Scammers skip the ‘Do Not Call List.’

Sep 4th, 2017 | By | Category: Commentary

Here are a few ways you can protect yourself when scammers don’t play by the Do Not Call rules.

By Emily Valla/ BBB Northwest

PhoneStock

You’re on the Do Not Call list. You are careful where you give out your phone number. Yet, it seems like no matter what you try, scam calls just won’t stop! There are a few reasons it could seem like scammers are targeting you.

Consider that the Do Not Call list is for legitimate telemarketers. Scammers, however, are already trying to attempt something illegal in stealing your money or identity; they aren’t likely to care about the registry. We like to compare it to asking a bank robber to drive the speed limit in the getaway car. However, registering your phone number at donotcall.gov would slow down other sales calls, making it that much more likely unwanted calls are scam calls.

Bad guys try many tactics on their imposter calls, claiming to be from the IRS, the court system (claiming you missed jury duty or owe fines), your credit card company or bank, or from ‘Microsoft’ calling to ‘fix’ the virus on your computer. In virtually all cases, the scammers are attempting to obtain personal information or convince you to send money by wiring cash or purchasing a prepaid card and giving them the activation number on the back.

To protect yourself from phone scams, keep in mind a few tips from Better Business Bureau.

Never give personal or financial information out on unsolicited phone calls. It’s best just to hang up the phone. These scammers are professionals, and if they get you talking, even if one scheme doesn’t work, they will call back with a different scam in the future. Answering a scam call can trigger more calls: bad guys make note of who will pick up the phone and engage with them.

Do not take calls from numbers you do not recognize. If it’s a legitimate contact, they will leave a message. If the voicemail is from a scammer, this will give you time to think about what is being asked of you.

Be cautious of automated messages asking you to “Press a Button” to be taken off of their call list. It’s best just to hang up. Pressing your keypad is another way to alert the caller that they have reached an active number, and they will continue to call and may sell your number to other scammers as well.

Be aware that scammers are calling and impersonating legitimate businesses, organizations, and charities. The best thing you can do to prevent yourself from falling victim is to hang up, find the appropriate phone number, and call them directly to speak to a representative.

And, it doesn’t hurt to sign up for the Do Not Call list (donotcall.gov) to at least slow telemarketing calls.

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