The phone rings and the Caller ID displays “Unknow caller.” It could be important, so you decide to answer. Instead of being an emergency, it is another dreaded robocall that’s trying to sell you something you don’t want.
If you’re fed up with these calls, you are certainly not alone. U.S. phone numbers received more than 58 billion robocalls in 2019. Tap or click here to stop annoying scam calls for good.
One of the most common robocalls these days is a warning that your car’s warranty has expired. That might be true, but this call is most likely a scam and not an actual warranty company. There are several ways to stop scam robocalls, but there is one thing you should never do.
Here’s the backstory
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) warns that it can be difficult to determine if an auto warranty robocall is a scam or not. In some cases, the caller might have specific details about your vehicle and even personal details. Here’s how the FCC describes a typical call:
“If you own a vehicle and a phone, you may receive calls from scammers posing as representatives of a car dealer, manufacturer or insurer telling you that your auto warranty or insurance is about to expire. The call will include some sort of pitch for renewing your warranty or policy.”
Your best move when you realize it’s a robocall, hang up the phone immediately. There is one thing in particular that you should never do: press any numbers on your phone during the call.
Many of these calls are automated initially and ask you to press a button to continue or opt out. Don’t do it! If you do it lets the caller know that your phone number is active and will result in more robocalls.
Keep reading for FCC suggestions to avoiding these types of calls.
Steps you can take to protect yourself
According to the FCC, auto-warranty robocalls were the top unwanted call complaint filed by consumers last year, and the trend continued in January 2021.
Here are some other ways to protect yourself:
- Protect personal information – Never hand over sensitive data such as a Social Security number, credit card information, driver’s license number, or bank account information to any caller unless you can verify you are dealing directly with a legitimate company with which you have an established business relationship.
- Don’t press any buttons – As we mentioned earlier, pressing buttons during a robocall could lead to more. Just hang up the phone.
- Screen incoming calls – If you have caller ID and don’t recognize an incoming call, don’t answer. If it’s important, they will leave a message and you can investigate the number to ensure it’s legit before calling them back.
- Be careful with all numbers – Be cautious even if a number appears authentic. Thieves are good at spoofing phone numbers, making them appear to be official. Avoid answering any calls you suspect may be spoofed.
- Block telemarketing calls – A simple way to do this is to register your number on the Do Not Call List.
If you suspect a robocall is a scam, it’s best to file a complaint. That could help officials track down the scammers and end these dangerous calls. You can file a complaint with the FCC here. Or file a complaint with the FTC here.