I don't know about you, but I recently checked-in to make sure I was still on the Do Not Call List. And yet I still get a call or two every week or so from a Detroit number.

Financial scam
ThinkStock; TimArbaev

Leave a message? No, they didn't. We get robo-calls here, at work, too. Now for me, these are just annoyances. But folks to fall for these pitched and get robbed, scammed, whatever you want to call it. Almost nine out of ten Americans (89%) receive unwanted calls each month according to a recent survey which has also revealed the top 5 types of scam people have fallen victim to.

The YouGov survey, commissioned by call blocking company CPR Call Blocker, also showed that 11% of US adults have been a victim of a telephone scam. Of those who have been scammed, 20% said they had lost between $500 and $10,000 as a result.

The survey revealed that from a list, victims have been scammed most by:

  • IRS scams (33%)
  • Credit/Loan scams (31%)
  • Lottery/Sweepstake scams (27%)
  • Banking scams (22%)
  • Automated message scams (16%)

While not all unwanted phone calls are scams, the statistics show that many US consumers are regularly getting unrequested calls from people and organizations for commercial purposes. From long distance call providers through to Robocalls, consumers are continually being targeted over the phone with 14% of people receiving over 30 unwanted calls each month.

The study also suggests that organizations making these unwanted calls are avoiding consumers’ requests to be removed from call lists as 60% claim to receive repeated calls from the same organization despite telling them to stop calling.

Some common sense things NOT to do: Do NOT ever give your social security number over the phone to anyone you don't know. Do NOT ever give a credit card number over the phone. Do NOT ever give any bank account information of any kind to someone you don't know. Also, if it's too good to be true, it is.

More on what to do about IRS tax scans from Turbo Tax.

If you get a phone call by someone claiming to be from the IRS:
  • Don't talk to the caller or give out any information.
  • Hang up immediately.
  • Report the call to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, either online at IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting or by phone at 800-366-4484.

And this directly from the IRS:

It is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS:

  • Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
  • Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
  • Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.


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