Cell phones are an integral part of today’s world and people use them everywhere, every day, for a whole myriad of tasks. However, if you’re using a phone, you also need to be aware of its drawbacks and the dangers that come with calls from unknown numbers. Spam calls and scam calls pose serious threats, and everybody needs to be vigilant.
Falling for a spam call can compromise your banking information, leave you open to identity theft, and make you a target for further spam calls. Sometimes, it will cost you money, and sometimes it can result in you panicking about a loved one being in serious danger. In a best-case scenario, it can lead to you dealing with many more spam calls going forward.
It’s crucial to understand the dangers of falling victim to spam and scam calls and to understand how you can avoid this. Let’s start figuring this out!
Recognizing Common Signs of Spam Calls
There are a few common signs that indicate you should be very wary about answering a number that has called you. Firstly, look at the number (assuming you have caller ID). If the number is unknown or hidden, you should treat it with caution. Spam callers will almost always try to conceal their caller ID.
You may also find that spam callers call repeatedly, even if you hang up on them or ignore them. They will often target you for several days running, and then stop, although another spam call may follow.
Once you’ve picked up, you should pay attention to the format that the phone call follows. In many cases, a call will be “urgent” or will contain high-pressure tactics. They may even become threatening in an attempt to get information from you.
In many cases, you will not be given information about who is calling you, like a company name. They will often refuse to give this information, even when directly asked.
The calls will generally come out of the blue, without you prompting them. Often, spam companies use robocalling and automated messages, as these cost considerably less than employing real people.
Those are just a few of the things you should look out for when it comes to spam calls – so what can you do to detect and avoid spam?
The Role of Number Tracker Pro in Spam Detection
Number Tracker Pro is one of the most powerful tools when it comes to identifying and blocking spam. It offers you the ability to identify a caller in real-time. All you need to do is enter the number into the search box, and the site will generate plenty of information about who is calling you.
This will help you to verify who is calling and whether they are from a legitimate company or not. Number Tracker Pro uses multiple databases to maximize the usefulness and accuracy of the information it generates, meaning you’re likely to get a good answer about whether or not you’re dealing with a spammer.
To use Number Tracker Pro, simply create a free account and purchase some credits. You can then perform reverse phone lookups on any number that calls you, and find out who is behind the call.
Investigating Caller ID and Information
There are also other checks that you can run to verify the authenticity of the displayed caller ID. Firstly, you should cross-reference the number with known spam databases and see if anything gets flagged as suspicious or worrying. There are lots of databases that will provide a list of numbers associated with spam calls.
You may also be able to enter the number into Google (or another search engine) to see whether there have been any reports or complaints about the number. If it’s generating a high quantity of spam calls, it may well appear in searches online.
Be aware too that sometimes, spammers are able to spoof a number so that it looks like they are calling from a legitimate organization. You may wish to cross-reference numbers or try a callback. To call a company back safely, get their number independently from their website, rather than calling back the number that dialed you.
This can be an effective way of verifying whether you were genuinely called by that company or not.
Identifying Common Spam Call Scenarios
There are quite a few common spam call scenarios that you may wish to be aware of. These include some of the following.
Scenario 1: You might be told that something in your home poses a danger to your well-being, or that your computer has been infected with a dangerous virus.
Scenario 2: You might be told that one of your relatives is in prison or in some other kind of trouble and urgently needs cash. This may be followed by a second phone call (e.g. from somebody pretending to be a lawyer for your relative) to sell the story more convincingly.
Scenario 3: You may also be faced with an automated voice that informs you you’ve failed to pay a bill, you owe money to X, your security has been compromised and you need to follow certain steps, etc.
Scenario 4: You might be told to give your password or other sensitive information to access your account. You should only give this kind of information if you have initiated the call and can confirm that you are speaking to the company you intended to speak to. Don’t give any personal information to anybody who has called you and claims they need to verify you.
Scenario 5: You get called by somebody claiming you have won money. They will then say that you just need to give them your bank details, or suggest that you have to pay a small fee to receive the money.
There are many other scams out there, and they are constantly changing and evolving. Always be cautious when you are called by somebody unexpectedly, regardless of the claims they make.
Blocking and Reporting Spam Numbers
Fortunately, there are things you can do to both block and report spam callers. On an iPhone, you can manually block a caller by:
- Going into the phone app (the green telephone icon)
- Tapping “Recents” and locating the number you want to block
- Tap the little “i” next to the number you want to block, scroll down, and select “Block this Caller”
On an Android phone, do the following:
- Open the phone app (the green telephone icon)
- Long press on the number you want to block
- Select “Block”
There are also various third-party apps that will help you block spammers, including Hiya, RoboKiller, Truecaller, and more. Your cell phone provider may also offer apps, so check in with them.
Furthermore, you can report spam calls to the local relevant authorities, or to your cell phone provider. Doing this makes it easier for them to handle serious spammers, and can help others to stay safe.
Reporting numbers online and adding them to the spam number databases is another good option that helps to identify spammers and reduce the risk for other people.
Proactive Measures for Spam Prevention
There are a few more things you can do to prevent spam on your phone as well. One involves enabling the built-in spam call filter on your smartphone. On an iPhone, you should:
- Go to “Settings”
- Scroll down to “Phone” and select it
- Turn on “Silence Unknown Callers” so that the icon turns green
On an Android, you can:
- Open the Phone app
- Tap on the three dots in the right-hand corner and open “Settings”
- Tap “Caller ID & Spam” in the “Assistive” section
- Toggle the “Filter Spam Calls” so that you can block spam calls automatically
You can also speak to your service provider, as some offer additional protection and blocking services, but this varies depending on your carrier. Don’t assume that any spam protection will work 100% of the time; you still need to be vigilant and cautious.
Further measures to protect yourself include not answering calls from unknown numbers. Instead, allow the call to go to voicemail. If it’s important, the caller will leave a voicemail, which you can then screen and decide how to respond to.
Finally, make sure you are aware of current scams and phishing tactics, as well as the latest advice on scam prevention. This will go a long way in helping you to spot scams!
There are lots of ways you can check whether a number is spam, including searching the number on Number Tracker Pro to find out who the caller is. Look out for robocalls and high-pressure tactics, as well as repeat calling. The more proactive and aware you are, the less likely you are to get caught by spam.
Tools like Number Tracker Pro can be invaluable when it comes to detecting spammers and verifying who you are talking to. With huge databases and detailed search results, it will help you stay safe from spammers trying to steal your information or your identity.