Receiving automated calls over and over on your landline phone can be an annoying experience. They can distract you from important work just to sell you something you don’t even need. Unfortunately, robocalls are on the rise daily, especially in the U.S, and if you are not careful, they can prove to be dangerous.
In this short guide, we will discuss robocalls and the tactics you can adopt to counter the problem.
What is a Robocall?
A robocall refers to an automated prerecorded message, which is delivered in the form of a telephone call. The caller is not a real person but rather an automated machine using an algorithm system to reach out to you and relay the message.
Since these are automated messages, you will not be able to engage in a conversation and will have to ultimately end the call. Not all robocalls are a scam, but studies show that most of them are illegal and unwanted.
Robocalls and Legitimacy
Amidst the rising number of scams, you might be wondering why robocalls continue to operate today. The reason is simple; robocalls are not illegal because they are often used to deliver vital messages to the masses. Here are some practical uses of a robocall:
Governments often use robocalls to roll out informational messages to the people. Moreover, they are used by private organizations to relay urgent information. For instance, an airline company can use a robocall to inform you about the flight schedule.
Debt Collection Calls
Businesses that are legally entitled to collect a debt from you can use robocall. However, it might be hard to tell the difference since other scam services might try to get some money off of you.
Charities and Non-Profit Organizations
Charities can make these calls themselves or hire someone to call. However, they are restricted to only calling prior donors or official members of the charity. According to the law, these organizations should also include an option for you to stop these automated calls.
Robocalls are illegal if any company is trying to sell you something without consent. In many places, consent is required before the company implements robocalls in its system. And even if any person approves consent, they need to have a right to opt-out of the option.
Answering a Robocall
Whenever you receive a call from an unknown number, the best thing to do is not answer it. Whenever you answer a scam call, your number is marked “good” by the machine. And they will try to call again even if you are not interested.
The reason they do it is that they know someone on the other side is a potential victim of the scam. Therefore, the fewer robocalls you pick up now, the fewer scam calls you will get in the future.
But over the years, scam companies have become clever and found ways to scam you. One of the ways they do it is with the help of spoofing calls.
What is a Spoofed Call?
Spoofing refers to the term when some fraudulent individuals or companies deliberately change their name to display a caller ID when they call. These companies often mimic reputable firms and individuals to trick you into receiving the call and sell their service or product to you.
Tips to Minimize the Risk of Being Scammed
Below are a few tips you can use to avoid falling for such scams:
Hang Up Immediately When You Realize It Is a Robocaller
Not engaging with the scammers is one of the best methods to keep them at bay. The less you interact and talk with them, the better. Or else, your number will be marked “live,” and you could be subject to more calls. You can also report the calls to the government.
Don’t Say “Yes.”
Many scam robocalls start with a question. For example, “Can you hear me?” or “How are you?” Since these calls are recorded, they may interpret that you are interested in what they have to offer.
Avoid Following the Bots’ Instruction
Some of the robocalls may encourage you to press some numbers to initiate an action. For example “Press 1 to speak to our representative” You should not comply since you will be subject to more calls.
Employ the Help of Software
Today, there are many technologies, software, and apps that can identify robocalls and block them automatically. Tools such as Robokiller are an example of this type of technology and they can stop spam calls before your phone has the chance to ring.
To avoid falling for robocall spam, you will need to be cautious every time you see an unknown number. Not only do these calls waste your time, but they also increase the risk of a significant financial loss.