Phone calls from 718-732-1022 are terrorizing Boise residents into thinking there is a huge residential burglary problem.
The call starts with a recorded introduction claiming the FBI says “your area” is experiencing a high volume of crime. BBB has already received several complaints about the solicitations from elderly individuals. Calls to the number ended with a busy signal. Comments made online indicate the number belongs to a telephone-marketing firm in New York.
Betty Chatham, of Boise, called BBB and says, “It was beyond coincidental because Marie interrupted our conversation about this call I had received from the FBI, to answer a phone call.”
When the two reconnected after the interruption, Betty was surprised to hear that her friend Marie had answered the same exact telemarketing call.
“They said if I let them put a sign in my yard, they’d install a home security system in the house,” she says. “I simply hung up on them.”
BBB CEO Dale Dixon tells residents if you don’t recognize the phone number, don’t answer. Caller ID allows more security than in the past.
“If you can’t identify the caller, let your answering machine pick it up,” he says.
Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson’s Feb. 28 report states crime overall in the state capital declined during the past year, and continues to follow a downward trend in the overall crime rate.
The report, Boise City Police Statistical Comparison, indicates a drop in burglary (down 4.4 percent) and theft (down 3.8 percent). Total burglary numbers fell from a high mark of 1,041 in 2008 to 818 in 2011. Of those numbers, 610 were residential burglaries, which were down 7.3% from 2010. (Residential burglaries were highest in 2008 when 786 burglaries were reported. Murder was down (with the only incident reported in 2011) but robbery remained steady (60 reports). There were 6 in 2009.
Telemarketers are required to search the Do Not Call Registry at least once every 31 days and drop from their call lists the phone numbers of consumers who have registered. A telephone solicitation is a telephone call that acts as an advertisement. The term does not include calls or messages placed with your express prior permission, by or on behalf of a tax-exempt non-profit organization, or from a person or organization with which you have an established business relationship (EBR). The registry number is 888-382-1222.
Here are helpful tips:
• Protect phone numbers. Avoid posting numbers online or sharing in surveys, forms and applications, unless it is with a trusted organization.
• If concerned, consider blocking your numbers before calling.
• Do not engage telemarketers; instead, screen unknown calls.
• Do not answer numbers you do not recognize.
• Phone numbers can be added to the National Do Not Call Registry. Violators can also be reported to this resource.
• Home and cellphone numbers can be registered; businesses cannot.
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