SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) — It’s a familiar call that is very annoying. Robo and scam calls that come straight to your cell phone. Central Illinois is seeing several of these circulate and now there's an FTC recommended a way to fight back.
These spamming and Robocalls can be dangerous.
Americans lose billions of dollars a year to these types of calls. Now there's a new app, that not only blocks these calls but goes a step further.
“Annoying, very annoying,” said one cell phone user Diana Ovington.
Robo-calls and scammers invade private space, every minute of every day.
"They’re a pain,” said another cell phone user Jim Duffy.
Now there's an app that’s recommended by the Federal Trade Commission called Robo Killer.
According to its website, it captures the scammer's voices, analyzes them, fingerprints them, and then blocks them for other users.
"I think it would be good,” said Ovington. “Scam calls, I get more than I ever did, and anything from consolidating credit cards to pain medicine to like I said the IRS."
But that's not all. It can also string a caller along, serving sweet revenge to many. It uses its own robot voices to reply to the calls. It serves as a way to divert the callers from calling others and irritates the callers.
“Well they do it to you,” said Larry Sturm a local cell phone user. “You try to get them to hang up they may call back so something to maybe return the favor to them."
Robocalls are the number one complaint to the FCC and in 2016, according to the FTC, people lost $9.5 billion to these calls nationwide. Recently, there were reports of a grandmother in Texas who committed suicide after getting scammed.
"It's disheartening,” said Lieutenant Robert Steil of the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office. “Because a lot of times people try to take advantage of the elderly and their good-hearted nature."
Lt. Steil said he’s hopeful for up and coming apps that can fight back.
"Well it's technology,” he said. “Everyone has cell phones now they're getting away from the landlines and I think the technology for that app would be good I would encourage people to get it it's just sad because every time your phone rings you don't know if it's your friend calling or a robot."
The app is free to start out and then costs $2.99 a month. The app is growing in popularity and the hope is to steer clear from the Robocalls and the money scams.
If you have been a victim of phone or cyber scams, contact your local law enforcement agencies or send a formal complaint to FTC online.
Information on Scams and Safety: