Have you ever answered the phone just to hear an annoying, automated sales pitch on the other end? Have you ever been asked by a pre-recorded message to share personal information over the phone? If so, you’ve received a robocall.
The amount of robocalls sent out each minute has significantly increased in the last few years. This is due partially to internet-powered phone systems, which allow scammers to make these illegal calls all over the world with ease. Using auto-dialers, companies can call thousands of numbers every minute for a very low cost. Scammers are also able to hide from law enforcement by displaying fake caller ID information.
Everyone is at risk of receiving robocalls. Aside from being irritating—unwanted robocalls are the Federal Communication Commission’s top consumer complaint—they can be damaging when they succeed in capturing personal information. To help prevent this, we at CaptionCall are pleased to provide you with several quick and convenient tips on combatting them.
What is a Robocall?
Robocalls are automated phone calls that play a recorded message when you answer them. Oftentimes, these messages are ploys, aiming to convince you to buy something or trick you into sharing personal information. If an automated voice tries to sell you something, it’s likely illegal, and it’s likely a scam. Companies need your permission to legally call you.
However, not all robocalls are illegal: Messages that are purely informational or from debt collectors, political campaigns, health care providers, and charities are all legal. Since these calls provide legitimate information, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) allows them.
What To Do If You Receive a Robocall
Nowadays, most people will receive a robocall at some point, so it’s important to know what to do when you answer the phone and hear an automated message. Keep in mind that these calls can go to a landline or a cell phone.
When you receive an illegal robocall:
- Hang up the phone. Do not ask to speak to an operator or press any number to get off the calling list. Do not provide any personal information, such as account numbers, passwords, or social security numbers.
- Call a verified phone number for the organization if the robocall claims to be calling from a company or government agency. You will typically receive a written statement or email before any of these groups try to contact you over the phone.
- Contact the FTC to report your experience at donotcall.gov or by dialing 1-877-FTC-HELP. Providing this information can help the FTC learn more about and prevent robocalls.
How to Stop Robocalls
Since thousands of robocalls go out every minute it may seem impossible to put a stop to them; however, you can take several easy steps to help decrease the number you receive.
To stop robocalls:
- Download a call-blocking app. Because the companies behind them use data from all users to find what numbers to block, these apps can be very effective. Be sure to look at reviews by both users and experts before downloading and signing up.
- Do not answer calls from unknown numbers, even if the caller ID shows a local area code. Scammers can make a number appear local to trick potential targets.
- Register on the FTC’s Do Not Call List to stop legal telemarketing calls. If you’ve given permission for a company to legally call you, you have the right to change your mind at any time.
- Sign up for an internet-based call-blocking service if you use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
- Install a call blocking device if you use a landline. These small devices connect directly to your landline to help block robocalls.
- Experiment with special informational tones, particularly those that signal a non-working number. If you put this tone at the beginning of your voicemail or answering machine message, it may result in fewer robocalls in the future.
Keep Your Information Safe with CaptionCall
Robocalls can be deceptive and damaging. If you have hearing loss and need captioned telephone service, CaptionCall can help you to recognize and react to Robocalls. It’s important to know what’s being said in every phone call and hearing loss doesn’t have to make that difficult.
Thanks to cutting-edge technology and captioning experts, the CaptionCall service can help you or your loved one understand every message and take appropriate action. Fill out the form today. If you qualify, we’ll deliver and install your CaptionCall phone at no cost.