Do telemarketers drive you crazy? Does your phone ring at all hours of the day? If you’re sick of spam calls, you can take steps to regain control of your phone. All you need to know is how to turn the unknowns of callers into knowns. Here are four tricks to learn more about unknown calls.
Count the Rings
Image via Flickr by MLazarevski
A person has to change a phone setting in order to show on your phone as an unknown caller. Telemarketers willingly do this to trick customers into answering the phone. It’s a form of cold calling sales. Unfortunately, it’s also hugely annoying. Also, the caller may have ulterior motives.
Always count the number of rings when you receive a call. Some sketchy people try to trick people into calling them back. This scam works because the unknown caller charges by the minute for phone calls. They won’t pay to call you. Should you return the call, however, you’ll have to pay a fee once the phone call connects.
Most of these services use a single ring. That way, you’ll feel like you didn’t have time to answer the phone. You’ll reflexively return the call, not realizing you’re getting charged. So, make sure your phone rings at least twice before you ever return a call to a number you don’t recognize.
Use Area Codes
Some unknown callers don’t disguise their phone number completely. Phone carriers have changed their practices. They require more information from callers. To avoid these regulations, many telemarketers have turned to phone spoofing. The phone number that displays is a fake intended to look authentic.
Other unknown callers use a different method. They choose a country with the American country code. The idea is that the number will look right, so the call recipient is likely to answer. Check the specific area code before you answer an unknown call number.
The British Virgin Islands starts with a 284 area code. Other possibilities are the Dominican Republic (809), Grenada (473), and Jamaica (876). To a larger point, don’t answer a call unless you know someone from that area code. Remember that you can find the location of an unknown caller. That will help you decide whether you should answer.
Use Lookup Tools
Many websites exist that collate data about unknown callers. When you receive a call, do an internet search for the number. You’ll have plenty of time to do this as the phone rings. Sites like CheckThem will show all relevant data about annoying telemarketers. With a quick search, you can see whether you should answer or not.
Several phone apps also offer information about unknown callers. For example, Trapcall has an unmasking feature. It will show the real phone number of the caller in many instances. You’ll know exactly who is trying to reach you. Also, it has blacklist features if you want to ban a telemarketer from contacting you again.
Unknown callers are annoying. Thankfully, you can use these four tips to keep your phone clear of such nonsense.