Next Monday is tax day, and here in Southwest Michigan we are at particular risk of falling victim to a robo-call as a result.

The website AllAreaCodes.com reviewed the data of complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission about telemarketers violating do-not-call rules, and it shows that average complaints by week increase starting in March, and reach a peak the week of April 15 to the 21st before starting to drop off. Interestingly, despite all sources indicating that scam calls are increasing, the amount of complaints about them dropped from 2017 to 2018 - something which the website notes might indicate a drop in confidence in the government's ability to solve the problem. 

In Southwest Michigan how likely you are to be targeted varies from county to county; in Calhoun County, the FTC saw 1,278 complaints per 100,000 people, while Kalamazoo County has slightly less, and Van Buren County has the highest rate in the state at 2,683 per 100,000. A breakdown of the Southwest Michigan data is below: 

Complaints to FTC per 100,000

  • Allegan County: 1,188
  • Barry County: 865
  • Berrien County: 1,346
  • Branch County: 570
  • Calhoun County: 1,278
  • Cass County: 474
  • Kalamazoo County: 1,274
  • St. Joseph County: 959
  • Van Buren County: 2,683

Nationally, Michigan was the 11th highest state for reports of robocalls.

The best way to protect yourself from these calls is to use call screening services or to report the call to the FTC; the Federal Communications Commission is working as well to make it more difficult for scammers to spoof phone numbers, pretending to be someone else.