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Maryland Joins New Nationwide Battle Against Robocalls

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Thursday, August 4, 2022   

Maryland is joining a nationwide effort to crack down on illegal robocalls.

Along with attorneys general from every other state, Maryland's Brian Frosh is joining the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force. It will investigate and take legal action against the telecommunication companies turning a blind eye and profiting from illegal robocalls coming into the U.S.

Jen Holtz, associate state director for outreach for AARP Maryland, said it is a great step forward in its partnership with the Attorney General's office to prevent the financial exploitation of older adults.

"In working with Attorney General Frosh in some of these activities that we've sponsored with him, the issue of robocalls comes up multiple times, every single time," Holtz pointed out. "We know it's top of mind for the public."

Common scam calls are against older adults related to Social Security and Amazon scams against consumers. Americans lost nearly $30 billion through fraudulent calls in 2021, according to the National Consumer Law Center. And last month alone, roughly 71 million robocalls were placed in Maryland, which averages more than eight calls per person.

Holtz encouraged consumers to take precautions to avoid becoming the victim of a scam call by hanging up on illegal robocalls, verifying the caller if they claim to be from an agency or organization, and exploring free and low-cost call-blocking options. And she emphasized it is important to stay vigilant.

"They're criminals, they're not following the rules, they're not abiding by the law," Holtz stressed. "They don't care whether you're on that list. So if you're on those Do Not Call Lists, and you're getting that call anyway, it's probably not a legitimate call."

She added education is the best form of prevention, and AARP's fraudwatchnetwork.org provides up-to-date information on the latest tactics used by scammers and offers tips to avoid becoming the victim of fraud.

Disclosure: AARP Maryland contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Energy Policy, Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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