Federal government shutdown may increase robocalls

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The federal government shutdown is making it harder to dodge robocalls, and the calls themselves are changing to suit the times.

You've heard the calls.

One says in part, "Your vehicle reaches certain mileage again press one to be connected to a warranty specialist "

RELATED: Here's how to protect yourself from robocall scams

Another says, "We work with motivated buyers looking for properties in your area."

Alameda small business owner, Noel Rabinowitz, told me he doesn't need the interruptions.

I can't afford to miss an important call so I pick it up and it's like, most often a fake credit thing," he said.

Rabinowitz also gets threatening fake IRS calls, rip off lenders offering deals and things could get worse.

RELATED: What is a government shutdown? 5 things to know

Alex Quilici heads up Youmail.com, a visual voicemail service that offers call blocking.

"The robocalls problem with the government shutdown is like a street without a cop on the beat," said Quilici.

He says there hasn't been a jump in tobo calls yet, but there has been a change in the calls being placed.

RELATED: How to prevent annoying robocalls

According to Quilici, "The real problem that we are seeing is robo-callers mentioning the government shutdown in their scam."

Mentioning the IRS and student loans.

If that weren't bad enough, Consumer Action's Joe Ridout says the shutdown is making it harder to dodge the calls.

"Today if you go to the donotcall.gov and try to register on the Do Not Call Registry they are not accepting anyone."

RELATED: Government shutdown: What's closed, what's open

Ridout says, "You can't even automatically add yourself to the website. They have shut down the do not call list for the moment."

If you aren't on the Do Not Call List you should be, but as you saw you won't be able to sign up until the shutdown is over. Five billion robocalls are made in America each month, so verify everything you are told on the phone.

Take a look at more stories by Michael Finney and the 7 On Your Side team.

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