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'Don't answer': Iowa AG's office says ignore numbers you don't know if possible to fight robocalls

By ignoring the call, the automated system used to spam callers won't register your number as active.

DES MOINES, Iowa — More than 100 million robocalls were placed on phones in Iowa just this year according to robocall tracker YouMail, and it's safe to say all of us are getting pretty fed up. 

"Unfortunately, bogus nonprofits and warranty operations are the top offenders," said Lynn Hicks with the Iowa Attorney General's Office. "The only penalty for violating this section is a serious misdemeanor, which can only be pursued in criminal court by a county attorney."

Federally, in 2019, Congress approved the TRACED Act, which aims to slow down the inundation of illegal robocalls.

Work to implement that law is ongoing.

Many calls originate overseas, so it makes regulating them tough. 

Technology plays an important role in stopping those calls.

RELATED: Robocalls don't stop if you're on the 'Do Not Call' list

"I'm getting more and more calls that come up scam likely," Hicks said. "I'm hopeful that we're seeing more technology that is signaling those calls if not blocking those calls."

If possible, Hicks suggested not answering calls if you don't know the number. That way the autodialer doesn't register your number as active.

"If you can, don't answer," Hicks said.

You can find other helpful tips from the Iowa AG by clicking or tapping here. 

RELATED: Robocalls in Iowa soar after brief COVID dip

Watch: Dangerous twist on 'grandparent scam' costs Iowans half a million in a matter of months

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