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Wilton Manors Police Department

Wilton Manors PD


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Message From The Chief
Chief
Robocalls - You Can Fight Back

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, written by Jennifer Waters, she discussed Robocalls, the negative impact these calls can have on us and how best to avoid these intrusions into our lives.  Here are some highlights in that article.

What is a “robocall”?  It is what you hear when you answer the telephone from an autodialer with a taped message, sounding much like a robot.  Millions of calls are made instantaneously and could be targeted directly at you (based on your demographic) or could be totally at-random dialing that stumbles upon your number (also known as “phishing”).  Calls like these coming from a charity or a politician are legal (1st Amendment protection); but these types of calls pitching some type of a product for sale may not be legal.

Robocalls are big business!  The US Department of Justice estimates that Americans get bilked out of their hard earned money to the tune of $40 Billion annually as a result of this illegal activity.  So, you can see the profit motive is overwhelming.  Add to that the fact that there is very little fear of prosecution because of the difficulty putting together a strong enough criminal case.  Those two things taken together add up to criminals doing whatever it takes to separate you from your money and doing so with impunity.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is logging 140,000 to 200,000 robocall complaints each month and does take action in the civil courts; but that is like swimming against the tide. 

Robo CallsThe best defense is Self Defense!  Here are some ideas:

If you get a robocall that directs you to press a number, here is an example of what may happen:  Press #1 now to speak with a sales representative or Press #2 now if you are not interested in the product & wish to be placed on the “Do not call list.”  Either way, it goes to the same spot because pressing any number triggers the system that there is a “live” person on the other end of the robocall. 
  • Be ahead of the curve; do not answer calls from an unknown number.
  • The second best action to take is to hang-up immediately when you recognize the call as a “robocall”.
  • File a complaint with the FTC at www.donotcall.gov
  • If you do answer the call and end up speaking with a “live” person NEVER give personal information.

Coming on the market by the end of the year is a new service called, Nomorobo.com.  By signing up for this service (FREE) robocalls that come into your phone will be directed to the software “smart service” which analyzes the frequency and blocks calls on a “black list” of known offender numbers.  It will not be foolproof but it will be another layer of protection.  Again, the best defense is self defense!  With the coming holiday season, self protection is paramount.

As always, the Wilton Manors Police Department is at your service day or night, 24/7.  Feel free to visit us in person at City Hall, 2020 Wilton Drive or our website at www.wmpd.org.

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954 828-5700    Option 4

Information/Administration
954 390-2150
954 390-2189 Fax

Chief of Police
Paul O'Connell
954 390-2162
poconnell@wmpd.org

Commander of Operations
Gary Blocker
954 390-2185
gblocker@wmpd.org

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