What is a Spam Call? Everything You Need to Know About Spam Callers
Ring, ring! Uh oh, another IRS scam caller. You would think spam calls are a thing of the past. So, what is a spam call? Here’s everything you need to know.
In June 2018, a total of 4.5 billion spam calls took place. That’s nearly 18 spam calls for every person. In one month alone!
Spam calls are the number one complaint of cell phone users. Many people cancel their landlines because of the overwhelming number of spam calls.
What is a spam call? Here’s everything you need to know and what you can do about it.
What is a Spam Call?
A spam call is any live or automated phone call in which the caller is asking you for money, for feedback or trying to sell you something.
Usually, these calls are unwanted and annoying. More than that, they can be dangerous. Some spam calls are attempts to steal from you.
Why Am I getting Spam Calls?
Your phone number is out there. Many call centers pay to receive big batches of phone numbers from various sources.
If you sign up for newsletters, retail store sale alerts or mailing lists – chances are you provided your phone number. It’s easy for companies to sell or sometimes get phone numbers for free in order to build their list of spam phone numbers they can contact.
If your phone number is out there on the internet, such as on a blog or personal website, website crawlers find your number and pretty soon you are the recipient of spam calls.
Legal Spam Calls
Not all spam calls are nefarious. There are a few types of legal calls. These are often companies cold calling you.
Incoming calls from telemarketers is a way for businesses to try to sell their product or service to new clients. They could be trying to sell house insurance to duct cleaning to driveway sealing.
These calls can be frustrating and annoying. Mostly because the callers don’t want to take no as an answer. They are trained to keep talking even after you say you are not interested.
It often takes 5 stern nos from you before they accept your response and let you go.
Be wary of these types of calls as many of the phone scammers pretend to be from a certain company in order to steal from you.
Use GoLookUp to see who the phone number they are calling from is registered to. Compare that to the phone number on the company’s website.
Pre-recorded messages are called robocalls. When these are used to communicate necessary information with you, they are legal.
For example, you may get a robocall from your dentist reminding you about an upcoming appointment. Or from your children’s school regarding bus cancellations.
Some companies use cold calling as a way to gather necessary data on consumer behavior.
The caller will identify the company he or she is calling on behalf of and ask you to participate in a short survey.
The survey typically takes less than 10 minutes to complete. During this time you will answer questions either saying yes or no or use a scale from 1 to 5.
Local charities are legally allowed to cold call to try to collect funds for their organization. They are required to state their organization and give you a contact phone number at the beginning of the call.
Illegal Spam Calls
Illegal spam calls have one goal in mind. And that is to steal from unsuspecting people. They can either be done by robocall or live person scam calling.
Scammers attempt to steal your personal identification or money in a number of ways. You have probably heard of the IRS phone scam. Maybe you even got a call yourself.
People need to stay vigilant as these scammers can often make their phone numbers appear legitimate. They might even provide you with a real IRS agent’s name and badge number. This illegal scam has been able to steal $54 million from their prey since 2013.
These scam artists con people into sending money through wire transfer, prepaid visa card or even iTunes gift card. They may also send you threatening emails and harass you with robocalls. They threaten you with arrest, deportation or loss of your driver’s license if you fail to pay.
Check out these 5 top news stories from 2017.
End Spam Calls For Good
There are several things you can do to protect yourself from the danger and nuisance of getting phone spam.
Don’t Give Out Your Number
You’re standing at the checkout counter and the cashier asks you for your phone number. Or the dry cleaner asks you for it in case you forget to pick up your item.
Both situations seem like a good reason to hand over your digits – but don’t. The more companies have your number, the more likely it is to fall into a spam number list.
Retail stores don’t need your phone number. So what if you lose out on a 10% off coupon? You’ll live. Just say no.
Install an App
You can install a call blocking app that lets you create make lists of phone numbers you want to block.
Some of these apps come pre-loaded with lists of phone numbers that are already blocked.
These numbers are ones that have received consumer complaints in the past.
You can even create a whitelist which has phone numbers that aren’t on your contacts list but are still authorized to call you.
We hope this article helps you answer the question what is a spam call. Remember, your phone number is a private piece of information that you have control over.
Follow We Are Augustines on Facebook for more lifestyle, music, home and fashion stories.