I am unsure why but for the last few days my cell phone has been blowing up with unsolicited spam calls and that had me searching for ways to make it stop.

An Influx of Spam Calls

I have gotten 12 spam or telemarketer calls just in the last week alone and they came out of nowhere. Ordinarily the only times my phone rings are if it's my boss or my doctor's office. Everyone else I communicate with texts. To be honest, I have no idea why there is a sudden influx, but according to CNET, people all across the United States are expected to receive 52 billion robocalls. I just want to know how to make it stop!

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Warnings From the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission is the government agency responsible for regulating communication - whether by radio, television, satellite, cable, or phone. The FCC advises consumers to not answer calls from numbers they do not know and if you do answer, they say you should hang up immediately. If you answer and are instructed to press a button, the FCC says you should hang up. Perhaps one of the most important warnings from the FCC involves someone asking you a question. They say you should not respond to questions, but especially avoid answering any questions where your response would be "yes." Below are a few other warnings from the FCC.

  • You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be aware: Caller ID showing a "local" number does not necessarily mean it is a local caller.
  • Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
  • If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company's or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.
woman holding mobile phone with incoming call from unknown caller

Other Helpful Tips

The FCC offers some other helpful tips as well. They say you should be cautious of anyone pressuring you immediately for information. You also should establish a password for your voicemail. They say scammers and hackers can actually gain access to your voicemail by spoofing your phone number. It is also strongly advised that you register your phone number on the Do Not Call List to prohibit scammers and telemarketers from calling you. The FCC says, "legitimate telemarketers consult the list to avoid calling both landline and wireless phone numbers on the list."

What About Spam Texts?

Are you getting spam texts too? These often are phishing scams and include some type of hyperlink in the text. The FCC says you can report spam texts by forwarding the text message to the number 7726 (SPAM) but it is worth noting this may not work with all cell phone providers. Want to file a complaint with the FCC? You can do that here.

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