LAFAYETTE, LA — If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the Chinese Consulate, you're not alone. Several people in Louisiana were disrupted today by the phone calls. Around 11 A.M. Wednesday morning, every phone at KATC started ringing with the same Houston number. At the other end was a woman's voice who said, "this is the Chinese Consulate, there is an important document you have to pick up".
"You give them the information and then they send something to you, when you send something back and forth from them they pierce through your firewall, acknowledge it, then they have access to your computer and once they have access to your computer with your credentials then they have access to your network", says IT expert Chris Rader, CEO of Rader Solutions. He says once the scammers gain access to your network, they can steal and in some cases take control of your operation. The number of victims continues to grow everyday. Rader adds, "we're getting 200 million calls per day in the U.S. alone."
Ethan Garr is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Growth for the app Robokiller and they have a team devoted to fighting back against scammers. "For us at Robokiller, that's where we're always looking to stay on step ahead of the scammers", he states. Recognizing that robocallers are evolving exponentially, the developers behind Robokiller app are working to evolve even faster to combat fraud. "We use audio analysis with audio fingerprinting along with machine learning and user feedback to really understand how these scams are being reported and how we can fight back against them to make sure our answer bots are answering these calls and not humans", says Garr.
Robokiller and other useful call-screening apps can be found in the Apple and Google Play stores. Experts, however, say the simplest way to avoid getting scammed is to avoid answering calls you don't recognize.