What happens if I answer a robocall?

Learn how automatic robocalls work to protect yourself from getting scammed

how automatic robocalls work to protect yourself from getting scammed

What are robocalls, and how can you stop them?

The goal of an e-mail is to get you to pay for a service or provide personal details. You’ve probably noticed that they’ve become increasingly common over the last few years as online technology has advanced in phones. Spammers can now make a multitude of calls simultaneously without much effort or cost.

Another issue is that they’re becoming increasingly difficult to identify prior to hitting the green button. You may have been the victim of these annoying messages or are contemplating what happens if I answer a robocall? This article can provide you with more information about the way that automated robocalls work in order to ensure you are not fraudulently contacted.

What happens if I answer a robocall?

What happens if I answer a robocall

What happens if I answer a robocall? If you do answer an automated call, your number is considered to be ‘good’ by scammers, even though you don’t actually fall for the scam. They’ll try again since they know that someone who is on the other end of the spectrum could be a victim of fraud. The less you respond to robocalls, the less robocalls you’ll get.

What are Robocalls?

Robocalls are uninvited pre-recorded telemarketing calls made to landline home phones as well as all prerecorded or autodialed calls as well as texts sent to emergency numbers, wireless numbers, as well as patient rooms in healthcare facilities. Many times they are unwanted and are illegal. 

Are Robocalls Legal?

In general, unless the company has your permission in writing it is not permitted under the law to call you through robocalls, especially in cases where the caller is attempting to sell you something. However, there are exceptions. As per the Federal Trade Commission(opens in a new tab) These kinds of robocalls are allowed under the law:

  • Messages that are solely informative provided that the caller isn’t trying to convince you of something.This can include calls about cancellations on flights, for instance or reminding you of an appointment or informing you about an upcoming school closing.
  • Debt collection calls. The business that is trying to contact you to collect debts can make use of robocalls to contact you. However, robocalls that attempt to offer you services in order to reduce the amount of debt you owe are likely to be frauds.
  • Calls to landlines that are politically motivated provided they are accompanied by the necessary identification information.
  • Phone calls from various health professionals for example, a pharmacy reminding you that it is time to refill your prescription.
  • Contact directly from charities. If a charity contracts people to make robocalls for its behalf, except if you’re a previous donor or a member to the charitable organization, that robocall will be unlawful. It must also include an automated option that allows you to unsubscribe from any future calls.

What To Do When You Get Robocalls?

There’s not much more irritating than ringing the phone when you’re working on something, only to end up getting a call from a recording. If you get a robocall offering to sell you something (and you’ve not provided the person calling you with your written consent) is it a criminal call. The caller should be hung off. Then, file a formal complaint to the FTC and the National Do Not Call Registry.

How Are Robocalls Dangerous?

While calls used to be restricted to political or sales calls, they’ve since become more dangerous. “The YouGov survey commissioned by CPR Call Blocker, also found that 13 percent of U.S. adults have been victimized by a call scam. For those who have been victimized, nearly half (48 percent) reported that they’d lost between $100-$10,000 due to the scam while 4% had lost more than $10,000.”

One particular scam has gained national attention because of its use of the well-known Verizon marketing slogan “Can you hear me now?” The its widespread presence and potential for financial damage. According to a report on USA Today published March 27 the 27th of March, 2017 “The Federal Communications Commission Monday issued a warning to consumers about these fraudsters. When a caller responds”Yes,” they are able to hear the robocall, their response can be recorded, and then used later to authorize fraudulent charges through the phone to the victim’s utility or credit card as the FCC declares.”

The article goes on to say “Robocalls are the most frequent complaint with the FCC from the public. This isn’t surprising every month U.S. consumers are being bombarded by 2.4 billion robocalls” claimed FCC chairman Ajit Pai last week during the FCC’s March meeting at which the commission voted to start a rulemaking process to stop calls from robocalls.

What are the Examples of spam robocalls?

