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New Nationwide Battle Against Robocalls Includes South Dakota

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Friday, August 5, 2022   

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

Along with attorneys general from 49 other states, South Dakota has signed on to the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force. It will investigate and take legal action against the telecommunication companies ignoring and profiting from illegal robocalls coming into the U.S.

Erik Gaikowski, state director for AARP South Dakota, applauded the move. He said despite safeguards added in recent years, more collaboration is needed to confront the never-ending emergence of scams often tied to such calls.

"It's staggering how many of these calls are happening and unfortunately, people are getting money stolen from them from these scam calls," Gaikowski noted. "You know, we're looking at close to $30 billion in 2021."

The figure represents losses reported in all states last year. And so far this year, nearly 49 million robocalls have been recorded in South Dakota, equaling roughly 64 calls per affected person.

Common scam calls target older adults related to Social Security, and Amazon-related scams against consumers.

Gaiksowski pointed to efforts by his group, other nonprofits and policymakers to get a handle on the situation, including a recent law change in South Dakota, which modified rules for telemarketers.

As technology keeps evolving, he cautioned bad actors will find loopholes, which should prompt heightened awareness among consumers.

"It's extremely frustrating, and it's not just AARP members," Gaiksowski emphasized. "It's Millennials, Gen Z, everybody is impacted by it."

He added while tools like the federal Do Not Call Registry might not catch everything, they are still helpful. He said more tips are online on AARP's Fraud Watch Network. It provides up-to-date information on the latest tactics used by scammers and offers guidance on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

Disclosure: AARP South Dakota contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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