In our last article on spam calls, we highlighted the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) blog on How to Stop Unwanted Calls. Now that you’ve learned about call blocking, call screening and spoofing, here are some tips as you take a deeper dive.

Some DO’s and DON’Ts:

  • Do learn the terminology! (i.e., call blocking, screening, labeling, spoofing, etc.)
  • Do learn what type of phone you have, i.e., VoIP landline, traditional landline, smart or dumb mobile phone. Options for blocking and screening vary by the type of phone and your carrier. Some are free and some have an associated fee.
  • Do consider upgrading to a “smart” phone so you can use mobile apps to help block and screen calls. Smart phones have blocking features built into the phone.
  • Do check with your telephone carrier to see what call blocking, caller ID/labeling and/or screening services it offers. Some block potential scam calls, some flag suspicious calls and some screen, label or filter calls.
  • Do check with trusted resources like your local area agency on aging, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division or the Better Business Bureau if you want to know more about the caller’s proposal or offer. They can help you ferret out likely scams.
  • Do report scam calls to the FTC or 1-877-FTC-HELP.
  • Do list your number on the state and local Do Not Call Registry.
  • Do install a call blocking device if your carrier does not offer any service you like or can afford.

  • Don’t keep answering the phone! The more you pick up (even if you hang-up), the more calls you will receive, because they sell lists of working numbers.
  • Don’t act under pressure! Many scammers tell you that you must “act now” or your services or benefits will be terminated.
  • Don’t “press 1” to get off the call list as the number may sell for a higher price because you follow directions.
  • Don’t yell, argue, engage, or blow a whistle into the phone. Again, if you engage in any way, that increases the likelihood of your number being sold.
  • Don’t take action from an unsolicited caller. To learn more, call the entity by looking up the number, or call a trusted community resource listed below.
Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Senior Medicare Patrol Program (SMP) 800.986.3505
Indiana Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division 800.382.5516
Better Business Bureau Serving Central Indiana 855.833.1173