If you have a telephone, which most people do, there’s a good chance you have received at least one robocall this week. In addition to causing frustration, especially if you’re in the middle of something important, robocalls are often designed to scam you.
Here are some of the many things you can do to protect yourself:
- Don’t answer the phone: If you suspect a robocall, it’s best to hit the ignore button or let it ring. In the event that you’re wrong about the caller, the person can leave a voice message or try again later.
- Hang up the phone: If you answer a robocall and begin to hear a recorded message, such as a sales pitch, don’t wait to hang up. Unless you have given the company written permission, it’s illegal for them to call you. Even so, this alone is not enough to stop robocalls.
- Don’t press any number: It sounds like a good idea to press zero for an operator, but this is actually a mistake. Telling a live person to remove you from their list is not going to do anything. In fact, it’s more likely to lead to an influx of robocalls in the near future.
- Contact your phone provider: Most providers are able to block a number for you for free. You may even be able to do this yourself from your cellphone or online account. The only issue with this is that many robocallers change their information, thus allowing them to get in touch with you despite the block.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): You can do so online or via phone. This allows you to report the call, while also learning more about your legal rights. You may even pick up some advice for better dealing with these calls in the future.
For most people, robocalls are more of a nuisance than anything else. However, don’t lose sight of the fact that these telemarketers are breaking the law. If this begins to affect you more deeply, such as if you were the victim of a scam, don’t hesitate to learn more about your legal rights in Minnesota and how to protect them.
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