  1. Unsolicited phone calls from individuals claiming to be employed by an agency of the government, a bank, financial institution or a public utility. These companies will never call you unless they’ve previously communicated with you via other methods or you have made contact with them.
  2. Unsolicited phone calls seeking private information such as passwords, account numbers as well as your mother’s maiden name.
  3. Calls to pitch free product trials, cash prizes, low-cost vacation packages, credit relief, investment options with low risk and more that appear too promising to be real.
  4. Demands for immediate payment with an exact payment method, such as a debit card iTunes gift card or wire transfer.
  5. The standard “Your vehicle’s extended warranty is about to expire” phone call we’ve all heard at least fifty times.

How to Stop Robocalls

There are a variety of ways you can end robocalls to yourself or someone in your family. They include:

  • Do Not Call Registry
When you register with the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry, you should stop receiving sales calls. You can voluntarily register your phone number, and companies must check the list before making sales calls. It is free and your registration does not expire. Where the Do Not Call Registry falls short, however, is that scammers don’t comply with the registry.
  • Call blocking and call labeling
Even if spammers change up their numbers or call you under a false name, you can block numbers as they come in. Your phone service may offer to block suspected robocalls automatically or to label them as spam. You can also download apps that screen calls, such as YouMail or RoboKiller.
  • Reporting spam calls
You can file a complaint with the FTC via the Do Not Call Registry if a sales call is coming to you unsolicited or the caller is harassing you. The FTC tracks the numbers of scammers even if they’re coming in under fake identification.
  • Nothing at all
One of the most powerful moves you can make in the face of robocalls is to do nothing at all. That’s because interacting with robocalls such as answering them, pressing a number or speaking to a live person (even to tell them to stop calling you) will likely just lead to more robocalls.

What To Do If You Fall for a Robocall Scam?

What To Do If You Fall for a Robocall Scam

However, not all people are fortunate. Certain people fall prey to these frauds. Here’s how to respond in the event that you are a victim of a fake robocall.

What to do if you shared credit card/bank information

Make contact with your bank as soon as possible and tell them what happened in full detail, including the nature of the scam, and what information you gave. If the theft already took place, your bank or credit card issuer could assist you in getting a reimbursement.

What to do if you shared your Social Security Number (SSN)

If you are able to provide the fraudster with your SSN You must act quickly. Check the credit rating to confirm that your accounts are in good order. After that, place an alert to fraud on your credit file to ensure that the credit bureaus verify your identity prior to taking any credit. Additionally, call OIG’s hotline for fraud at 1-800-269-269-0271 or make an online report.

What to do if you shared password/ user info

If you are able to provide the fraudster with your SSN You must act quickly. Check the credit rating to confirm that your accounts are in good order. After that, place an alert to fraud on your credit file to ensure that the credit bureaus verify your identity prior to taking any credit. Additionally, call OIG’s hotline for fraud at 1-800-269-269-0271 or make an online report.

Frequently Asked Question

Can robocalls steal your identity?

Robocalls could lead to identity theft. Although some robocalls provide us with valuable information, like reminders to refill prescriptions and flight cancellations are scams that seek to take our personal information

Why do robocalls hang up when I answer?

If the caller hangs up it is confirming that your phone number has been verified as “active.” The companies or scammers who confirm the number is “active” will start planning scams or even sell your number to companies.

What happens if you answer a robocall but don’t say anything?

Usually, unless there’s background noise the telemarketer will presume the dialer’s automatic system failed and failed to connect to the phone number prior to actually making the call. The typical scenario is that the telemarketer will greet you at least a couple of times before marking the call as “No Answer”.

What is a Robocall Warning?

What exactly is a robocall alert? A robocall alert is an indicator of your mobile phone to let you know that you may be receiving a fake call. You can see these warnings about robocalls, where the contact’s name or number will usually be displayed upon receiving a call.

Scroll to Top