to stop erroneous blocking, and promptly resolve blocking disputes with their customers.

How Seniors Can Guard Against Robocall Scams

Senior call help stock photo. Image of female, call, alarm

Syndicated columnist, NBC Today contributor and creator of

Dear Savvy Senior,

Is there anything that can be done to stop the annoying robocalls my husband and I keep getting? It seems like we get two or three a day offering lower credit card interest rates, medical alert devices, home alarm systems and more. What can you recommend?

— Frustrated Seniors

Dear Frustrated,

There’s been a huge spike in robocall scams in the U.S. over the past few years. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission gets more then 200,000 complaints every month about this widespread problem. Here’s what you should know, along with some tips that can help you protect yourself.

Robocall Scams

Whenever you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it’s a robocall.

You’ve probably gotten robocalls about candidates running for office or charities asking for donations. These robocalls are legal and allowed. But if the recording is a sales message and you haven’t given your written permission to get calls from the company on the other end, the call is illegal. In addition to the phone calls being illegal, their pitch most likely is a scam.

Your first step to limiting at least some unwanted calls is to make sure your phone number is registered with the National Do Not Call Registry . This, however, will not stop telemarketing scams or illegal robocalls.

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Debt Collector Wont Stop Calling

Debt collection calls are often allowed under the TCPA, depending on the circumstances, because they fall into an exception. But there is another federal law that protects you against harassing debt collection calls or texts. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act imposes several restrictions on debt collectors.

All communication must cease if they cannot valid the debt

How To Protect Yourself From This Scam

  • Do hang up on illegal robocalls.
  • Do add all your numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry operated by the Federal Trade Commission . It wont stop fraudulent calls, but it will make them easier to spot because most legitimate telemarketers wont call numbers on the registry.
  • Do explore free and low-cost call-blocking options, such as apps and services that screen calls and weed out spam and scams. Ask your phone service provider if it offers any such tools.
  • Do verify the caller. If the robocall claims to be from, say, Social Security or your bank, hang up and look up the real number for that entity. Call and ask if they contacted you.
  • Do report scam calls to the proper authorities . Every report helps authorities piece together a fuller picture of what scammers are doing.
  • Do review a companys privacy policies before you give it permission to call you. You might be authorizing them to share your contact information with others.

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How Can I Help My Loved Ones Avoid Falling For Telemarketing Scams

The simplest and most effective way to help your loved one avoid a senior scams is by having someone, such as an in-home caregiver, with them at home. An in-home caregiver can:

  • Watch out for signs that your loved one is receiving fraudulent calls
  • Alert family members of potential problems
  • Offer a second opinion if your loved one has been targeted and doesnt know what to do.

If possible, have a conversation with your older loved ones about recognizing and avoiding senior fraud. Tell them to take their time when making phone purchases and not to pay fees associated with free prizes. Remind them to always confirm the person they are speaking to is legitimate, and to immediately report it if they think they have fallen victim to a scheme.

Make sure to register your loved ones under the Do Not Call List and consider keeping their personal information locked up so that it isnt easily accessed.

Although there are many types of telemarketing scams that target seniors, working with your loved ones home-care team can help prevent your elderly loved one from falling victim to elder fraud.

What Is Senior Benefits Center

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In 2011, the administrators of the Senior Benefits Center determined that something ought to be done to assist the expanding senior population. In January of that year, the current baby boomer generation began turning 65 at an alarming rate of nearly 10,000 individuals every day. The US Census Bureau reports that approximately 78 million baby boomers are aging into senior citizens daily.

Most seniors do not know where to find all the assistance they require. There are no classes for the elderly on aging or how to access all available benefits. What the public sees through the media are the most effective advertisements and marketing, not the programs that best suit them. The directors were aware that there was a better approach to assisting individuals. By putting people first and listening to their requirements. Treating each person as if they were a member of your own family, such as your parents, siblings, or children, as family members should be handled.

Senior Benefits Center will offer you a comprehensive evaluation of your current benefits, including all of your health, life, Medicare, and wealth policies, to verify that you have the appropriate coverages in place and are taking advantage of the new programs that are available. Everything begins with your Free Benefits Checkup.

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How To Get Rid Of Junk Mail And Telemarketing Calls For Good

As a child, I used to get so excited when I received something in the mail. Maybe it was because the only time I would get mail was either around my birthday or Christmas and it usually contained a check from my grandmother. Now, as an adult, my relationship with mail is quite the opposite. The only correspondence I receive is either bills or junk, neither of which I look forward to receiving.

While there is not much anyone can do to eliminate their bills, there are a few things you can do to get rid of junk mail. In fact, scams and spam seem to be on the rise via most methods of communication these days. Taking steps to declutter your mailbox and protect your phone number can greatly minimize your frustration and reduce your vulnerability to fraud and identity theft.

All Communication Must Cease Upon Written Request

A verbal request can only stop a debt collector from calling a particular phone number. But if you send a written request to the debt collector to stop all communication with you, they cant call any more numbers or try to contact you in any other way . But if the debt collector has zero chance of talking to you, they may decide to sue on the debt.

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You’re A Victim With One Word In ‘can You Hear Me’ Phone Scam

SEATTLE A growing “Can you hear me?” phone scam can make you a victim if you utter just one word: “Yes.”

This is how it works, according to the Better Business Bureau:

An automated call provides an introduction and identifies a business or agency. After the intro, the recording will ask if you can hear clearly.

