A robocall is a call that delivers pre-recorded messages through auto-dialing software to millions of people each day to encourage a purchase, subscription, or action. These calls often use caller ID spoofing so that their number shows up as a “local” number, which might lead to people answering them out of curiosity. Unfortunately, this is sometimes followed by the scammer pressure-selling a fraudulent service or good and using high-pressure tactics. Here are several ways to deal with robocalls.
The first thing to do is not speak with the Caller. Robocalls are made using automated lists, and those on those lists may have been “flagged” as someone who tends to respond positively to them. This can give telemarketers an advantage over you because they can use pre-recorded messages and save time by avoiding having to engage in a conversation with you, in which you might be able to recognize their tactics as fraudulent.
If you must speak with someone regarding the call, never call the number back. The scammer may have been listed as your contact information and may not be a natural person. An auto-dialer will run the number you call, so no one will likely answer when you call or your number will be spoofed, and you’ll reach another victim.
While you’re on the line with a scammer, keep looking at your caller ID and reading down the list of numbers. If it’s one of those pre-recorded messages, try to figure out which company is sending it to you. Sometimes these are put in by telemarketers who believe they can sell you something. Sometimes they’re created by bots, computer programs that automatically generate a list of phone numbers.
If you believe the call is fraudulent, try contacting your phone company and find out who is spoofing your number. They will likely be able to find the source. If the number is fake, you can dispute it with your carrier and have them remove it from your caller ID. Note that some telemarketers use spoofing services to trick customers into calling them back. If you dispute an identity, they’ll likely get a new one and continue contacting you.
Sometimes scammers will try to get you to press a number on your phone’s keypad after you answer the phone. They can charge additional fees if you press the buttons and complete the call. Pressing keys also lets them know there is a human on the line and that the phone number is monitored so they can use it for future scams.
If you get a robocall about a product or service, never pay for it over the phone if you don’t know what it is. Scammers often get information from their databases to sell you the services and products you ask about, with or without your knowledge. In many cases, the scammer doesn’t have any of the advertised products or services; this is why it’s important not to purchase anything over the phone without being sure that it’s what you asked for.
Many phones now notify the owner of potential spam calls. If you see a call listed as spam or a call from a number you do not recognize, it is best to not answer the call. If you accidentally answer, don’t say anything at first and see if there is a live person on the line.
Make sure to never press any buttons and do not call back the number that called you in any case. Also make sure to never provide your personal information to an unknown number unless you are sure it is legitimate. We hope that this guide helps you to combat Robo Callers in the future.
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