ST. LOUIS – The calls can sound convincing, but of the billions of robocalls received by U.S. consumers each month, many are fake, unwanted, and illegal.

The FOX 2 investigative team has chronicled how the use of artificial intelligence in robocalls has been used to scam locals around St. Louis.

Federal law enforcement says they’re probing AI phone scams. Beyond the criminal element, Congress is looking to restrict telemarketing robocalls.

“Some of these calls are scams, but more calls than you might think are actually legitimate companies,” Chris Roberts, a St. Louis attorney, said.

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There’s a legitimate way consumers can combat AI-generated robocalls and get paid in the process, according to him.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is a hammer the consumer can use to fight back against these telemarketers that are just incessantly calling all of our phones,” Roberts said.

To start, make sure you’re registered on federal and state “no call lists,” then do some investigating of your own.

“Number one: find out who’s calling you. Number two: maintain call logs. Keep track of your voicemails, save your text messages, things like that,” Roberts said. “When you want to pursue the case, you want to know how many calls they’ve made to you. It’s not just $500 or $1,500 in general; it’s per call or text.”

Roberts says you can send a demand letter to the telemarketer asking for payment under the TCPA or hire an attorney to file a lawsuit on your behalf.

“What I always recommend, though, is at the end of the call, once you figure out who the company is, tell them, ‘Please stop calling me; I no longer want to be called,’ because that imposes another requirement on the telemarketer,” Roberts said. “That requirement is that they then place you on the internal do not call list. If they call you again, then potentially you could get another penalty. In fact, you can get a heightened penalty at that point.”