Do you get phone calls from telemarketers, collectors, charities, robo-calls, and other annoying calls?
We all do. They interrupt our busy days, at dinner time, and can even be dangerous if we’re driving. What’s worse, now that we all carry cellular phones, these calls are using up our minutes and costing us money! But the real dangers are those calls from phone criminals who try to steal our identity by asking for personal information, steal our credit card numbers, or even track us down where we live. You may want to check out phone scammers impersonating Microsoft for more.
How do they get our unlisted phone number or cell phone number?
The truth is, they use automated dialing computers that simply dial every number combination and log every phone number that is not disconnected. Ever get a call from an unknown number and when you answer no one is there? It’s very likely someone who just dialed a wrong number, but it could be one of those dialing computers. Even if you don’t answer the phone, your phone will usually go to voice mail and you phone number still gets logged as “live”. They then give (or sell) these “live” numbers to telemarketers or criminals.
So what can you do about it?
Well the first thing you should do is register all your phone numbers with the government’s “Do Not Call Registry”. A common myth is that you cannot register your cellular phone number. Not true! You can register your home and cell phone numbers with the “Do Not Call Registry”. Registering your number will eliminate many calls from telemarketers after about 30 days from the time you registered. Telemarketers are required by law to not call any number on that list. Violating that law can carry severe penalties. There are some exceptions, like charities and communications companies, but for the most part, legitimate businesses will honor the list and never call you.
Unfortunately, there are many criminals out there who could care less about the “Do Not Call Registry” or FTC rules that govern telecommunications. If you suspect you’ve been called by someone trying to scam you or steal your identity, you can report the number to the FTC and to your State Attorney General. Your complaint is entered into a national database that is used by law enforcement that track down scam artists and stop them. Unfortunately, this list is not made public and many people will fall victim to these crooks losing their money, identity, or worse.
So where can you find more information?
Go to ReportaPhoneNumber.com where you will find reports from other people just like yourself who give detailed information on how these scam artists are working, what numbers they are calling from and what they are trying to do. So the next time you get a call from an unknown phone number, and the person asks for your credit card, or other personal information, hang up! Then check it out and warn others before it’s too late.