Here’s something important to know about answering your phone: If you hear a prerecorded voice instead of a live person, it’s a robocall. And you may be hearing them more often than ever right now.
Robocalls aren’t just annoying. Get caught in a robocall scam and your life could be turned upside-down for the worst.
There are laws guarding against these types of calls, but that doesn’t stop criminal intent. It’s up to you to know what you’re up against. In this post, we’ll explain why robocalls are increasing, plus the different types of these awful, annoying and potentially dangerous calls.
Technology has made it cheap and easy for scammers to try to fool you from anywhere in the world; and having the ability to display fake caller ID information has helped them hide from law enforcement.
Why am I receiving robocalls?
Anyone can be a target for robocalls. As the statistics suggest, most of us are. Older people are also a particular target.
Types of robocalls
You must be extremely weary of all prerecorded messages and calls from names and numbers you don’t know personally.
You might have received a message saying there is a warrant out for your arrest for making a mistake on your taxes, and that you need to pay a large sum of money immediately or else go to jail. The message is recorded, but sounds real and is very threatening. Getting a call or message like this would freak any unsuspecting person out.
But a call like this is an IRS impersonation scam because the IRS will never initiate contact by phone. These fraudulent calls have resulted in a more than $36 million taxpayer loss; not to mention, put some person’s lives into turmoil.
Recorded messages that are trying to sell you something are illegal, unless you gave written permission for the company to call you.
Robocalls like this may be more innocuous than malicious scams, but nonetheless, can ruin your day. One recent scheme involves getting someone to say “yes” and then using that recording to allow unauthorized charges on their credit card.
According to the FCC, telemarketing calls were the number one consumer complaint.
Hang up the phone immediately if you receive a robocall or any recorded message that sounds odd or threatening. Don’t say “yes” or press any numbers to “take you off a list” because any kind of engagement with a robocall will only lead to more.
If you receive a call from an unknown number, search that number using BeenVerified’s reverse phone lookup to uncover the name of the owner and where the number is from.
Protecting yourself from the dangers of robocalls starts with understanding what you’re up against.