It's the number one question viewers ask On Your Side.
How do I stop scam calls?
Whether it's bogus calls from Social Security, the IRS or Publishers Clearing House --- none are worth your time or money. Government agencies do not make cold calls. PCH and other lotteries do not call winners.
Crooks use Caller ID spoofing. They can make whatever number they want appear on your screen. They like to use the 417 area code because it looks familiar to you. Lately, scammers make your caller ID show your number. It looks like you're calling yourself. They're banking you'll be curious and answer.
When you get a scam call, file a complaint with the Attorney General and Better Business Bureau.
Three ways to dodge scam calls.
1. Don't answer unknown numbers.
When you answer an unknown number, crooks know you have a working number and they'll keep calling.
2. Join both No Call Lists.
There are two. Federal and State. These lists don't block all these annoying calls, but it's better to be on the list than not.
Federal Do Not Call:
Missouri Do Not Call:
866-No Call 1 (866-662-2551)
3. Try an app.
Consumer Reports says try: Nomorobo, Hiya, Mr. Number, RoboKiller, and YouMail. For a landline, try a call blocker, it's a small device you put next to your phone. Those can cost anywhere from 20 to 100 dollars, but it might be worth your peace of mind.