Consumer Smart: New Rules on Robo-Calls; Tax Phishing Scams - South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Consumer Smart: New Rules on Robo-Calls; Tax Phishing Scams

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CORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) - Alan Bligh with the BBB joins John Thomas on 3 News First Edition to talk about new rules concerning robo-calling.

Got your cell phones and your landline phones on the nation's Do Not Call list, but you are still getting those aggravating automated robo-calls? Good news. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now clamped down on robo-calling. The new rules include:

  • Requiring telemarketers to obtain prior written consent before placing robo-calls to consumers.
  • Eliminating the exemption for companies that have an "established business relationship" with consumers.
  • Requiring telemarketers to provide an automated, interactive opt-out mechanism during each robo call so consumers can immediately tell the telemarketer to stop calling.
  • Limiting the number of so-called dead-air calls in which consumers answer phones and hear nothing.

The changes do not affect current requirements about informational calls (reminder calls from your doctor, etc.) or calls involving charities or political speech.

Scam of the Week

Tax phishing scams are currently in high gear. Here is a sample.

People receiving any communications from supposedly the IRS should be especially careful. These Phishing scams have been with us for some time but they evidently keep working for the criminals.

Whether you receive an e-mail from your  bank, a credit card company, Netflex, Amazon, etc, there is one way to check if it is for real. Hold your computer mouse over the blue, highlighted link that the sender wants you to use. When you do this, the REAL URL address will be displayed.

For example the highlighted link may say, but when you hold the mouse over the item it will say something completely different.

Scam Example:

Good day,

Here is a notice, that you need to pay a penalty due to your failure to file income tax return(S) prior to January 31, 2012.

Please pay attention, that IRS [Section 6038(b)(1)] determines a money penalty to the amount of $10,000 for each [Form 5471] that is submitted on the expiry of the due date stipulated for filing the income tax return, or does not include the exhaustive information determined in [Section 6038(a)].

No penalty will be due on the stipulation that the company shows that the failure to meet the deadline for filing was due to reasonable cause.

Please use the link below to enter our official site and obtain more information.

Sincerely yours,
Internal Revenue Service United States
Department of the Treasury