The Federal Communications Commission has made combatting unlawful robocalls and malicious caller ID spoofing one of its top priorities in 2022. In September of this year, there were more than 4.2 billion robocalls which accounts for more than 1,600 calls per second, and scammers are always trying to stay one step ahead.

This International Fraud Awareness Week, Nov. 13-19, UScellular is arming consumers with tools and tips to protect themselves against spam callers:

• “Local” mislead: You might not be able to tell if a call is spam right away. Caller ID that shows a “local” number doesn’t always mean it’s a local caller.

• No questions: When receiving a call from an unrecognized number, do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with a “yes.” Not only does it let scammers know that your line is an active line, but they could also potentially use your responses to authorize fraudulent charges over the phone.

• No buttons: If the caller (often a recording) demands pressing a button, just hang up. This can also alert scammers that the line is active which may lead to more robocalls.

• Report it: Users can report a call as spam via the http://www.reportarobocall.com portal as well as the FCC Consumer Complaint Center.

• When in doubt, hang up: If the caller claims to be from a legitimate company or organization, hang up and call them back using a valid number found on their website or by using a past bill.

• Explore call-blocking tools with your phone service provider: Consumers can call their phone company to learn about what call-blocking tools are available. At UScellular customers have access to solutions including:

-Automatic Call Network Blocking and Identification

-Automatically blocks the highest risk calls*

-Identifies other high-risk calls by displaying “Potential Fraud” or “Potential Spam” in the Caller ID

o Free Call Guardian App

-Displays “Potential Spam” on caller ID, based on known offenders

-Displays “Spam Caller” on caller ID based on a consumer’s personal spam list

o Call Guardian Premium App

-Provided for free to most customers on unlimited plans

-Allows users to determine which calls to block based on risk level

-Allows for personal block and spam list

o The free SpamResponse app gives users the ability to easily report spam text messages that are then investigated, leading to a safer messaging experience for all consumers.

*Customers who prefer to opt-out of UScellular’s call-blocking service can call 1-888-944-9400 or visit their local store.

UScellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to help customers stay connected to the things that matter most. The Chicago-based carrier provides a strong, reliable network supported by the latest technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. Through its After School Access Project, the company has pledged to provide hotspots and service to help up to 50,000 youth connect to reliable internet. Additionally, UScellular has price protected all of its plans, promising not to increase prices through at least the end of 2023. To learn more about UScellular, visit one of its retail stores or http://www.uscellular.com. To get the latest news, visit newsroom.uscellular.com.