TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)–Annoying and distracting, robocalls have become an irritating part of life in this digital age.
Tampa residents living in the 813 area code receive an average of 15 robocalls per month, compared with the national average of 5, according to YouMail National Robocall Index CEO Alex Quilici.
In the first 6 months of 2016 alone, Quilici estimates America’s phone users were hit with a total of more than 14 billion robocalls.
These automated calls aren’t just annoying, but can be downright dangerous for your personal information and data.
“My father got scammed by people who said they were calling from Microsoft and they discovered a virus on his computer and they needed some information to help get rid of it,” said Quilici, who tells News Channel 8 his father lost money before discovering it was a scam.
So, what can you do to protect your phone and your sanity?
“Don’t answer your phone if it’s a number you don’t know. Let them leave a voicemail and you can get a better sense of who it might actually be,” said Quilici.
The Community Robocall Directory tracks the specific numbers of repeat robocall offenders. By logging on, folks can identify and report specific robocallers.
You can click here to log on.
You can also file a complaint regarding robocalls directly with the FCC here.
Robocalls remain one of the top complaints received by the FCC, according to the commission’s chairman, Tom Wheeler.