How Do I Protect Myself from Spoof Calls?
Robocalls by telemarketers are a growing concern in today’s society. An article by CBS News, titled, “The FCC’s fight against phone-y calls,” describes how fake IRS calls and telephone fraudsters asking for money are harassing thousands of people every day. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is trying to put an end to the scams by imposing new regulations aimed at the nation’s vulnerable phone system, and by imposing fines against scammers. In one situation, the FCC imposed a fine of nearly $3 million against a New Mexico dialing service for making millions of illegal robocalls.
Other articles about this dilemma have been written by the New York Times and other prominent news outlets. While in-country phone scams are fairly easy to identify and shut down, the FCC is having trouble tracking international spoof calls. Even though they are imposing new regulations and threatening scammers, stopping the growing dilemma is a huge task. It is up to citizens to take steps to protect themselves against spoof calls.
What can you do to protect yourself from phone scams?
- Use caution when answering the phone. If you do not recognize the caller ID or it is from a different area code, it is best to let the call go to voicemail. Typically, scammers do not leave voicemails. You should also establish a secure password for your voicemail account. If it turns out to be someone you know or an important, valid call, you can always call back. It is better to be safe than sorry.
- Check out the caller ID online. If you are skeptical or unsure about a call from an unknown number, you can Google the number. Odds are, if it is a scam number, there will be information about it online. Look for warnings about the caller ID, and do not call back.
- Be wary of calls from government agencies. Scammers are getting smart in their tactics to get money from people. They can even trick consumers into thinking the call is coming from a legitimate government building. In one case, according to the CBS News article, a scammer in Pennsylvania hijacked the caller ID of the Pottsville City Hall and made calls threatening people with arrest if they didn’t pay outstanding tax debts. If you receive a call from a supposed “government entity” and it is asking for money, it is almost definitely a spoof. You should ignore the call. If you do pick it up, be careful not to give out any personal information such as bank account numbers or your Social Security number to the caller.
- Register your phone on the Do Not Call registry. The National Do Not Call Registry is available to anyone wanting to protect their phone number from telemarketers. You can register your cell phone and home phone for free online, and you can report unwanted calls. Other types of organizations, such as political groups, debt collectors, surveys, and charities, may still be able to reach you. However, you will be protected from receiving spam calls from telemarketers. If you receive an unwanted call after 31 days, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission. It is important to keep you information updated regularly to ensure your number is protected.
Contact Atlas Law Group Today at (312) 313-1613
The FCC is struggling to trace and shut down in-country and international spoof callers, but it is an uphill battle. If you are being harassed by telemarketers or receiving spam calls, we can uphold your rights as a consumer. Our Chicago consumer attorneys have represented hundreds of clients against creditor harassment and other breaches of consumer law. We can investigate your situation and provide tenacious legal assistance. With a commitment to providing innovative, effective legal solutions, our firm can guide you through the legal process.
Contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.