How to Stop Robocalls From Breaking Your Focus

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Apr 22, 2019

6 min read

Stop robocalls by starting here. 

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Overview: 
Your phone buzzes. You glance at the screen and sigh. It’s another call from a mystery number. You let it go to voicemail. You don’t want to hear the “news” about your fantastic luck in winning a cruise or your possible criminal convictions in states you’ve never visited. Robocalls are a pain in the you know what. Stay with us, and you’ll know how to stop robocalls from breaking your focus.

 

Blog Content: 

  1. What Are Robocalls and Who’s Fighting Them?
  2. Don’t Answer
  3. Try the Do Not Call Registry
  4. Contact Your Service Provider
  5. Turn to Call-Blocking Apps
  6. Talk to Your Parents and Kids
  7. Add Coverage for Your Identity

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1. What Are Robocalls and Who's Fighting Them?
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), robocall scammers dial millions of numbers using:

  • Autodialing software.
  • Servers hosting the autodial software.
  • Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service. 

Sometimes, these scammers use nothing more than a laptop and cheap software to replicate phone numbers, including the numbers of police departments. What they’re doing is highly illegal, and they want to con you out of your personal and financial information.

It’s annoying and costly. A Truecaller report found that Americans lost an estimated $9.5 billion from phone scams in 2017. These telemarketers will call you and claim that you:

  • Qualify for a guaranteed government grant.
  • Will win an international lottery if you give them $100 now.
  • Should send money to someone posing as a family member.
  • Qualify for an advanced loan.
  • Could make big bucks working as a secret shopper.
  • Are being charged with crimes, but you can avoid arrest by paying a few hundred dollars.

The FTC says they’re finding and prosecuting criminal callers, though they continue to spread like a virus.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also continues to update their rules to fight spam calls. It’s nice to see the government taking up the fight, but more than half of your calls will be robocalls soon if you don’t take any measures.

The telecommunications industry is rolling out technology that will identify potential spoofed calls for landlines and cell phones before you answer the call.

You’re not a government agency or a huge company, though. You might wonder how to stop robocalls on an individual level.

We’re glad you asked!

2. Don't Answer

The best rule of thumb is this recommendation straight from the FCC
Never, and we mean NEVER, answer calls from unknown numbers.

When you answer bogus calls, you let scam artists know that:

  • Your line is active.
  • You’ll probably pick up the next call.

The end result is more unwanted harassment, so let those mystery calls go to voicemail. You also need to look out for a  text-based scheme called smishing. You’ll receive a message from someone posing as your bank, Google, or a government institution. They’ll ask you to respond to the text with a specific phrase.

If you do this, you’ll allow a criminal to install information-collecting malware on your phone. You should never respond to a smishing text. Delete the message and report it to your cell phone carrier.

Not all robocalls or confirmation texts come from criminal schemes. You’ll receive robocall reminders or texts from your doctor, dentist, or any business that confirms appointments.

 

3. Do Not Call Registry 
The FTC encourages you to put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry if you don’t want unsolicited calls or texts. This might reduce the number of calls you receive, but scammers don’t care much for legalities.

There’s a good chance they’ll continue to bombard you with calls. Even after you put your name on the National Do Not Call Registry, you could still receive perfectly legal calls from:

  • Charities
  • Debt collectors
  • Political groups

 

4. Contact Your Service Provider

Your wireless carrier probably offers a service that will help you manage robocalls and block specific numbers. You might be limited to a set amount of numbers to block.

Prices and features vary, but Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint offer expanded call-screening services for their customers.

 

5. Turn to Call-Blocking Apps
There are tons of call-blocking apps out there. We’ll save you some time by directing you to
these call-blocking and security apps that appear on several “best of” lists:

 

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6. Talk to Your Parents and Kids
Telemarketers prey on the elderly, but they don’t stop there. They’ll call you and say they’ve kidnapped your kids.

We probably don’t need to tell you this, but these people don’t care who they harm with their schemes. Your kids may not have any money to steal, but they could still be targeted by robocalls. If you have kids anywhere between grade school and high school, they should know to never answer calls from unknown numbers.

You should review this FTC phone scam guide with them so they’ll hang up when they hear:

  • “You have to make a decision now.”
  • “You’ve been selected for a special prize.”
  • “We have a great investment opportunity.”
  • “Would you like a free trip to the Bahamas?"

 

7. Add Coverage for Your Identity
A call comes in, and you aren’t paying much attention. You answer, and the voice on the other end sounds familiar. You fall into a casual conversation and give away some personal information.

Maybe you’re tired or relaxed. Maybe your mind is occupied by other things.

A few minutes after the conversation ends, you realize what you’ve done. You’ve been tricked, but you’re not sure what to do.

 

 


Call your local Pekin Insurance agent to add Identity Fraud Protection Services to your homeowners insurance. With this coverage in place, you’ll have a team of identity fraud specialists working to protect you and your identity! Contact your local Pekin Insurance agent today!

 

 

  

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