More scams and robocalls being reported due to government shutdown

Government shutdown may be to blame for more scams and robocalls

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - As lawmakers continue negotiations during the nation’s longest government shutdown, more Louisianans are getting more scam and robocalls on their phones.

The FTC and FCC, two agencies that help prevent unwanted phone calls, are shut down while Congress debates funding for the president’s proposed border wall. The complaint portal for each website is also down, including the federal government’s “do not call list" application.

That means scammers can make unsolicited phone calls during the shutdown and consumers cannot report them or block them using the federal government’s best resources.

“Even when the government opens up, it’s not going to stop the robocalls,” said Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Carmen Million. “It may slow them down, but it’s very hard to eliminate them. The only way to stop it is to not get involved.”

Million suggests allowing unknown phone numbers to go to an answering machine instead of using Caller ID to screen them. If the caller does not leave a message, do not call back. If the message is questionable, Million recommends investigating using the BBB’s website. Consumers can also notify the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.

“These scams work because they’re usually based on fear,” Million said. “The consumers usually think they’re legitimate, like a government agency.”

The federal government does not handle tax issues or loans over the phone unless you call them.

You can also report potential fraud to the BBB here.

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