CUB Releases Its First-Ever Guide to Combat Robocalls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                             CONTACT: Jim Chilsen

February 4, 2019                                                                      (o) 312-263-4282, (c) 312-513-1784

CUB RELEASES ITS FIRST-EVER GUIDE TO COMBAT ROBOCALLS

As part of a yearlong 35th anniversary celebration, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) announced on Monday that it has released its first-ever guide to help Illinois consumers reduce annoying “robocalls.”

Visit CitizensUtilityBoard.org to get a free copy of the eight-page publication, “CUB’s Guide to Fighting Robocalls.”

Robocalls are prerecorded messages from computer-generated dialers. Some robocalls, such as those announcing school closings, are helpful. But technology allows scam artists to cheaply and easily make thousands of calls a minute—and the calls have reached an alarming level. Consumers were hit with a record 47.8 billion automated calls in 2018, with 37 percent classified as scam calls and another 19 percent telemarketing, the telecom services firm YouMail estimates. (Illinois ranked sixth in the nation, receiving nearly 1.8 billion robocalls in 2018, according to YouMail.)

Despite the growing problem of spam and scam calls, little is being done to reduce them.  Jessica Rosenworcel, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Tweeted in December that the FCC “is not doing enough to stop this scourge of nuisance calls. Not by a long shot.”

CUB hears consumer frustration about the “scourge of nuisance calls” among thousands of Illinoisans who contact the group each year with a question, concern or complaint about their utility service. And in recent months the watchdog itself has been harassed by automated calls.

“Illinois consumers—and CUB staffers—are exasperated by bothersome robocalls,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said. “Part of our mission is to help people reduce their stress level regarding electric, gas and telecom service. So we thought an appropriate way to celebrate 35 years of consumer advocacy was to give consumers tips and tricks on how to stop or reduce these annoying calls.”

CUB researched dozens of sources to identify tips for users of traditional landlines, digital home phone service, and smartphones. The guide is available at CitizensUtilityBoard.org.

In 2019, CUB is celebrating its 35th anniversary as Illinois’ leading nonprofit, nonpartisan utility watchdog. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, it has saved consumers more than $20 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline, 1-800-669-5556, or visit its award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.

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