Let’s be honest, our phones are constantly ringing but not because friends and family miss us and want to talk. It’s the “IRS” asking for money or “credit card companies” telling us we missed a payment, or our account was hacked. It’s telemarketers and scammers attempting to steal our personal information and hack into our accounts.
Americans are expected to get over 52 billion robocalls just within this year alone. I don’t know about you, but I don’t pick up the phone unless I recognize the number, I’d rather risk missing an important call than deal with a spam call.
Although companies like Apple have taken action to warn us about the “scam likely” calls, attackers are becoming more sophisticated. Attackers have been spoofing local numbers and those of popular companies to convince you that they are authentic. Recently, these attackers have been using SMS text messages that come from your own phone number.
Regardless of how the attackers are making their move, companies are trying to make it stop but here is what you can do:
- Don’t answer calls from blocked/unknown numbers
- Don’t answer calls from number you don’t recognize
- Don’t assume incoming calls are from a local number just because it looks like it
- Don’t respond to any questions that can be answered with “Yes”
- If someone calls claiming to be with a specific company, hang up and call that company using their official number from their website to be certain
- If you answer the phone and hear “Hello, can you hear me?” hang up
- If you receive a call requesting you to click a number before being connected to a representative, hang up
By interacting with a voice prompt, you’re verifying that your number is real. They can then sell your number to another company who will begin targeting your number more frequently. If you are an Apple user, Apple has an option to “Silence unknown callers.” This will add the option to route calls from numbers not found in your contacts, mail, or messages to your voicemail.
If you start receiving a lot of spam text messages, you can forward the message to number 7726 (this spells “spam”). This won’t stop the number from texting you, but it will notify your carrier to investigate it and hopefully put an end to it.
If you have any questions about receiving spam calls, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.