Scam Calls Are on the Rise
Every day on my cell phone and my landline, I get scam calls. And now, I am getting scam calls from overseas. Scam calls are on the rise. I get so frustrated. What can we do to protect ourselves?
Why Are Calls Increasing
According to CNBC Make It, “Americans lost $29.8 billion to phone scams alone over the past year.”
Make It also says, “Not only is the number of victims on the rise, but the expense of these scams is also up. The average reported loss was about $502 per person, the highest amount on record since Truecaller began tracking this data in 2014 and up significantly from the average loss of $351 reported in 2020.”
These statistics make my skin crawl, but I can see it. My phones ring constantly. Just take a look below at the types of scam phone calls that USA.gov has shared on their website. Now granted, not all of these scams occur over the phone through robocalls, real people, or text.
Where Do They Get Your Number
How many forms do you fill out online during a week? Did you know that many telemarketers and other junk calls get your number from third-party providers? Where do those providers get your contact information? Gasp – from forms that you fill out online. Some providers sell your contact data. Don’t complete a form before you read the fine print as to what the provider shares.
According to shefinds.com, scammers can get your phone numbers when you can toll-free numbers. I have listed the ones used in the US below, so you have them, but each country has its own system of toll-free telephone numbers. To learn more, you can go to Wikipedia where they have a page listing different countries.
United States Toll-Free Numbers
• 844 and
What Can You Do
So, what can you do to stem the flow of these annoying calls? There are a couple of different methods you can use.
First, the National Do Not Call Registry should be your starting point. This Registry is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gives you control over how and when you receive telemarketing calls. The Commission is who you can refer to for national consumer protection information. In addition, you can register your phone numbers with them, report unwanted calls, and verify your registration.
The FCC also has some welcome reminders that can help all of us to thwart off those annoying and potentially dangerous calls.
• Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
• You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be aware: Caller ID showing a “local” number does not necessarily mean it is a local caller
• If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
• Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with “Yes.”
• Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
• If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.
• Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
• If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.
• Talk to your phone company about call blocking tools they may have and check into apps that you can download to your mobile device to block unwanted calls.
• If you use robocall-blocking technology already, it often helps to let that company know which numbers are producing unwanted calls so they can help block those calls for you and others.
• To block telemarketing calls, register your number on the Do Not Call List. Legitimate telemarketers consult the list to avoid calling both landline and wireless phone numbers on the list.
The world is a scary place out there with all the scams, spams, viruses, ID theft, malware, data breaches, oh my. Besides depending on the National Do Not Call Registry, more up-to-date smartphones and various wireless networks have spam options in their settings. With iPhone, for example, you can set up any app filter and detect spam calls. As a word of caution, foreign language robocalls can be extremely dangerous; many foreign governments prefer to communicate in writing rather than by phone.
The bottom line here is that YOU need to be careful and do everything you can to protect your data and contact information. Scam calls are on the rise! Please don’t fall victim to them. Do you need some helpful advice? Why not email us, or call 904-430-0350 while you are thinking about it.
#spamcalls #stopspam #scamcalls #stopscamphonecalls
Categorised in: Scams
This post was written by Megabite