We all get bombarded by unwanted calls and scams. In fact, according to one source, robocallers spammed us with 26.3 billion calls in 2018.
Here's some tips to stop unwanted robocalls and avoid phone scams:
- 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.
How can we fight back?
- Register your cell phone and/or landline numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry, which prohibits telemarketers from calling your registered numbers. Call 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY). You must call from the phone number you wish to register. Another option is to register online. The website address is https://www.donotcall.gov. It might take up to 30 days but it can cut down on many phone calls.
- For unsolicited calls and spams file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP or the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-CALL-FCC.
- Forward SPAM text messages to 7726 (SPAM). This free text exchange with your wireless provider will report the SPAM number.
Of course, there as some calls we just can't stop like political organizations,
charities, telephone surveyors and some organizations with which you have a relationship
Note: GO Medical protects your privacy! We do not give out our clients information to any outside entity without your prior permission.