(ModernSurvival.org) – What is the First Thing You Should Do if You Get a Robocall?
- Hang Up
Answer: Hang Up. Here’s why…
Getting spam calls or robocalls can be an irritating waste of time at best. At worst, one can fall victim to dangerous scams that wreck their bank accounts. So how can a person go about stopping these calls? Read on to find out.
What to do When Answering a Robocall
While it’s best not to answer the call at all (as this marks the number as “good” in the caller’s system), anyone can accidentally answer their phone when a scammer calls. In order to avoid falling victim to fraud, here are some helpful tips on what to do when a suspected robocall has been answered:
- Hang up immediately.
- Never give out personal information.
- Don’t press any keys other than to hang up.
- Don’t talk at all.
Any kind of interaction during a robocall will cause the system to mark the number as “live”, leading to additional calls. If the call seems suspicious or the caller is asking any kind of unusual or intrusive questions, hang up immediately. Do not give them any information.
Never say “yes” during a call until you are certain it is legitimate. Scammers will record the snippet of a speaker’s voice and use it for nefarious purposes, such as fraud. Again, don’t speak unless you are sure the call is legitimate.
How to Stop Robocalls
Obviously, following a robocall, the number can be blocked on cellular devices to prevent additional calls from that specific number. These companies usually have hundreds of numbers to call from, so this is like putting a bandaid on a punctured artery — it isn’t going to help much. They will simply call again from a different number when they find the first one was blocked.
Thankfully, there are other options for stopping robocalls.
Get on the National Do Not Call Registry
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates the National Do Not Call Registry, which is designed to protect consumers from unwanted sales calls. Registering a phone number is free and works for both landlines and cell phones. Unfortunately, this only works for calls from real companies — the FTC doesn’t actually block calls. They only provide a list of numbers that credible companies will block themselves.
Illegal robocalls can be reported to the FTC, which will be added to the list of numbers they publish daily. This helps phone companies block these numbers from contacting their users.
Utilize “Whitelisting” Tools
Many cell phone companies offer whitelisting tools that will block all incoming calls from numbers that aren’t in the phone’s contact list. While this does eliminate the chances of receiving spam calls, it will also block incoming calls from numbers that might be important, such as the doctor’s office or the pizza delivery person.
Get a Call-Blocking Service
There are a handful of apps on the market that will block incoming calls from known scam numbers. While these are great, they do require paid subscriptions. Here are a few:
Use the phone service’s anti-robocall tools
Many of the big phone carriers have developed anti-robocall tools that can be used by their subscribers. These tools recognize most legitimate phone numbers and either block or give warnings that the incoming call comes from a suspicious number. For most people, these tools are automatically included in their service, but they may require activation. Contact the service provider for information on how to unlock these tools.
Survival in the modern age isn’t always about dealing with a natural disaster or getting lost in the woods. Often, it comes down to protecting vital information from falling into the wrong hands. For more information on how to avoid falling victim to fraud, check out our article here.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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