Robocallers make 14.9 million calls in the 815 area code in January

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We all get them, numerous calls from numbers we don’t recognize. It’s a nationwide issue as billions of robocalls are received every year.

As spam calls take over phone lines to a staggering degree, the Citizens Utility Board release a guide to help Illinoisans reduce the annoying calls.

“Illinois is ranked #6 in the nation,” said Citizens Utility Board spokesperson Jim Chilsen. “[Residents] received about 1.8 billion robocalls last year.”

Nationwide, in the month of January in 2018 there were about 2.8 billion calls. In 2019, it nearly doubled with 5.2 billion across the country.

“We’re going to see this as a problem ongoing,” said Better Business Bureau Rockford office director Dennis Horton. “Seems to be because of technology.”

In the Stateline, the nuisance calls are just as big of a problem.

“The robocalls for the 815 area code, just this past January, were 14.9 million calls,” said Horton.

Horton says the days of only avoiding 1-800 numbers are over, thanks to ‘neighbor spoofing’.

“You’ll see the area code and the first free digits of the phone number that will actually match yours.”

Experts suggest blocking a number you expect is a robocaller. That can be done by screening unknown numbers through voicemail, adding it’s also important not to engage with callers.

“Don’t try to talk, don’t hit any buttons,” said Chilsen. “That could just spark more calls because now, the robocaller knows that there’s a live person at that number.”

If that doesn’t help, there are technology options.

“Download an app,” shared Horton. “There are many that are free that will do the blocking for you. You can also contact your phone provider and have them provide you with a blocking mechanism.”

For the Citizens Utility Board’s guide, click here.

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