Protect yourself from Phone Scams!
One day Sarah wanted to contact her client, Ben, on his cell phone. When Sarah was dialing Ben’s phone number, he saw an incoming call immediately on his cell phone. But… oh ohh… it comes out as a blocked number! That’s not a good sign, right? Ben denied the call and went about his day not knowing it was Sarah. Way to start a string of miscommunication…
In May 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted new rules to stop illegal robocalls that originate outside the U.S. from entering American phone networks.
Unwanted calls, including illegal and spoofed robocalls, are the top consumer complaint. These include complaints from consumers whose numbers are being spoofed or whose calls are being mistakenly blocked or labeled as a possible scam call by a robocall blocking app or service. The FCC is committed to protecting users from these situations and cracking down on illegal calls in various ways.
Answering a robocall doesn’t make you more likely to get additional robocalls. However, stories you’ve heard about people getting hundreds of unsolicited calls? Those are true. So let’s protect ourselves now from these phone scams!
What is a Robocall?
If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it’s a robocall. If you’re getting a lot of robocalls trying to sell you something, odds are the calls are illegal and also probably scams.
Are you receiving robocalls and texts on your cell phone?
If you think you’ve received a robocall or text that does not comply with the FCC’s rules, you can file an informal complaint with the FCC at fcc.gov/complaints. If you are receiving texts that you didn’t ask for, report the sender by forwarding the texts to 7726 (or “SPAM”).
How Businesses can avoid having legitimate calls blocked?
Phone companies, or their partner service providers, look for suspicious calling patterns in their ongoing efforts to proactively block unwanted and illegal calls. False-positive blocking may occur if a legitimate business or other entity places calls using a pattern similar to those associated with unwanted robocalls.
Here are some best practices to avoid being blocked:
- Always use a valid outgoing number.
- Never display an invalid number in caller ID.
- Never substitute a phone number in the caller ID to which you do not subscribe.
- Do not use an outgoing number that is on the “Do Not Originate” list.
- Limit the number of calls placed per minute, particularly outside of normal business hours.
- Limit the number of times you call numbers back within a short time frame.
- Periodically check with phone companies and third-party analytics companies about consumer complaints for the numbers you use to place calls.
When leaving messages include a consistent call-back number, and consider including additional contact information that recipients can use to report concerns.
You can also use different outbound numbers for different purposes. For example, customer support call-backs are less likely to be blocked based on complaints if they are made using a distinct number and not one shared with outbound telemarketing calls, which may draw complaints.