Robocalls: Why you should think before you answer

Robocalls: Why you should think before you answer
Why you need to be careful before answering the phone when it's a number you don't recognize. (Source: wsfa)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - How often does this happen to you? Your cell phone rings, the number looks familiar, but no name pops up on the caller ID, and when you gamble and answer, it’s someone trying to sell you something?

The Better Business Bureau says around 2.4 million robocalls are sent out each month and a lot of these calls are not legal.

"The calls from stores that are trying to sell you something, unless you give them specific permission to call you, those calls are not legal,” said David Smitherman with the Better Business Bureau of Central Alabama.

Some of these recorded calls are legal. Recorded messages from political candidates and calls from a business that you have a preexisting relationship with are legal. But a lot of these robocallers aren’t legal and they’ll do anything possible to get you to pick up. I’m sure you’ve seen it, the numbers look like it’s a local call, but it’s not.

“A lot of these calls will ask you to press one for this or two for that, don’t do it. If you do they know they have a live phone number and they will turn around and sell your number to more scammers, so you will get even more calls.” Smitherman said.

Another thing to be careful about is messages demanding a payment. This is often a red flag that someone may be trying to scam you. The best advice is the most obvious, if you don’t recognize the number just don’t answer. If it’s really important they will leave you a message.

Now you can sign up for the federal do not call registry. Right now the Federal Trade Commission is closed due to the government shutdown. So you will have to wait until it reopens.

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