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Your cell phone rings so you pick it up, but you don’t recognize the number. What do you do? Most people will answer right away—just in case it’s a friend or relative calling from another number, or a prospective job offer. But experts say that that is exactly the wrong thing to do.
If you’re like me, you may try to ignore them—knowing it’s probably some kind of scammer. But sometimes they’re hard to ignore—especially when they come from 4 to 6 different phone numbers every single day. Many of those random numbers come from states with area codes you don’t recognize, but what about those coming from your area? Difficult not to answer, right? So, when or if you do, who exactly is on the other end?
There’s Cynthia from Cardholder Services, Tim from Marriot Rewards, and Steve from Allied Collections. All fake people from entities that you have absolutely no ties with. They’re all calling to get your money and personal information. They call every week—sometimes every day—from numbers that are often similar, but just a little bit different.
The frustrating facts about robocalls:
- Robocalls are the top complaint from consumers to the Federal Communications Commission
- Americans receive over two and half billion robocalls a month!
- Robocalls have been illegal since 2009, but they are hard to stop due to their numerous overseas locations
- Despite a steep $16,000 per-call fine, the robocallers persist–and they hardly ever end up paying for their crimes
Yes, those overseas scammers have gotten have gotten quite savvy at their game. They’ve educated themselves on how to better target innocent consumers and upgraded their tech to not only mask their real location, but make it seem like they’re from your neighborhood.
Why you answer the calls:
- You think it might be from someone you know
- It’s from your area code
- You know it’s a fake number, but you want to curse them out
- You’re sick of those unsolicited callers filling up your voicemail
What you should do:
- Register your number on the National Do Not Call Registry. The NDNCR weeds out real solicitors from calling you—so that will cut down on the number of calls you get—but they can’t stop these clowns
- Don’t answer! Once you do, that scammer number knows you are a “live” phone number and they add you to a “hot list” to use and sell to other scam numbers
- Be silent. Those robocallers are trying to get you to say “yes” and attach that statement to you agreeing to purchase their product or service
- Block that number … if you can. Not all cell phones allow you to do this, but if you can, do it
- Contact the FTC and file a complaint
Cell phones have opened up a whole Pandora’s box of troubles in this modern world. Now, people have to add stopping robocallers to a list that includes protecting oneself from hackers and buying the right spy app help catch a cheater.