Imagine it: You pick up the phone, asking “Hello?” You’re disappointed to hear nothing but a pause, followed by a robotic voice. It’s a robocall. The voice asks you to punch in a number or answer a question in order to get in touch with a creditor or a law enforcement officer. Some will ask you to claim your sweepstake winnings or a fabulous prize.
Not so fast! Robocalls are a tool for many scammers to get money from you, get your contact information, or even to steal your identity. Usually, though, it’s just annoying–and can get overwhelming over time, especially if multiple robocallers get your number. Here’s what to do if you get a robocall and how to report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to stop it once and for all.
Robocalls are recorded voice messages, usually attempting to sell you something. They might be scams, but usually, they are just sales calls.
However, robocalls aren’t just annoying and frustrating. They are always illegal. Remember that robocallers have no right to target you, especially if you are already on the FTC’s Do Not Call list.
Robocall harassment can sometimes be a serious problem. Some scammers can use your responses to questions to get more information about you or to excuse calling you more.
Wondering how to stop robocalls? There are a few steps you can take to protect yourself from robocallers in the future.
First, hang up on the robocallers right away as soon as you hear a recorded message. Don’t answer any questions or dial any numbers, because that could make the problem worse. You could unwittingly be giving them your contact information, which could lead to even more scam calls.
Report robocalls to the FTC right away. Blocking a robocaller’s number probably won’t do much, as they often have multiple tricks up their sleeve to get around caller ID restrictions. Request to be placed on the Do Not Call list if you aren’t already, and keep track of numbers that call you so you can report them to the FTC.