During April, in the U.S., 3.4 billion robocalls were placed. That breaks down to each person receiving 10 calls per month. At the very least, these calls are a nuisance, but for some they become a costly financial nightmare. The most recent robocall scam is called neighbor number spoofing. That means that the area code and the first three digits match your own number. Scammers hope that this trick will encourage you to answer the phone.
Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau to keep you and your money safe:
- Do not provide financial information. If you did not place the call, never give out bank account credit/debit card or social security numbers over the phone.
- Do not trust the Caller ID. Scammers can spoof numbers to make it look like the call is coming from a reputable company or even your own number.
- Hang up! Or don’t answer. Do not follow directives. When you answer, you are validating that your phone number is active and will probably receive more calls.
- Consider downloading an app that helps block robocalls. Some carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, etc. offer free apps.
- Register your number with the Do Not Call registry which will help stop sales calls. You can register at donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222 with the phone you want to register.
- Trust your gut feeling. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Sources: Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission & NY Times