As I’m sure you do, I cringe every time my cellphone rings and I don’t recognize the number or the caller.
To answer or not to answer? Usually I end the call by rejecting it, realizing if it is important (and legitimate), the person calling will leave a voicemail. Usually the robocallers don’t.
Unfortunately for me, I usually answer all calls from Michigan. That’s because I am the state correspondent with the Forty and Eight veterans’ group and could be getting calls from fellow veterans with needed information.
At least 99% of the calls I do answer result in a few seconds of silence before I realize it is a dreaded robocall. I hear either a very cheery recording telling me … well, I am not sure what the computer on the other end is telling me because I immediately hang up. Worse are the live calls, where a human on the other end begins to tell my about a warranty extension for a car I haven’t owned in 10 years. Those get a quick disconnect as well.
The most unusual call I received in recent days was one from someone who said they were representing the Detroit Tigers and asked how long I had been a fan. When I said I wasn’t a Tigers fan – I am a dedicated and lifelong Cubs fan – the guy on the other end said he liked the Cubs too. Then he turned the conversation back to the Detroit nine, and I hung up.
Now enter the Federal Communications Commission, which recently posted a scam glossary on its website at fcc.gov/scam-glossary.
The glossary is literally an A-to-Z listing of all known scams that the FCC has identified. Some of these are:
In fact, you should never give personal information over the phone – bank account, Social Security number, etc. – unless you initiated the call and trust the entity on the other end of the line, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
You can try to block robocalls by placing your cellphone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to notify marketers that you don’t want to get unsolicited telemarketing calls, the FTC reports.
To register by telephone, call (888) 382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236). You must call from the phone number that you want to register. To register online at donotcall.gov/, you will have to respond to a confirmation email.
Other Do Not Call Registry info: