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More robocalls expected during holiday season

Posted at 3:41 PM, Dec 13, 2016

This holiday season you may be getting a few gifts you didn't ask for: robocalls. New findings show there have been twice as many calls this year compared with last, and many of them are scams.

Analysts say this has been the worst year on record when it comes to robocalls, and the rise in fraudulent calls is higher than others. During the holidays, experts say you have to be extra careful.

According to analysis by Hiya, a company that tries to protect you against robocalls, scammers have flooded phones with 113 percent more holiday related phone calls than they did at this time last year.

The worst part, chances are that robocall is a scam. Researchers found most robocalls were gift card scams, holiday cruise scams, and charity scams, where callers pose as police unions, breast cancer survivor charities and firefighters.

Krista Ferndelli works with the Better Business Bureau and says although the charities may be fake, giving to them can have real consequences.

"You can end up giving your personal information to somebody unscrupulous that may do something damaging to your personal finances or your identity," Ferndelli says.

Ferndelli says even though the callers may be pressuring you to give right now, if you feel something's off hang up, look at the organization's website, and call them yourself.

"Be very alert about those numbers that you don't know," Ferndelli advises. "Or when you answer if you hear any strange clicking or you have to push a number to speak to a real person that's a red flag."

If you're really having a problem with robocalls, there are apps you can download that block calls after one ring, and prevent them from calling your phone again.

You can also reduce the number of unwanted calls you get by signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry here. It's free to do, but the Federal Trade Commission says some illegitimate companies may ignore the registry and still call.