RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond is getting blasted by robocalls with more than 22 million calls in the last two months, according to data from the app RoboKiller. The 804 area code is one of the worst for robocalls in all of America.
The average American receives 19 spam calls per month. Central Virginia residents are getting at least 57 on average. That’s at least two spam calls a day for every person in the area.
The calls go something like this:
- “We are calling you from investigation team of IRS.”
- “Hello this is Rachel from Cardholder services calling in reference to your credit card account.”
- “We encountered a serious issue coming out of your computer.”
They never end.
- “Your wellness package is ready to be shipped.”
- “We have a special promotion in your area.”
All of them are robo calls or automated calls with a recorded message. These are calls you don’t want or ask for.
“These people are stealing our phones. I mean your phone is so personal you probably spend more time with it than your spouse,” said Ethan Garr, the vice president of product and marketing for RoboKiller, an app that fights back.
“RoboKiller is an app that blocks all those annoying unwanted calls from reaching your phone," said Garr.
The app actually answers those calls with a robot of its own.
Here’s an example of how it works:
- Telemarketer: “Enterprise provided us with your phone number from your rental agreement on august”
- RoboKiller: “Is this call being recorded? You just made a big mistake!”
The app talks back to the scammer and knows how to press one and get to a human, which wastes the telemarketer’s time.
“They’re wasting spammers time. It’s helping get back at them and reach into their pockets so they’re not reaching into yours and stealing your money or identity,” said Garr.
They’re also hilarious.
For example, this one pretends to be at a crime scene:
- RoboKiller: “You’ve actually called a murder scene. The individual you were calling is no longer with us. What was the nature of the business you had with the individual?”
- Telemarketer: “That’s none of your business!”
Some RoboKiller calls even pretend to be the president:
- RoboKiller in the voice of Donald Trump: “Listen, listen, listen I don’t need to be swayed with this information. I do what I want.”
Richmond is getting double the national average of these calls, “probably around 50 plus calls per month, which means almost every day your average person in Richmond is getting two calls a day minimum,” said Garr.
Garr recently testified to Congress that everyone is looking for a solution.
U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Oregon) told Garr during the hearing: “By the way I just downloaded your app. I may move down the table here but I’m going to be in the get even mode here real soon."
“We’re the get-even guys,” responded Garr.
RoboKiller has a seven-day free trial to test out. Otherwise, it’s $3.99 a month or you can pay for a yearly subscription.
You can find it the Google Play or Apple Store. There are also lots of free options out there to help you keep the spammers from reaching you.