Fairfax County gets the most phone call scams in America
Let’s Talk, a phone recommendation website, surveyed phone scams in the United States, using two metrics – the monthly number of robocalls per person and the monthly number of robocall complaints per person made to the Federal Trade Commission.
The report ranked Virginia among the top 10 states that scammers target. Under the guise of telemarketing and even brazen impersonation, these scammers swindle residents of their hard-earned money in several ways. When analysts made a county-by-county comparison, Fairfax County ranked the number one destination for phone call scams in the country. Residents receive an average of 15 scam phone calls per month, many of which are from robots.
To opt-out of legitimate telemarketing phone calls, residents need only add their phone numbers to the do not call registry. Generally, it takes approximately a month for verification, after which all sales calls will stop. However, the listing is ineffective against unwanted calls or scammers who ignore the registry and enlist robots to pester users.
To curtail this menace, residents can enable the block unknown caller feature on their phone or use robocall blocker apps like RoboKiller and Nomorobo. These apps filter calls from numbers labeled as spam so that users receive no notification of the call.
Besides blocking robocalls, use a reverse phone search to confirm the identity of an unknown caller. This service works by matching phone numbers with the personal and contact information attached to the number on mobile carrier databases in Virginia.
Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission are working to quell the nuisance of phone call scams. One of the measures introduced in 2019 was the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED). The Act empowers the Federal Communications Commission to fine robocalls up to $10,000 per call. Furthermore, it mandates large mobile carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile to deploy STIR/SHAKEN, a caller ID authentication technology that helps differentiate spoof calls from legit calls.
Six years of research shows that mobile phone scams are on the increase. Scammers have gotten more desperate, deliberate, and creative in planning and executing their attacks. However, mobile phone technology and government intervention have set an exhausting pace for scammers. Reverse phone search, the do not call registry, and Acts of Congress, are only the beginning of robust solutions to reduce and block nuisance calls in Virginia.