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"It's Like A Scammers Paradise': Robocalls Bother Everyone, But There's A Way To Stop Them

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Robocalls are bombarding people now more than ever.

They even targeted CBS 2's Marie Saavedra. So, she decided to do some digging and learned 'tis the season for those annoying rings and what you can do to try to stop them.

If it seems like you've had more of these spam calls in the last few weeks, you're not imagining it. Researchers said they often jump up during the holidays because we're out shopping. And scammers love to pretend to be the companies we're often ordering from the most.

Steve Bowler works in technology. But we met to talk about a downside of our digital world. Incessant calls from scammers flooded his Chicagoland home office. He was desperate for a solution to stop them, and made his own.

"Every time I got a call, I started adding them to a contact and I blocked that contact," Bowler said. "Well now I have like four contacts with well over 100 phone numbers each.

Data Company BeenVerified said these calls can ramp up during the holidays. Its research found "business imposter scams have been the biggest threat this year."  And what companies are most scammers pretending to be? The Federal Trade Commission said it's Amazon by a longshot, followed by Apple.

"It's like a scammers paradise out there. That there's no punishment out there to break all the laws and do whatever they want," Bowler said.

But there's a new tactic to try and stop this, coming out of Indiana.

"We are sick and tired and I mean all of us, not just Hoosiers but people across the country including our neighbors in Illinois about getting these harassing unwanted calls in the middle of our lives."

Back in October, CBS 2 told you about Attorney General Todd Rokita's suit against a telecom company claiming to be run out of a trailer home in Indiana. It alleges they funneled millions of fake calls from overseas.

"This is like one of the first of its kind lawsuits in the nation, and you're going to see more of them," said Rokita said.

Bowler supports it and anything else that leads to consequences for those behind the robots on the other end of the line.

"You just need to set a few examples to make it terrifying for everyone out there to keep doing what they're doing," Bowler said.

Here's another tip Bowler used to cut down on calls these days. No matter your cell phone carrier, if it's iPhone or Android, check out either Phone or Do Not Disturb under your settings.

There should be an option where you can only allow calls from your known contacts. Often it'll send unknown numbers to your voicemail and you can deal with them later. Or not at all.

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