Scammers employ duplicitous phone calls to victimize unsuspecting individuals routinely, resulting in victims losing money and feeling violated. They may try to convince you to divulge private information, such as your SSN, that should at no time be requested or revealed.
Incentives, such as lotteries and fabricated or inflated profitable ventures, are used to persuade victims to participate, and these enticements are not always initially offered by phone. Occasionally, they are first communicated by mail or other methods to lure you to reach out for additional information.
Examples of these enticements as well as some common warning signs can be found on the Federal Trade Commission’s website. Keep in mind, scammers use a variety of methods to dupe their victims. The examples provided by the FTC are not exhaustive. Nevertheless, they will better prepare you for identifying scam calls, and if you encounter a call you believe to be fraudulent, the FTC encourages you to end the call and register a complaint.
To further your awareness, you should recognize robocalls, the prerecorded calls you receive, may or may not be illegal, depending on circumstances. According to the FTC, robocalls instituted by charitable organizations requesting contributions, for example, are permitted. However, sales oriented robocalls are considered illegal if you have not provided written consent to allow the calling company to contact you with a sales message. If a call is made unlawfully, it is probable the sales message contained within the call is deceptive as well, making it a scam.
Additionally, even with the use of caller ID service, it is difficult to determine if a call should be answered. Many of these calls use a false caller ID, a practice referred to as spoofing.
So, what can you do to minimize sales robocalls?
- Do not answer calls from unrecognizable or unknown numbers. However, this is easier said than done as spoofing makes it challenging to conclude if a call should be answered
- Register your cell or landline number at no charge on the National Do Not Call Registry.
- After 31 days, the majority of sales robocalls will cease. If you experience this type of call after the specified time period from a company that does not have your written consent, then the call is being made with disregard to the registry. Most likely, the call is a scam. In this case, end the call and register a complaint.
- As another line of defense, you can opt-in to Chariton Valley’s Robocall Blocking Service for landline phones. This free service follows the reputation data of the caller’s number. Contingent upon this information, Chariton Valley will decide to either refuse the call on your behalf or allow the call to proceed as routine. If the call is refused, the caller will hear a brief rejection message. If you have voicemail, the refused call will then be transferred there.
You can count on Chariton Valley to not only keep you connected but informed. Help protect yourself from predators by following the information provided above, and if you would like to opt-in to our free Robocall Blocking Service, contact us at 660-395-9000.
We encourage you to visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for further details, regarding phone scams and robocalls. On the website you can also read about the latest scams being perpetrated, search the database of scams by subject, sign up for updates and more. Click here to access the scams page on the FTC’s website. As always, Chariton Valley is on your side and is here for you.