Harassing calls can be incredibly annoying, and they’re also potentially dangerous. You might let your guard down at some point and end up on the end of a scam.
This investigation into the subject by BusinessWire shows that over 50 billion spam calls were placed to US citizens in 2019, and this number seems to be growing. This means the average American faces 14 calls a month.
If you do experience a lot of harassing, nuisance calls, it can be really tempting to just let it pass you by. Actually, it is becoming more important that everyone on the receiving end of these calls takes the time to report them. If not, the scammers behind the calls will continue to carry out their operation.
Types of Harassing calls
What are some of the types of harassing calls? What should you be on lookout for when people are calling your number with robocalls or even with real people trying to scam you.
Robocalls are pre-recorded messages trying to catch people out. They might claim to be from a tech support or even a government agency, often requesting that people call back, and when they do, a scam awaits.
Some spam calls can pretend to be from a local area code. This means that you can more easily get sucked in and scammed, as you will trust a local number more. This is usually part of a bigger scam and the motivation is normally to scam you out of money somewhere along the line.
Threatening or Harassing Calls
Even if you have debts or other financial difficulties it doesn’t give the right for debt collectors, or anyone else, to constantly harass you with phone calls. There are legal protections against threatening calls. These types of nuisance calls can also come from businesses or other people you have had dealings with.
How to Identify the Caller and Manage the Calls
If you experience one of these calls, the best thing to do is to ignore it altogether. If the number looks suspicious, is from an area where you wouldn’t really expect calls, or you just don’t trust it, you can ignore it. If something is really important they will leave a message.
Ways to trace a phone number and identify the caller
If you want to take things a step further and work out who is calling you, you can check the owner with a reverse phone lookup. This means you simply input the number and find the company (or harassment scams) that it is linked to. By identifying the caller you are in a far better position to report it and stop this sort of thing from happening in the future. Scammers take a lot of time and effort to prepare to trick you, but by checking their phone numbers and disclosing their identity, you can foil their efforts.
Best Ways to Manage Harassing Calls
There are a few other things you can do to try and prevent the calls from occurring. There are some apps you can put onto a mobile phone which may filter or prevent nuisance calls. Also, you can add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry which makes it unlawful for any company to call you without prior permission or a good reason. If you want to stop cold calling and scams, this is a good idea, but sadly many scammers do not care about the law, and will continue to harass you even if you are on the registry. The registry is free and you can register both your home and mobile numbers.
Ignoring the calls is a good strategy if possible. Scammers keep records of how likely you are to answer and respond to calls. You might get more in the future if you usually answer.
How to Report
In order to prevent more calls coming to you in the future and to help others with avoiding the issues, reporting the calls is the right thing to do. Did you know that the maximum fine for every call is over $40,000. This should be cause for the scammers to be concerned.
Where do you go to report an unwanted call? In the USA, you can access donotcall.gov to report the number that comes up on caller ID. You can report numbers that you think are fake or spoof numbers or those you have requested don’t call you back but who continue to contact you. The government agency will then investigate and potentially hand out fines to those individuals who are performing the scams.
Even with all the technology we have available to us, harassing calls are still relatively common, which is very frustrating, but to deal with harassing calls, you should investigate the number, report the caller and try and avoid this happening in the future.