If you live in a part of the country that has a large Chinese immigrant population, you may have recently received a robocall in Mandarin — or even several of them. The calls seem to be blanketing certain phone exchanges without regard to the national origin of the recipients. Presumably, this is how the New York Police Department ended up on the call list.
Last Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service said people were being being bilked out of money by criminals pretending to be from the tax collection agency. Two days later, I received a phone call that my provider said was probably spam. They left a message saying they were from the IRS and I was in big trouble.
A fatal police shooting in Kansas late last month focused attention again on how so-called swatting — prank 911 calls designed to get SWAT teams to deploy — puts lives at risk and burdens police departments.
Fraud is the latest threat facing victims of Hurricane Harvey, as well as the volunteers who are helping the relief effort. NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Corey Amundson, a U.S. Attorney who heads the National Center for Disaster Fraud.
Federal regulators on Thursday said they've identified "the perpetrator of one of the largest ... illegal robocalling campaigns" they have ever investigated.