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Robocalls Targeting Immigrants, Foreign University Students

Despite the number of consumer complaints, robocalls are a growing problem — for everyone. But these unwanted callers frequently target more vulnerable populations.

We’ve heard a lot about how people 55 and older are often targeted by these robocalls, the ones that claim to be the IRS. But it’s not just older adults who are being inundated with these phony phone calls. 

"Immigrants are deliberately targeted and the robocallers will even try to target areas that have universities around them, which have a lot of foreign students. The idea is to target these types of populations that don’t know the IRS is not going to call you and tell you that you owe money," said Adam Doupe, an assistant professor at Arizona State University.

According to the FCC, since 2017, Arizonans have made more than 8,000 consumer complaints or inquiries. 

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.