Despite the fact that it’s easier than ever to screen phone calls, robocalls are at an all-time high. While much of the public is aware of the risk that comes with robocalls and their scams, even people who know better can still get tricked. At Prescott-Martini, we’re working to stop robocalls for good. Read more below to learn more about what robocalls are, why they’re dangerous, and what can be done to stop them.
What is a robocall?
Robocalls are automated calls that are designed to get the person answering the phone to share personal information by impersonating a person, organization, or entity they trust. In addition to scam robocalls, many companies use robocalls as a way to correspond with their customers. While they can be annoying, these calls aren’t designed to sell anything or scam recipients.
Many of these calls are illegal yet continue to happen.
Are all robocalls illegal?
Generally speaking, robocalls are not all illegal. Informational calls from schools, doctor offices, airlines, and other companies or organizations are perfectly legal, as these are services designed to provide a service. In contrast, any robocall that’s trying to sell you something or gather your information without your consent to make contact.
What types of scams are common?
There are a few types of scams that callers get most commonly. You’ll most often get one of these five robocalls:
- Imposter scams
- Travel scams
- Charity scams
- Loan scams
- Free trials
As we mentioned above, it’s common for robocallers to try to impersonate people or organizations you’re familiar with in an effort to convince you it’s OK to share personal information. These callers might be posing as the IRS, your bank, or another agency or business you work with. These recordings will be intentionally vague about their connection with your organization or business while asking for specific information that’s not publicly available.
It’s said that if something seems too good to be true, it’s probably not. Getting a robocall out of the blue about getting your dream vacation for free can be included in this category. These robocallers will ask for a credit card number to secure your spot on a cruise or at a resort hotel, despite the “free” offer.
Most of us want to try to do good in the world. Scammers will try to tug at our heartstrings after a natural disaster or try to get recipients to donate to unknown charities. It’s best to avoid donating when you’re approached by a charity and stick to sending money through known channels.
Desperate times can call for desperate measures. Individuals who are in need of money are sometimes willing to take it wherever it comes. Scammers will offer money for a fee or after running a “test” transaction by sending a specific amount of money.
Similar to a loan scam, recipients of a free trial scam will be offered something in return for providing credit card information. Often this is disguised as shipping and handling fees or a buy-one-get-one deal.
How do I stop calls?
You don’t have to deal with robocalls. There are things individuals can do to combat incessant robocallers. Registering at donotcall.gov will make it illegal for scammers to call you. You can also request that those calling take you off their list. They cannot require a written request to have you removed, so you can directly report the organization if they make such a demand. If you continue getting calls, report them to the FTC. If all else fails, customers can call their service providers to block specific numbers.
Contact us to learn more
You can learn answers to questions like, “What is a robocall?” and more by getting in touch with Prescott-Martini. We’re experts in telecommunications security and want to help stop robocalls. Reach out by sending a message via our online contact form.