In a digital society, it is nearly impossible to avoid unwanted calls. It is rare for the average Minnesotan to be without a cell phone; therefore, the ringing or buzzing of a call from an unknown number is an inevitable occurrence. But who are these calls from? And why are they so frequent?

The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office explains that being on the Do Not Call Registry often has no power over these callers. While this may seem like a solution, the registry is simply not as effective as it once was. These robocallers are not legitimate businesses; they are scammers and criminals that are deliberately breaking consumer law—they do not respect the list.

Unfortunately, emerging technology is giving these criminals increasingly effective tools to evade detection.

How are these scammers using technology against consumers?

Often, these scammers use technology to mask their location. They use the internet to misrepresent where the call is coming from, making the number appear local. The number may even appear familiar to you. In fact, the call is likely coming from out-of-state or overseas. This techology not only conceals their location but also protects their identity, making it difficult to track them down and prosecute them for their abuse of consumer law.

What can you do to contribute to the apprehension of these robocallers?

If you wish, you can contact the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to report robocallers. You can also speak to the Federal Communications Commission about your concerns regarding caller ID spoofing.

If you have been the victim of a scam as the result of caller ID spoofing, there may be legal recourse you can take.