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How to Best Protect Yourself From Scam Calls
RING, RING — IT’S A ROBOT What You Can Do to Protect Yourself From Phone Scams and Robocalls
PUT UP SOME DETERRENTS. You can even go a step further and block the calls. Many phone service providers offer call-blocking options, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. You can sign up for this service in-store or on your service provider’s website. Each service costs about $4 per month. There are also a number of call-blocking apps available on Android and Apple devices, but if you subscribe to a blocking service through your phone provider, these apps are unnecessary.
Two of the most common scams are phone scams and robocalls. These calls are incredibly annoying and can trick you out of valuable information if you’re not careful. While it might seem like these scams are inescapable, there are some precautions you can take to avoid their traps. GIVE THEM THE SILENT TREATMENT. One thing you can do to avoid these fraudulent, time-wasting calls is to simply hang up. If possible, it is best to not answer at all. It’s always good
to have a list of numbers you can reference, so you never have to guess who is calling. Think of it as going one step beyond caller ID. In some cases, answering and then hanging up can actually do more harm than good. Answering the phone gives the scammers confirmation that the number works and that they should try again. Once your number is confirmed as active, it often gets put on an “active number” list that can then be sold to other scammers who market in these types of phone numbers. If you can’t verify who is calling without picking up, don’t answer. Let it go to voicemail. If it’s important, the person will leave a legitimate message and you can respond afterward.
Finally, you can sign up for the Federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” program (DoNotCall. gov). While the Do Not Call program can help cut back on calls, this list is largely ignored by scammers. If you’re getting a ridiculous number of robocalls every day, signing up can offer you some brief respite. Thankfully, Congress is already attempting to fix this problem by making it harder for scammers to call you. But until they are able to pass tough, effective legislation, it is up to us as consumers to remain vigilant and do what we can to keep our personal and financial data safe and secure.
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