The phone rings and you pick up the call, expecting to hear from a friend or business associate. Instead, it’s the fluttering phone connection of an overseas telemarketing call, recording, or even someone calling from a fake phone number that appeared local on your caller I.D.
Welcome to the world of calls from telemarketers.
For some, they are a rare occurrence. Others receive them frequently, daily, or even hourly. Ever wonder how you ended up one of the ‘lucky’ ones, who receives frequent telemarketing calls, and want to feel a little less luck?
Find Out Why You Get Calls From Telemarketers:
Robocalls Are Happening More: Most of it isn’t anyone’s fault. Scams and robocalls and telemarketing calls are simply happening more now than ever. Though there was a brief honeymoon period when people made the switch from land lines to cell phones, and a cell phone user would remind the caller that they were calling a cell phone, so the call would stop- that is no longer the case. Unsolicited calls are up almost 15 percent in the last year alone, according to moneyish.com.
The Calls Are Savvier: Imagine that you answer an unidentified call and are asked if you are the homeowner, pay the bills, or if the phone connection is clear enough. Naturally, you answer “Yes”, waiting to figure out the nature of the call. Sadly your “Yes” may be recorded so that a scammer can use your voice to fictitiously authorize a stolen credit card transaction through one of your accounts. The FCC has found this serious enough to release a March 27, 2017 warning, which can be read here: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-warns-can-you-hear-me-phone-scams
You Have Debt: If you have unpaid bills such as cell phones, utilities, car payments, or credit cards that have gone into default, what you believe to be ‘telemarketer’ calls might actually be an attempt to collect debt. It is not uncommon for the original company, to whom you owe your debt, to sell the debt to a collection agency. The company which has purchased your debt, at a fraction of the cost, will go to many lengths to collect the debt. Whether a debtor or plain old telemarketing call, the practice of “spoofing” people by calling through burner numbers which appear local, is legal. Telemarketers and debtors know you’re more likely to pick up a local call, but you can still fight back, according to the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-laz-spoofing-20140908-story.html
They Can Even Be Texts: Maybe you never answer unknown phone calls, but assume all texts are from people you know and answer right away. If you get a friendly text from a number you’ve never heard of before, with a link or product suggestion, it is likely a telemarketing like text. In increasing numbers, texts come from spammers and scammers. Never click on a cell text link from someone you do not know, which looks suspicious, or takes you to a web link.
You Haven’t Registered Your Number On The Do Not Call List: You can register both land lines and cell phones. Although calling cell phones is not considered legal, it still happens all the time. Therefore, it makes sense to register both cell and land lines to reduce unwanted calls. Register HERE, <https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0108-national-do-not-call-registry> but be aware that you will need to provide the FTC with a valid email address to complete registration of your phone number on the do not call list.
You Haven’t Searched Out Your Number: Take the time to do a reverse phone number search on yourself to see where and how your phone number is being shown. Often people are surprised by where and how their number appears online. Find out if you are revealing your personal information to spammers and telemarketers HERE: <https://socialcatfish.com/reverse-phone-lookup/>
Although it might be impossible to stop each and every telemarketing call, by taking the above steps you can drastically reduce (and sometimes largely STOP) unwanted calls.