If you’re like most of us, you receive unknown phone calls and texts from unusual numbers, sometimes multiple times per day. Often they come from telltale distant out-of-town area codes. And sometimes the call is local, but from an unfamiliar number. There’s nothing worse than picking up a call and having it turn out to be a telemarketer, bill collector, or an ex that you’d rather not chat with.
Below you’ll find six types of unwanted calls where it pays to know who is calling you, plus tips on how to deal with unwanted calls from BeenVerified. BeenVerified’s mission is to help people discover, understand and use public data in their everyday lives by giving users affordable and easy access to public records, businesses and individuals. The tips are available for reprint (with proper credit shown below):
- The annoying ex with the new number
Your relationship started out with so much promise, but then it turned for the worse. After it ended, your ex became unstable and you’ve done your best to block them on social media and ignore their crazy emails. Perhaps you even changed their name in your address book to DO NOT ANSWER. But exes can be persistent and if they sniff out that they’re being ignored, calling from an unknown number to get you to answer is often an effective tactic.
- The debt collector who just won’t stop
“Hi, is this Maya?” These types of calls often come in spurts and are extremely annoying to field. These calls are often the result of the person who last had your number not keeping up with their bills or a case of mistaken identity. While you’ll eventually learn the number, it would have been great if you didn’t pick up the first time.
- The irrelevant sales call
Bad news: the used car dealership sold your information to a hundred other vendors and now they’re all calling you to offer everything from driveway repairs to gutter cleanings. In addition to being annoying, they’re irrelevant because you live in an apartment building.
- The time consuming survey
Surveys can often be sales calls in disguise. Or maybe its election season and pollsters are looking for your feedback. In any case you probably have better things to do than answer a bunch of random questions for a total stranger over the phone.
- The 2:00in the morning call
Tomorrow you have the big presentation at work. You’ve prepped all week for it. All you need is a little sleep… and then bam, your phone rings at 2 AM. These calls are not only irritating, but they can be scary as well. Is it someone stalking you? A prank? Or was it a family member in distress? While you probably won’t be able to look this number up ahead of time, you can search the number after to alleviate your fears.
- The scam artist on the prowl
The only thing worse than an annoying call is one that potentially costs you money. Last year, spam phone calls cost Americans over $8.6 billion. That’s billion with a B. During tax season, con artists impersonating IRS agents scam people out of money by trying to collect on phony back taxes. Fake charities and fake prizes are other common scams.
As you can see, there are a number of reasons to avoid answering your phone right away these days. Take precautions to know who is calling you before you jump on the phone with them and save yourself a potential headache.
Here’s What You Should Do:
There are some ways you can alleviate the annoyance of unwanted calls. For example, Apple announced that its upcoming iOs 9 operating system for the iPhone will include a new caller ID feature. The phone will look through your emails to see if it can recognize a caller not in your contacts list. Of course, this will not cover all callers. For callers entirely unknown, you’ll need an app like BeenVerified for the iPhone or Apple Watch that does reverse phone lookups.
If Caller ID doesn’t help and you’re still getting pestered by a business, tell them you don’t want to be contacted and register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. And importantly, keep your credit card, checking account and Social Security number to yourself when on the phone with unknown callers. Phone scams costs Americans billions of dollars each year.
BeenVerified was founded in 2007 by Josh Levy and Ross Cohen with a mission to help people discover, understand and use public data in their everyday lives. With millions of app downloads and millions of monthly visitors, BeenVerified is a leading source of online background checks and contact information. BeenVerified allows individuals to find more information about people, phone numbers, email addresses and property records.