Blackfoot Tech Tip: April 2022

How to: Stop unwanted robocalls

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Your phone rings and you glance down. The number looks only vaguely familiar but you hesitate and wonder: Could it be important? You answer and it’s a recorded voice demanding a return call about a car warranty you’re sure you don’t have. You hang up, distracted and annoyed.

If you’re receiving unwanted calls you’re in good company. Illegal robocalls and texts are the Federal Communication Commission’s top consumer complaint and an urgent consumer protection priority. But what can you do? We offer a few tips below, but first here are a few terms to know:

  • Robocalls. A recorded call sent by an automated source to a large number of people. Often sent by telemarketers with legitimate offers but also used by scammers for fraudulent purposes.
  • Spam. Includes all forms of unwanted communications including unsolicited calls or texts. It may be a legitimate — or illegitimate — marketing message, scam sales offer, malware threat or other unwanted solicitation.
  • Spoofing. Scammers use this technique to make a Caller ID number look familiar and legitimate. They may use a local area code, a government agency’s or private company’s name, or even a number from your contacts list.

Here are ten tips to combat unwanted robocalls and protect yourself from scams:

  1. Do not answer calls from unknown numbers.
  2. If you answer such a call and do not recognize the voice or company calling, hang up immediately.
  3. Be aware of spoofing. The Caller ID number may not be the entity calling.
  4. Hang up if a caller or a recording asks you to hit a button to stop receiving their calls. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
  5. Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with “Yes.” Affirmative statements can lead to further conversation and a false sense of security.
  6. Do not offer personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  7. Be wary if you feel pressured to disclose personal information. You should simply hang up.
  8. Use the “Block Caller” feature on your smart phone (scammers often change numbers so this will work only for the particular number blocked).
  9. Consider using a robocall-blocking app for your smart phone.
  10. Register your number on the Do Not Call List. Legitimate telemarketers consult the list to avoid calling both landline and wireless phone numbers on the list.

Questions? We’re here to help! Please contact our customer support team at 866-541-5000 and ask about our Home Phone Calling Features.