There’s nothing more annoying than getting interrupted by a spam robocall. Not only is it a nuisance, but sometimes it can actually become dangerous if you unknowingly succumb to the cyber attacker’s scam. In this blog, we explore why you’re getting robocalls and the best ways for you to stop receiving robocalls reaching you whether you have an Android, iPhone, or landline.
Why are you getting so many robocalls?
Robocalling scams are on the rise because they’re easy to set up with little cost to the scammer. If you’re receiving robocalls often, this probably means that your number has been leaked from a list, third-party data, data aggregation platforms, or some other source.
What can happen if you pick up a robocall?
When you pick up a robocall, scammers will consider your phone number active and may target you again because they’ll think they can potentially fool you into playing into their scam. The fewer robocalls you pick up, the fewer spam calls you will receive. So we recommend not picking up calls if you recognise that it’s from unknown or known spam numbers.
Can robocalls steal your identity?
Yes. Robocalls can steal your identity by recording your voice or attaining other personal information that could allow them to impersonate you. This is why it’s important that you avoid providing personal details about yourself over the phone, and that you hang up immediately to reduce the risk of identity theft.
How to reduce getting robocalls
1. Block the spammer’s phone number
If you’re getting robocall or telemarketing calls from the same phone number, the best way to stop them is to block them which can be done easily by going into your phone settings.
To block a number on iPhones, you just need to go to your ‘Recent’ to view the call history and tap ‘i’ on the call, then scroll down and select the ‘Block this caller’ option.
On Android phones, you can hold down the call in your call log and then a menu should pop up where you can block/report the number.
2. Silence unknown numbers
If you don’t want to receive any calls from unfamiliar numbers, including robocalls, you can choose to silence anyone who isn’t in your contacts from trying to reach you. When they call, they’ll be directed straight to voicemail and you can still see their call in your call history. Here’s how to turn on this setting for both iPhones and Androids:
- Go into settings.
- Scroll down and find the ‘Phone’ section and tap it.
- Scroll to find the ‘Silence Unknown Callers’ function, and tap it.
- Tap the toggle to turn on this function.
- Go into ‘Call Settings’.
- Go to the ‘Caller ID and Spam Protection’ section.
- Turn on this function by tapping the toggle and turning it green.
Other Androids may have a different process but will be very similar.
3. Register your number on the ‘Do Not Call’ List
In Australia, to minimise the chance of getting robocalls, you can register your phone number at www.donotcall.gov.au. It’s free, simple, and quick to do. It can take up to 30 days to take effect.
4. Check if your carrier has a call filter
Not all carriers offer this but you can try to contact your phone carrier and see if they can block and divert calls for you.
5. Install a third-party blocking app
You can block robocalls by installing third-party apps such as Truecaller, RoboKiller, and Nomorobo. These apps should filter out calls and text messages for iPhone and Android. We recommend using trusted apps like the ones we’ve mentioned.
6. Avoid sharing your phone number online
If you’re experiencing an influx of random spam or telemarketer calls or robocalls, you may need to be more conscious of where you’re sharing your phone number. Try to avoid giving out your number online such as through online forms, social media, and to strangers unless it’s absolutely necessary.
7. Don’t answer the phone or call back unknown numbers
Wherever possible, not answering calls from unknown callers can also help reduce robocalls. This is because scammers know your number is active if you pick up the call. Calling back potential robocallers will also make you an easier target for more spam calls in the future, so avoid calling back unfamiliar numbers. Keep in mind that if you are receiving genuine calls from someone who isn’t a contact, they can leave a voicemail or send you a text message if they can’t get to you through calling.
What should you do if you picked up the phone and suspect that it’s a robocall?
If you have picked up your mobile phone or landline and suspect that it’s a robocall, we recommend:
- Hanging up immediately as soon as you have suspicions that it’s a robocall
- Avoid following any action that involves pressing numbers on your phone
- Don’t answer any questions that require a ‘Yes’ answer
- Avoid doing anything that follows the bot’s instructions
- Don’t give any personal information such as your name, address, or any identifying details
Get in touch with FraudWatch to learn more about scam protection
FraudWatch is the industry expert on scamming and phishing attacks and we specialise in helping businesses protect themselves from such threats. Reach out to our team of analysts and we can find the best approach to protecting your organisation.