By now we’ve all heard about various security breaches that occurred during the presidential election and others at large companies like Equifax. As a result, security companies are busy milking our insecurities with offers to make our private information safe. Regrettably, these fears aren’t imaginary. What’s also true, is we don’t have to buy the new technologies to protect ourselves. Megan Leonhardt lists some do-it-yourself or free services to help you: ”It’s not Just You: Robotcalls and Scams Are on the Rise,” (Money. October 2917, pgs. 25-26.)
You’ve probably already signed up with FTC’S free Do Not Call Registry to prevent nuisance calls. And you’ve kept the enrollment current for both cell phones and landlines by signing up every 5 years. (Click) Unfortunately, says Leonhardt, scammers have found ways around the registry. You might even be seeing an increase in unwanted calls, like I am. Leonhardt recommends allowing the call to go to voice mail rather than pick up. When you hear a dial tone, a scammer was probably on the line. If you do pick up and hear an offer you can’t refuse, don’t deal with the caller. Contact the company. The offer you hear may not be legitimate.
If you own a smart phone, apps exist to block unwanted calls. For iPhones, Leonhardt advises looking up the last of your most recent calls then scanning down to the bottom of the screen. You’ll find is an option to block a number. Androids can block, too, using “auto-reject.” For Landlines, Nomorobo charges no fee to block voice over internet protocol (VolP).
Final warning: deals that are free or almost free require further scrutiny. Says Leonhard, companies can hide their profits in the shipping and handling fees.
For more information on how to stop robocalls check with FTC. (Click)