Spam calls are similar to email spams in sense that they are form of unwanted communication. Spam calls and text messages are distributed in bulk and in most cases unsolicited (occur without any prior request).
Spam call can come from telemarketer selling you product or service. Spam calls are also robocalls which deliver pre-recorded voice statement with same goal of sale. Robocalls, Spam calls and email spams are illegal without prior consent.
“Scam calls are a form of fraudulent activity with the goal of stealing your money or your information. Similar to email scams, phone scams often present a bargain for merchandise, or something completely free (such as a free prize or winning a contest). Others demand payment for actions that victims have not done or services not ordered, including missing jury duty or payments on an outstanding debt like unpaid taxes or utility bills. Scams may arrive in form of either calls or text messages and should be blocked or deleted.”
Applications to Stop Spam Call
Following are some of the software/Applications to block Spam Calls, robocalls, telemarketing and phishing.
1. YouMail - uses smart technology to detect spam calls and robocalls. It also provide option for a second number which can be sent directly to voicemail and forwarded to your own cell phone.
2. UnknownPhone: One can report harassment calls. This will help other users from spam calls.
3. Calls Blacklist: This app block calls and messages. It blocks spam, inappropriate and harassment calls and texts. It also provide person blacklist.
4. Hiya: It is applied directly to some mobile networks. It identifies and blocks calls you want to avoid, with options of auto-blocking and reverse phone lookup
5. Truecaller : Truecaller identifies the person who is calling even before the call appears. Hence, you know, beforehand, a call will be knocking on your phone screen.
6. CallApp: It updates your contacts from social media. Thus, keeping you more connected. It identifies a large number of callers.
7. Nomorobo: It blocks spam calls and texts. It identifies calls from robocallers. Further, hangs the call even before you hold up to receive. The national do not call registry helps in this process.
Types of Spam Calls
1. Spoofing calls
A call that spoofs or imitates a local number or that of a well-known company. This is because scammers know you are more likely to take the call if you think it is a local or known number.
2. IRS scams
These calls feature scammers and criminals pretending to be the IRS. They may ask you to pay a fake tax bill and potentially claim that your Social Security number may be deleted if you don't. The callers use counterfeit IRS titles and badge numbers to make the call appear legitimate. In the UK, they pretend to be from HMRC.
3. Charity scams
Calls from fake charities asking for donations to help areas or people struck by diseases or natural disasters.
4. Travel scams
This type of call might start with a message telling you about a free or low-cost vacation notification. Recipients are then asked to input their credit card details to accept the free trip.
5. Health insurance calls
These calls may tell you that you are not receiving the best deal for your health insurance or offer you discounts on health insurance packages. Their real purpose is to trick you into giving up personal information.
6. Loan scams
The scam caller offers loans or credit cards for a small up-front fee, often targeting people with bad credit scores. Once the fee is paid, the loan never materializes.
7. Customer care scams
The scammers pretend to be from a legitimate business – such as Apple or other high-profile brands – with whom you have a relationship. They ask you for personal information that a legitimate business would already have and would not ask for over the phone.
8. Free trial scams
The scammers promise a free product or a service but then ask for your credit card, which is charged monthly.
9. SEO/Google calls
These scam calls target small businesses to tell them their listing on Google is about to disappear. They threaten to mark their companies as closed unless they pay for some unnecessary SEO services.
10. Local map verification scam
These spam calls inform owners of small businesses they need to verify an online map listing. The caller says they need your company’s sensitive information to continue the listing. They then use that information to raid the organization’s financial accounts.
11. Chinese robocalls
If you live in an area with a sizeable Chinese population, you might receive robocalls in Mandarin. To those who don’t speak Mandarin, the calls are baffling. Those who do, and who follow the robocaller's prompts, run the risk of falling victim to a scam.
Avoid Spam Calls
Avoid using only local phone numbers
Start displaying branded caller ID
Avoid shared lines for multiple businesses
Avoid mixed-use lines for the same business
Limit use of public phone numbers
Set up Do-Not-Originate lines
Limit the window of time for contact
Respect the do-not-call list
Monitor call center activity
Resource: kaspersky, Wikipedia, hiya
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