BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — If you haven't gotten a call or text recently from an unknown number, you're either in the minority or one is on the way. Scam and spam calls we all have to live with these days, which is not only annoying, but can end up costing you big time.
A newly published study on spam and scam calls in the US has revealed one in five Americans knows someone who has had their identity stolen by a scammer. Just as many people know someone who's lost money, the average amount they lost is $3,858.
One of the biggest concerns is with older relatives and the chance they fall victim to a scam. Experts say there are things you can do to prepare them.
"Practice with your loved ones, role play. If you get a call about this, what're you going to say? And you can right up a refusal script for them. Put it by the phone," said Amy Goyer, AARP Family and Care Giving Expert.
She says to put all important numbers in your relatives contacts, not just family and friends, but doctors and other relevant calls so they know when to pick up and when to decline a call.
"If you get a phone call, what you can always say is I don't do business over the phone, if you're interested in doing business with me, send it to me through the mail," said Goyer.
You can also download apps to your phone to filter out these calls, 25% of Americans say they use them and 27% of those users say it helped reduce the number of calls.
The study found the state you live in impacts the average amount of calls you receive. New York residents get 17 a week, which is about a call a day less, than the national average.