ST. PAUL -- Minnesota is cracking down on phone scams.

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has joined the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force. The Task Force of 50 attorneys general has one goal: to crack down on illegal robocalls. The AG’s office estimates robocall scammers stole more than $29 million in 2021.

Ellison’s advice to Minnesotans is “don’t hang on – hang up”.

We Minnesotans are polite folks who don’t like hanging up on others, even when they’re being rude or we suspect they’re trying to scam us. But scammers don’t deserve our politeness or respect, so protect yourself and your family and hang up immediately.

You won’t be alone. Stephanie from Albany, a former telemarketer, was asked how many people already hang up on legitimate businesses.

I'd say there was, between getting answering machines and hang-ups, I think about 40% would hang on and listen through the end of your spiel, or just say no, I'm not interested and hang up.

Blaze from St. Cloud had just hung up on a telemarketer. He shares his tips on detecting scams.

I’ve had several robocalls before talking about tuition loans even though I never applied but somehow they got my number. Also for career services because I'm finding new work. I read the number and if I don't know I just hang up afterward.

Attorney General Ellison offers the following tips to avoid scams and unwanted calls:

  • If you suspect fraudulent activity, immediately hang up and do not provide any personal information.
  • Be wary of callers who specifically ask you to pay by gift card, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency. For example, the Internal Revenue Service does not accept payment in iTunes gift cards.
  • Look out for prerecorded calls from imposters posing as government agencies. Typically, the Social Security Administration does not make phone calls to individuals.

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