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New pilot program helps block scam calls in Pima County

Posted at 11:53 PM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 03:39:06-04

Senior citizens are the second most vulnerable to scams next to millennials, according to the Better Business Bureau. 

To help Pima County senior citizens, there's a new pilot program that provides free call-blocking devices.

The Arizona Attorney General's office launched this new program to fight scam calls for county residents 60 years or older. 

According to a media release, interested applicants have to fill out an application and if approved, they will receive a device that plugs into their phone.

The device will recognize the scam call and block the number so the phone doesn't ring, according to the release. 

Susann Miller with the Better Business Bureau says for those who don't qualify for this program, there are apps to download to block unwanted callers. 



"There are applications that you can put on your phone so one is "Mr. Number" if you have a mobile phone," Miller said. "If it is a number that is a number that is tagged as a telemarketing call it doesn't even ring to your phone."

Miller says from a 2016 Risk Index Report based on the reported scam calls, the average loss was nearly $400.

She says the top scams were dealing with family or friends in an emergency, sweepstakes or lottery prizes and travel vacations. 

"We have had scammers with the emergency scam... I have seen up to $30,000 lost," she explained.

Miller says some advice to prevent a scammer from getting your money is to ask a lot of questions to confirm what the caller is claiming.

"We urge that if you get a call and someone is claiming to be a relative in need to be someone who is acting on behalf as the person who is in need ask questions and never offer up the name of the person who they are claiming to be."

Miller says to report a scam call, click here

To sign up for the program, click here