If you answer yes, the scammer behind the call may have recorded you, could plan to use your affirmation to sign you up for a product or service you never knew about and then will demand payment. If you refuse, the scammer may produce your recorded “yes” response to confirm your purchase agreement.

The best advice from the BBB:

Hang up on any unsolicited robocall. If you are on the federal Do Not Call List and a company calls out of the blue to ask questions, it’s likely a scam.

Avoid responding with “yes,” “sure” or “OK.”

Hang up if you’re asked to press a button to be placed on the Do Not Call registry. Doing anything else could help scammers identify an active phone number. No government agency will ever solicit for the Do Not Call Registry.

Write down the phone number and file a scam report with the BBB Scam Tracker and the Federal Trade Commission‘s Do Not Call List.

That doesn’t always help because these scammers also often know how to fool phones’ caller ID features.

Follow KING-TV on Twitter: @KING5Seattle


Why Am I Getting So Many Harassing Phone Calls From Unknown Numbers

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In the past few years, there has been a huge uptick in the number of autodialed spam calls to peoples cell phones. Some of these can be remedied with a TCPA lawsuit. But unfortunately, a huge volume of the calls are from scammers outside the United States. Often, the scammers are unknown, impossible to find, and in a country with no laws governing unwanted calls.

The Federal Communication Commission generally advises that you not pick up the phone if you believe youre getting a scam call. Even if you hang up immediately, some scammers are using autodials just to figure out which numbers are live numbers. By picking up the phone, you are telling them that the number is valid and theres a live person behind it.

So, answering the phone may increase the volume of unwanted calls you are getting.

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Federal Trade Commission Warning

The Federal Trade Commission has also warned of these one-ring scams.

For illegal robocallers, the goal isn’t always getting you to answer. Sometimes, it’s getting you to call

One-ring calls may appear to be from phone numbers somewhere in the United States, including three initial digits that resemble U.S. area codes. But savvy scammers often use international numbers from regions that also begin with three-digit codes for example, “232” goes to Sierra Leone and “809” goes to the Dominican Republic. Scammers may also use spoofing techniques to further mask the number in your caller ID display, the FTC said, referring to fake numbers.

The FTC said if you call back, you risk being connected to a phone number outside the U.S.

As a result, you may wind up being charged a fee for connecting, along with significant per-minute fees for as long as they can keep you on the phone. These charges may show up on your bill as premium services, international calling, or toll-calling, the FTC said.

Variations of this scam rely on phony voicemail messages urging you to call a number with an unfamiliar area code to “schedule a delivery” or to notify you about a “sick” relative, the FTC said.

Pandemic Senior Citizen Scams

Since the rise of covid-19, there are a few types of fraud that have been circulating related to the coronavirus pandemic.

In one, a company claims under false pretenses that they have a products that is scientifically proven to treat or prevent COVID-19.

Since Covid is known to affect an older person more than a younger one, you can imagine how many older Americans jumped at the chance to get this treatment.

In an action regarding counterfeit websites, the FTC sued the unknown operators of numerous websites, which played on consumers COVID-19 pandemic fears to trick them into paying for Clorox and Lysol products that the defendants never delivered.

There have also been scams related to buying face masks or other supplies that turned out to be fake or counterfeit products.

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Scams On Siri Alexa And Google Home

The newest scam practice now involve the use of voice activated devices such as Siri, Alexa and .

This is how it works:

  • A user asks their device to search for a business to call them
  • The scammers have paid to promote fake business entries for that business
  • Alexa or Google Home or Siri then calls the fake phone number thinking its the valid one
  • The scammers then ask for remote access to your computer, direct you to a fake website, talk you into purchasing special promotional gift cards, etc.

Google and Amazon are working to stop this type of scam but of course, it all takes time.

These scammers use a wide range of deceptive techniques to try to game our system, Ethan Russell, product director for Google Maps acknowledged at the time. As we shut them down, they change their techniques, and the cycle

How To Avoid Being Scammed By A Voice Search

The simple solution is to avoid using these devices to make the phone call for you.

You can ask for the phone number, then type that phone number into your search engine and see if it matches the phone number for the business.

Or you can simply search for that business in your search engine and get the phone number that way.

If you use or anticipate to use this business often I would recommend to go ahead and put them in your list of contacts.

That way, the next time you want to call them you can ask your device to call them directly from your address book.

How To Sue For Robocalls Or Spam Texts

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There are some issues that cant be resolved in a court of law. But you can sue for unwanted phone calls. Taking legal action against telemarketers will usually involve retaining a lawyer who is experienced in filing TCPA lawsuits. Because the TCPA is a federal law, generally the lawsuits will be filed in federal court. Choosing the best lawyer for you is a very personal decision, and you should do your research.

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The Federal Trade Commission

The FTC has authority to enforce violations of the Do Not Call Registry. It also has authority to enforce federal laws regulating autodialed and prerecorded message calls, as well as interstate fraud perpetrated over the telephone. Accordingly, regardless of whether or not your telephone number is on the Do Not Call Registry, you should report unwanted or scam calls to the FTC as follows:

Federal Trade Commission

What If I Need Help With Something Unrelated To Senior Living

Some types of senior needs are unrelated to senior housing or senior care. For example, if you have questions about elder law, elder abuse, senior scams, or senior finances, please contact organizations that specialize in these types of senior services. To assist you, here is a list of phone numbers and web pages that are associated with senior helplines, but unrelated to senior living:

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