A new survey finds 89% of people in South Carolina get between 5 and 30 nuisance phone calls per week, and a lot of those are scams.
That YouGov survey also found a fifth of South Carolina adults admit they’ve been the victim of a phone scam.
“The calls just came flooding in,” says Bonnie Werlinich in Spartanburg.
She showed us her system from the last five months, where she Googles the number for every unknown caller and creates a contact name.
“Vehicle warranty, Aims, Iowa, auto loan, credit card, Greenville, Minneapolis, phishing, so that’s my system and I don’t answer it. But it just makes it easier when I see it that I can just turn it off when it calls back,” she says.
A smart move, but you don’t have to do all that legwork.
There are a lot of apps that will block calls for you like True Caller and Nomorobo. This article has a brief synopsis of what the top apps have to offer.
The survey, commissioned by CPR Call Blocker, also pinpointed the top five in South Carolina.
Number one is the bogus IRS call, which keeps adapting to fool more people.
“So now this one has morphed into, oh we sent you a letter and it was returned deliverable so now we’re contacting you via telephone. So the scam has evolved,” says Kevin Hodges, an IT expert with USC Upstate.
The second most common scam is credit and loan scams, according to the survey.
Recent complaints into the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tell a similar story. In both Carolina continuous attempts to collect debt where no money is owed is the number one reported problem.
Rounding out the top five:
3. robocalls and automated message scams
4. lottery and sweepstakes scams
5. missed call scam (where the number you dial back costs you money).
In most of the calls, the scammer wants personal information or your money.
“The best way to stay safe on your phone is just not answer,” Werlinich says.