There are plenty of annoying things on this planet–in fact, we could sit here all day and probably rattle off hundreds upon hundreds of them, from space-invading airline passengers to the dreaded brain freeze.

Ok, maybe those two examples were a little too “first world” for your taste, but they are undoubtedly annoying. And, do you know what else is annoying??

Robocalls.

You know, those terrible phone calls that you get from unknown numbers–or even numbers that look eerily similar to yours!–that literally only exist to, at best, sell you something and, at worst, steal your identity and rob you of your cash, safety, and/or time.

Lucky for us, though, our friends at the FCC are doing everything they can to stop these (mostly) illegal calls from happening–and for good reason, according to the agency, roughly 60% of the complaints it receives concerns robocalls!

So, what can you do to combat unwanted robocalls? Here are some expert tips, straight from the FCC’s Consumer Tips page:

  1. Never, ever, EVER answer a call from a phone number you don’t recognize. Instead, let the call go straight to voicemail. If it’s a legitimate inquiry, especially one that concerns something urgent, someone will leave a message!
  2. Always question the person’s credentials on the other end of the line. It’s not uncommon for robocallers to assume the identities of others. If this caller is claiming to be with a specific company, hang up and call back using a number posted on the company’s website to confirm.
  3. Refrain from using your voice during automatic recordings, especially if the recording is prompting you to say “yes,” as in “Yes, I would like to stop getting calls from this number.” According to the FCC, thieving tricksters might use your voice to confirm a fraudulent bill payment later.
  4. Don’t assume that local numbers are safer than unknown ones or ones with unrecognizable area codes–robocallers are known to use numbers that look like yours in order to appear legitimate.
  5. Never consider providing personal card details over the phone, especially if the caller is asking for a gift card number–no legitimate financial institution would ever ask you to do this.
  6. File a formal complaint with the FCC. Be vigilant and always report!
  7. If you’ve, unfortunately, fallen prey to a scammer and have lost money in the process, contact your local law enforcement agency to file a report.
  8. Learn more about robocalls by visiting the FCC’s website. There, you will find plenty of helpful resources aimed at eliminating robocalls from your cell phone, landline, business line, and more.
  9. Submit your number onto the Do Not Call registry, an official listing that all legitimate telemarketers are made to follow. If you have your number registered here, you can assume that most calls from unfamiliar numbers are of the robocall variety.

Yep, robocalls are annoying, but following these tips gives you many helpful ways to protect yourself from them!

We’d love to hear your take on these robocall prevention tips. Do you regularly receive robocalls? If so, have you ever been scammed? Do you have any tricks of your own for ducking scammers and unwanted solicitors?