Saturday, February 23, 2013

Don't Get Scammed From Unknown Phone Numbers

Ever get a mysterious phone call on your home or cell phone, and you don't have caller ID?  Between credit card offers, travel companies, newspaper subscriptions, and the like, there's a good chance telemarketers will be calling you.  But, you can fight back.

If someone calls me and I don't immediately recognize either the area code, or phone number for that matter, especially 800 or 866 ones, I usually kill the call by hitting "ignore" on my phone.  Of course, you can always just not answer, too.  Then, just in case the call is legitimate, I will go to Google and type in the phone number, using the dashes like this: 925-555-XXXX.  If Google itself doesn't directly tell you what the number is, there are many other sites, such as 800 Notes, which provide testimonials from those that received the mysterious phone call.  

A few weeks ago, after getting one of these 800 number calls, I found out that it was Chase Bank calling me about my credit card to verify some purchases I had made.  I looked up the number and realized that it was legitimate and I am glad I called right away.  However, today, I got a call from Washington, DC, which would make think that it was more likely just an unknown number from a friend, but, it wasn't.  I punched in the number into Google and it was some sort of automated employment survey, according to 800 Notes.

To stop, or at least help prevent, telemarketing calls (there are always workarounds to the laws it seems), you can register on the Do Not Call List here.  This is the Federal Government's national registry of phone numbers that have telemarketers are not supposed to call.  If they do, you can file complaints and they will be fined.