Scam calls still exist and they got smarter and smarter, so they often still work, especially with elders and children. They can be about anything really, but the most popular lately are the ones related to customer service in the telecommunication or IT field. Other phone scams can be about some pretend injured close relative or a friend of yours, something related to your taxes and bills, bank transactions issues or any other subject that you can think of. Some phone scammers are not even about the money, but they just like to prank strangers on the phone and get them on the edge. Now, this is not very profitable for either of them, but some people’s sense of humour is just twisted or maybe they are looking to waste your time for some reason.
There are also some companies that don’t have the concept of privacy or common sense and would do anything to sell their products even if that means they have to harass people on the phone. They can be pretty annoying, especially if they insist to give you more information on a subject that you are not interested in or if they keep calling repeatedly even if you specifically told them not to do it anymore. It is not very common, but this happens and it is either because of their inside policy or because of the lack of communication inside the company. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean it is ok, so you should do something about it as soon as possible if you care for your patience, nerves and general wellbeing.
• Just hang up
It is not very hard to catch on a phone scam, but the tricky part is deciding what to do with this situation when it occurs. You can always play along, but sometimes your mere voice tone can offer more personal information that you’d think. If something seems off, don’t even bother talking, because some of the scammers use robocalls to contact you and those are pretty smart when it comes to voice recognition. With these kinds of software, they can steal money from you right under your nose, without you even knowing. The best solution in this case is to just hang up your phone and never answer to the number again, which takes us to the next bullet point.
• Block the phone number
The easiest way to stop the scam calls is to block the phone calls on your device. Putting a phone number on the blacklist is very easy and very effective. Now, this, however, doesn’t guarantee that the scam calls will stop because scammers usually use more than one phone number. Besides, there are many groups of these kinds of criminals that are trying to steal money from whoever falls in their traps. Now, in order to block a phone number, you have to know it was a scam call and there are 2 ways of finding that out: you either pick up the phone and talk to the person on the other end of the line for a little while or you don’t answer at all and you do a reverse phone lookup. Finding out who called you is not that hard and missed phone calls from numbers that are not in your contact list are not always scammers, but if you suspect something it’s better to take action as soon as possible for your own sake and benefit.
• Call the police
Ultimately, in order to avoid being called again or to help the community, file a police complaint. Tell the officers what the phone number is, when the call took place, what happened during the conversation, what the person from the other end of the line told or asked you, what you answered back and be very specific. Otherwise, they won’t be able to catch the offender and do what they have to do after that. You should be compliant and answer all of their questions because that is how they can gather complete information. They most likely already have a list or a record of phone numbers that have been used to scam in the past, so they can track it down pretty quickly.
• Use special apps
There are some people who thought of building apps that can scam or trick back scammers. They work on the principle “what goes around comes around” and since technology plays a big part in this problem it can also solve or decrease it. So, there are some free or paid phone apps that track down the unwanted illegal calls and simply block them before they even arrive. Even though they may not catch all of them, their efficiency is unbeatable, being able to track as much as 90% of the, which is actually an impressive number. Their system works on some previously established databases and lists of phone numbers that have been used by scammers and that is perpetually updated. The revenge part is that most of these apps answer those calls with realistic robot voices that have a close to normal conversation with the scammer without revealing personal data and information.
• Make them lose time
Talk to them a lot and about anything. You can even ask stupid questions and be as ignorant as you please. They will try their best to keep their patience and sound as kind as they can considering. You can have some serious fun by doing this and, depending on your sense of humour, you can take it as far as you like. The important thing to know is that if you make them lose time with you without getting anything, they will have less time to scam other innocent people and thus less chances of success. There are so many ways you can do this, you just have to get creative. This can even be a small victory that you can celebrate.
• Let them know you caught on the scam
This can be very unpleasant for them, but very satisfying for you. After trying to spend as much time as possible on the phone with them talking about weather or whatever comes to your mind, eventually you will get bored and eager to let them know that you are smarter than they are and you caught on the scam, so just do it.