What’s more annoying than a pushy telemarketer? A telemarketing robocall, of course. As much as I hate live telemarketers, I really despise robocalls trying to trap me into an extended warranty or free cruise scam or having Rachel With Cardmemeber Services claim she can lower my credit card interest. Those calls are all illegal, as the Federal Trade Commission points out, since I never gave the companies permission to call me, yet they still blow up my phone.
Sure Sign of a Scam
How do you know that all robocalls are scams? After all, John From Shipping’s offer of a free medical alert bracelet and thousands of dollars in grocery coupons might sound enticing. Before you take the bait, ask yourself this simple question: do I really believe a company that’s blatantly ignoring the law by making illegal calls is someone I want to do business with?
Never, Ever Do This
So what’s the best way to handle unwanted robocalls? There’s a way that seems logical, yet it’s really a trap. Most of these calls end the message telling you to press a certain number to talk to an operator and another number to be removed from the calling list. Do not, I repeat do not, press the removal number. The only thing pressing it accomplishes is to tell the telemarketer that you answered the phone,listened to the entire message, and even gave a response. Now you’ll be on the sucker list for even more calls from that company and every other scammer to whom it can sell your telephone number.
You might think it would be more effective to choose the option for a live operator and ask that person to remove your number. Unfortunately, because you’re dealing with scammers, you’re likely to just get hung up on before you even finish your sentence. In the worst case, the person might curse you out, as many victims have reported on websites like 800notes.com. They’re paid on commission, and you cut into the time they could be spending on unsuspecting victims, so they don’t take kindly to the interruption.
How to Handle These Calls
So what’s the best way to handle these calls? First, hang up immediately. Second, block the number if your telephone gives you that option. I personally like Panasonic as they sell many good number-blocked models. Third, report the number to the Federal Trade Commission. Telemarketing scammers are notoriously good at avoiding the law, but the FTC does manage to track some of them down.
You can’t completely eliminate unwanted telephone calls, but you can cut them down by handling them effectively. Never respond to a phone scammer, even if it’s just pressing a button. Hang up, block them, and report them. That way, you won’t be marked as a sucker and targeted for even more calls.