By Brooke Kinder

Local phones are ringing off the hook today — but it’s calls nobody wants.

“Started at noon and still going strong,” said local resident Sherri Grim who has become the recipient of some of the scam calls. “So annoying,” she continued, adding that the calls she’s receiving appear to be coming from local numbers — but when she answers the calls, it’s the same pre-recorded scam call all over again.

Around the community, like Grim, many residents and businesses have reported an uptick in the calls this afternoon as well. People have received the fake calls that say they’re from Apple, Verizon and Amazon, to name a few.

“I even stopped at Verizon to verify my account was ok,” Grim added. “They were even getting them.”

The Whitley County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center has been receiving the calls about every 10 minutes that appear to be coming from local businesses and residents — even the local hospital.

“We obviously want to pick up the phone every time it rings because we receive a high volume of calls from local residents and businesses every day,” said a Chamber staff member. “These calls look like the same numbers that might call us on a regular day. Unfortunately, these are not local callers and their purpose is to scam.”

The calls, often called robocalls, are difficult to block since they come in from different telephone numbers every time. The calls prompt the recipient to type in account or other identifying information and that’s where the scammers can actually access your account and wreak havoc.

The best advice: hang up. Don’t share any information with these callers and, if you want to make sure your accounts are secure, like Grim, call your provider directly or visit their location if they do business locally.