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Robocalls on the rise: Here's why and tips to avoid them

In June, 4.1 billion robocalls were placed in the United States.
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - We're used to getting them but it's gotten worse in in recent months.

In June, 4.1 billion robocalls were placed in the United States.

What's going on here?

"There are more and  more telemarketers out there all over the world who use technology. Very easy to install a multiple calling system. Don't cost them anything," according to Dick Eppstein of the Toledo Better Business Bureau.

Those are the scammers from Nigeria, China and India offering you credit card member services, a warning the IRS is busting you or demanding money because your grandson is in trouble.

Sound familiar?

"The algorithms the crooks use duplicate the first six digits of your phone number so it looks like someone is calling you locally" said Eppstein.

If you do answer, never punch the number two after being promised you'll be taken off the robocall list.

"That sends them to a live number and they'll sell your number to everyone else."

Being put on a 'do not call' list won't work. That's for law abiding U.S. telemarketers.

One option is to download one of the hundreds of robocall-blocking apps on the market such as Hiya or Nomorobo.

Best advice of all?

"If you have an answering system and don't recognize the number from caller ID, let it go to the answering machine. Don't answer it" added Eppstein.

Robocalls won't disappear anytime soon but you can take steps to stop receiving them.