• Illegal robocalls tie up your phone, but there's a way to fight back

    By: Lorena Inclan, Action News Jax


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - They're aggravating, unwanted and they come at the worst times.

    “Early morning, you know I be tired, I do work late shift,” Darnell Jackson said.

    “They're horribly annoying and they're consistent,” Jane Bickel said.

    Robocalls offering "free" or "low cost" vacations, scammers also use them to scare you with bogus debt collection threats.

    PHOTOS: 3 arrested after 18-year-old overdosed on fentanyl

    The mastermind of the infamous IRS scam was arrested but not before he swindled people out of $300 million.

    Tom Stephens, president of the Northeast Florida BBB, said the calls aren't just a nuisance. In some cases, they're illegal.

    “Unless you've given permission to the company to put you on the call list, it's illegal,” Stephens said.

    The BBB recommends to simply hang up, don't ask to speak with someone or press any key to get on the "Do Not Call" list. If you do that, you're letting the scam artist know you have a working number and you'll get called again.

    The Federal Communications Commission said more than 2.4 billion robocalls are made every month, that's seven calls per person.

    “Will they ever be stopped? Unlikely. The technology makes it too easy and too cheap to make those calls,” Stephens said.

    But there is something you can do. Apps like Nomorobo and YouMail are anti-spam programs for your phone. If a suspicious number pops up, you get a scam alert.

    The more people who use the app, the more numbers that are added to the database.

    While apps like YouMail are free, others aren't. After a 30-day trial, most cost between $2 and $5 dollars a month.

    YouMail also provides its YouMail Robocall Index service, which shows the area codes getting the most robocalls, and which phone numbers are targeting your area code.

    Keep getting a call from one company or phone number? You can file a complaint with the government. If they're caught, you could end up with money in your pocket.

    LOCAL NEWS: Child badly hurt, father killed in Nassau County accident

    “If they build up a big enough threshold calls from the same series of numbers same family of numbers, so to speak, there's a good chance they'll go after those people,” Stephens said.

    Use technology to hang up on robocalls so the next time your phone rings, you'll  know who's on the other end.

    Follow the steps here to report the robocalls.

    Next Up: