Falling for phone scams and spam calls happens to the best of us. A good rule of thumb to avoid fraud: if you hear a robotic voice on the other line, immediately hang up.
What are Robocalls?
Robocalls are pre-recorded phone calls delivered by computerized auto-dialers (or “robots”). If you’ve ever answered a phone call and heard a robotic voice on the other end, you’ve been robocalled.
Besides the obvious fact that they’re obnoxious, robocalls are also risky. According to data collected by AT&T, there will be more than 5 billion illegal robocalls this year alone—most of which are cleverly designed to scam you. Fortunately, AT&T spam-blocking programs are “averaging 12 million blocked calls per weekday.”
Scams come in all shapes and sizes designed to trick you. More advanced scammers have access to some of your personal information, and masquerade as representatives from companies you trust. They’ll often set up elaborate, fraudulent websites, place ads, write fake reviews, and even send you mail to build credibility.
Even if a caller initially seems kind or well-intentioned, if you ever get pressured to give out your personal financial information, purchase something you didn’t plan to buy, or donate money to a cause you’ve never heard of, it’s likely a scam.
AT&T Call Blocking is Automatic—and Free
If you’re wondering how to stop robocalls, switching to AT&T is a great option. AT&T is one of the first carriers to implement automatic call blocking. AT&T Call Protect (AT&T’s robocall blocker) is seamlessly integrated with your service, and even offers more advanced protection and customizable security options with Plus for $3.99/mo.
AT&T blocks calls by detecting fraudulent numbers and messages even before they reach out to you, and marks suspected spam calls as Spam Risk on your phone so you know not to answer. AT&T Call Protect Plus will even provide more context as to what kind of spam you’re dealing with (charity, debt collector, telemarketer) with advanced Caller ID, along with the ability to choose which categories are blocked or sent straight to voicemail.
Once reported, robocallers are legally bound to stop calling you. If they persist, report any unwanted calls and texts to AT&T.
12 Tips to Avoid Fraud from Unknown Callers
Follow these simple dos and don’ts to avoid fraud:
- Do download the AT&T Mobile Security and Call Protect app to prevent more unwanted robocalls to your number.
- Do make sure your voicemail is password protected.
- Do verify the authenticity of any caller claiming to represent a company or government official.
- Do check the facts—if you’re donating to a charity, make sure it’s a real organization and not a scam.
- Do be aware that some websites are scams and even include fake testimonials.
- Do join the National Do Not Call Registry, and report any unwanted robocalls at https://www.donotcall.gov/.
- Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you do, hang up right away.
- Don’t give out personal information (like your Social Security, checking account, and credit card numbers) over the phone.
- Don’t pay for shipping for “free gifts.”
- Don’t believe any message about winning the lottery or free vacation, extending your car warranty, or investing in a “once in a lifetime” business opportunity.
- Don’t send cash or a money transfer (if you do fall for the scam, you’ll likely never see that money again).
- Don’t feel pressured to make snap decisions over the phone.
When it comes to robocalls, if you feel like something is “too good to be true,” it probably is. Set up AT&T robocall blockers to stop robocalls before they ever reach your phone, and mitigate the risk of being scammed today.