The Federal Trade Commission launched a new program earlier this month to cut down on the number of illegal robocalls that go out and the Connecticut Better Business Bureau is sharing tips on how you can help reduce these types of calls.
When people report Do Not Call or robocall violations to the FTC, the commission releases those numbers to telecommunications carriers and other industry partners that are implementing call-blocking solutions.
"There are few issues that anger consumers as much as these unwanted calls," Connecticut BBB spokesman Howard Schwartz said in a statement. "Robocalls are more than irritating. They are also at the heart of a huge percentage of attempts to deceive consumers into disclosing personal and financial information."
Blacklisting robocall telephone numbers is the most effective method of blocking them as researchers continue their work on new technology to stop them, according to the local Better Business Bureau.
To help reduce the frequency of unwanted calls, the Connecticut BBB recommends:
Get onto the Do Not Call Registry - Help populate the FTC robocall initiative database by calling 888-382-1222, or registering online at donotcall.gov. You will receive fewer marketing calls and make it easier to identify the fraudulent ones.
Don't press any digits on your keypad - Ignore recorded prompts to press digits on your telephone keypad to be taken off their calling list. If you press any keys, it tells the scammers you have an active number, that you are amenable to picking up calls from unknown numbers and willing to following a call to action.
Your number will then be sold to other telemarketers and the frequency of calls will increase.
Beware of corporate ID fraud - Callers may use the name of a legitimate company to lend credibility to their pitches. Hang up, and if it differs from the number of the legitimate company, report the number to the Do Not Call Registry.
Watch out for "bait and switch" - Some callers will ask something such as "Is Jane there?" When you tell them they have the wrong number, they change the subject and may ask a question such as "While you're on the phone, have you thought about installing new carpets in your home?"
Don't pick up the phone - If you don't know the incoming number, let it ring. If the call goes to voicemail you may be able to discern what sort of a call it is.