Be Aware of Scam Robocalls The HTC service area is currently experiencing increasing numbers of scam robocalls. These automated calls may appear to come from local phone numbers, but they are not local callers. These callers are illegally spoofing the originating number to appear as a local caller. These calls are an attempt to gather your personal information in order to run scams. Please read this page for information that can help you avoid these calls. What are robocalls? Robocalls are phone calls that use a computerized autodialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, as if from a robot. Using autodialers, anyone anywhere in the world can cheaply call thousands of households a day and often do so anonymously with little fear of being caught or stopped. Some robocalls may be permitted, such as medical appointment confirmation and school closing calls. Political and charitable calls are among others that also may be allowed, along with companies you have done business with under certain circumstances. However, many robocalls illegally disguise, or “spoof,” their Caller ID information or violate other rules. What is HTC doing to reduce robocalls? HTC is committed to utilizing the latest technology to battle call spoofing. In response to the increasing volume of robocalls, the FCC, the telecommunications industry, and consumer advocacy groups are designing and implementing a system to authenticate calls, called STIR/SHAKEN. The system applies security and digital certificate technologies to phone calls, similar to security methods used to secure Internet traffic. STIR/SHAKEN will give telecommunication providers new tools to verify if callers are sending false identification or are otherwise engaged in robocalling or fraud. In 2020, HTC will be implementing STIR/SHAKEN and a variety of robocall mitigation techniques, which will have the direct effect of reducing robocalls to your phone. To learn more about how STIR/SHAKEN works and how it will protect you, visit https://www.fcc.gov/call-authentication. Additional information from the Federal Government: What should consumers do if they get an illegal robocall? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that if you receive a robocall, simply hang up. Never respond to a robocall: The FTC warns consumers not to press any number to speak to a live operator or to unsubscribe from the list. It tells the robocaller that it’s reached a live number. Don’t give out personal information: If you receive an unsolicited call from any company, including one you do business with, tell them that you will not give them information until you verify the call is legitimate and then call the phone number you know or that you get from the company’s website. Ask your phone company to block the number. Your carrier may be able to block certain numbers, although robocallers frequently change and disguise their numbers. Use technology to block calls: Various companies offer products or services that help you control what calls ring on your phones. They range from mobile apps for wireless phones to devices you can plug into your home phone jacks in order to block robocalls to your wireless phone. Report unwanted calls: The FTC encourages consumers to report unwanted calls to www.donotcall.gov or 1-888-382-1222. Complaints may also be filed with the FCC online or 1-888-CALLFCC (1-888-225-5322). If you have made a payment or given information to a robocaller and suspect it may have been a scam, this Federal Trade Commission video explains how to file a complaint. For additional useful information: Visit the FCC Consumer Information site regarding Spoofing and Caller ID. Visit the USTelecom site for information and tools to help you block robocalls. Visit the FTC site for information about common phone scams.