If it seems like you are getting more and more annoying phone calls from telemarketers, most of them robots, it’s not your imagination.
New data proves Americans got over 30 billion robocalls in 2017 – most of them illegal – as the number of pre-recorded solicitations reached an all-time record.
Whether it’s lowering your credit card rate or something else, a lot of those calls that you are getting are not from legitimate businesses, so those individuals are trying to scam you.
They don’t care if you’re on the Do Not Call list or not. But investigators admit, in most cases, they are helpless because that annoying call you just received is likely coming from overseas.
Consumer protection advocates say there are effective tricks you can use to fight back against robocallers.
Here are a few … If you don’t recognize the number don’t answer. If it’s Uncle Bob calling from a pay phone, he’ll leave you a message.
Block unrecognized callers. Easy to do, just go to your recent calls list and hit the “block this caller” button.
If do happen to answer a robocall, remain silent. Many of the recordings will invite you to “Press 2 to be placed on our Do Not Call list.” Don’t fall for it. Pressing any button on your phone will do just the opposite, alerting the scammers they have an active phone number to call back later. Keep quiet and just hang up.
Another thing you can do is download a scam call detection app to your phone like Hiya, Nomorobo, and YouMail. They have an advanced caller ID and help you identify when an incoming call is a scam, extortion, a telemarketer or any other form of telephonic low-life interrupting your day.
Another trick scammers use is to call you with what appears to be a phone number that has the same first six digits as your own phone number. Don’t fall for it. Ignore the call. If it is legit, they’ll leave you a message.
Most importantly, NEVER give out any personal information over the phone.
If you do answer a robocall – which I hope you do not – and want to see if the call is from a legitimate company, ask the caller for her phone number and tell her you’d like to call her back so you can record the conversation. You can also ask telemarketers for additional information such as the name of the company they work for, an address where you can reach them, and the city from which they are calling. A legit business is happy to answer questions and will welcome you calling them back.