Scam Call Basics

Why doesn't the Do Not Call Registry eliminate scam calls?

 

The Do Not Call Registry was created for the purpose of stopping unwanted calls from legitimate telemarketing companies. In that endeavor, the registry experiences a high success rate, but it doesn’t stop all unwanted calls including scam calls.

 

The difference is simple. Scam calls are made by criminals, not legitimate telemarketing companies bound by Federal Trade Commission rules. Scammers place calls with the purpose of tricking you into giving them money or providing personal information they can use or sell for financial gain. These criminals are skilled in deception and often use technology to mask their location and identity, making it very difficult for law enforcement and government agencies to find them and enforce the rules relating to telecommunications services.

 

For additional information on the role of the registry, visit the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission’s Do Not Call webpage.

 

How is technology used in scam calls?

 

Unfortunately, advances in technology have made it cheaper and easier than ever to make scam calls from anywhere in the world. Technology has also made scam calls a more widespread issue and more difficult problem to solve.

 

Robocalls, spoofing and phishing are all possible through technology. These advancements allow criminals to hide their information and identity from both those they are attempting to scam and any law enforcement agencies looking for them. Tech also allows scammers to identify targets, make scams more believable and increase their likelihood of successfully scamming consumers out of money or valuable information.

 

For more information on specific technologies used by scammers, follow the links below.

 

What are robocalls?

 

What is spoofing?

 

What is phishing?

 

What should I do if I fall victim to a phone scam?

 

Step 1: Stop all contact with the scammer.

 

When you suspect you're being scammed, stop the conversation immediately.

 

Step 2: Contact the bank or service you sent the money through.

 

Contact your bank immediately and see if they have a policy in place to deal with fraud. If you sent money through another bank or transfer service like PayPal, contact that service as well.

 

Step 3: Report the scam.

 

First, file a report with your local police department. South Dakota residents can contact the consumer protection office within the South Dakota Office of the Attorney General.

 

South Dakota Office of the Attorney General

Phone: 605-773-4400

Toll-Free: 1-800-300-1986

 

You can also report certain types of scams and frauds to federal enforcement agencies. While federal agencies usually can’t act on your behalf, they can often use complaints to record patterns of abuse.

 

           Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud,
           including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, a complaint about government imposter scams (excluding
           those related to the IRS) and more.

           To report someone pretending to be from the IRS, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)
           or by calling 1-800-366-4484.

           Contact your regional office of the Census Bureau about scammers who pretend to collect your personal information for
           the government.

           Submit a complaint to the PUC or the Federal Communications Commission about mysterious
           charges on your phone bill (cramming), an illegal switch of your service (slamming), or other unwanted calls including
           telemarketing.