Back in the days of landlines, before caller ID, it was very difficult to identify who was calling you if they did not give their name. This was when prank calls became a trend because there were hardly ever any consequences that came from it. These days, there is caller ID on most cell phones and a commonly known reverse phone lookup service. Read on to find out how you can use a reverse phone lookup to protect yourself.
The Problem with Unknown Callers
There are a few concerning areas when it comes to receiving calls from unknown numbers. Typically, there are two different subcategories of these, which include robocalls and spam calls.
Robocalls are illegal to send out, but they happen very frequently anyway. Robocalls come in the form of a pre-recorded message that is trying to get you to buy something. The message may request that you press a certain number to speak to a representative or confirm the purchase. If you get a robocall, you should hang up right away without pressing any buttons.
Spam callers are similar, but they tend to be from real people. These calls can be more persuasive as the caller attempts to get your personal information, including your bank account number. These calls’ primary purpose is to target more vulnerable people (such as older people living alone) and convince them to give away confidential information. They would then use this information to scam the person out of money.
How Does a Reverse Phone Lookup Help?
Performing a reverse phone lookup can provide you with a lot of information about the caller. The reverse phone lookup can find information by using a search engine to research the number. It then goes a step beyond that by matching the number to a name and searching through court charges, employment history, and credit records. The type of information that could get uncovered may include:
- Name of the owner of the phone number
- Address and email of the owner of the phone number
- Company contact info, if it is a company who is calling
- Social media activity of the owner
- If it is a company, the owner’s name
When you have more information, it will be easier to report them to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). Complaints can get submitted to their website, and they will work to take down the phony caller by using the information you provide to them.
How to Handle a Scam Call?
Now that you know how to handle a scam call, you will be more prepared to deal with them. The next time that you receive a call from an unknown number remember to hang up without engaging or pressing any buttons on the phone. Take note of the number using your caller ID feature and input it into a reverse phone lookup search. If it has been a company calling you, it is a little easier to put a stop to. You have the company’s name, so you can give them a call and tell them to stop contacting you. They will be legally obliged to stop calling you and can face charges if they continue to do so.
If it is an individual who has been contacting you, try using a blocker. This will reduce the number of calls that get past the block, as the caller will need to give their name to proceed.
As a final resort, you can add your phone number to the DNCL (National Do Not Call List). After 30 days, you should not be receiving any spam or telemarketing calls at all, or the number will at least be greatly reduced.