How many times have you gotten a call from an unknown phone number and wondered who it was?
Or maybe you’ve received a call from a company you don’t recognize and wanted to know if the call was legitimate.
Nowadays, it’s important to be careful about who we talk to on the phone. With so many scammers and spammers out there, it’s hard to know who is legitimate and who isn’t.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss ways to determine if an unknown caller is someone you should be talking to.
I’ll also give tips on what to do if a phone caller is harassing you.
How to Tell if It’s a Spam Caller
If you get a call from an unknown phone number, your first step should be to Google the number.
A simple search can often reveal who is calling and whether or not the call is legitimate. You can also check the Better Business Bureau website to see if the company is listed there.
Your Google search may also reveal if others have reported the phone number.
People on forums often share stories about scammy calls. They post the scammers’ numbers so that other people can see them and avoid them. Or, they’ll let you know that it’s a legit company trying to reach you.
If your search reveals the number calling you is on a website, it is more likely to be a legitimate company.
However, remember that caller ID spoofing is a huge problem. So, even if the number looks like it is from a company, it could be someone pretending to be from that company so they can scam you.
If you really need to know if it’s a legit call or not, you can try calling the number to verify their company name, address, and phone number. It is likely a scam call if they are unwilling or unable to do so.
The Old *69 Trick
If your Google search didn’t reveal the mystery caller, you could try the old *69 trick.
Entering “*69” on your phone’s keypad will give you the number of the last person who called you.
This feature works for both anonymous and hidden calls. You can get the number of the person who called and the exact time they called.
Keep in mind that some carriers charge for this feature.
What to Do if You’re Being Harassed on Your Phone
While most unknown callers may be relatively harmless, there may be a time when you feel a caller is dangerous, threatening, or harassing you.
In a situation like this, you can use the *57 feature to put a trace on the call. Dialing *57 will work, even if the caller has blocked their number from appearing.
Listen for your phone carrier’s announcement that verifies the call has been traced.
You won’t receive the phone number immediately. The phone company will simply make a note of the traced phone number. Then you’ll need to call the phone company and request a permission form, which you’ll need to sign.
You can then authorize law enforcement officials to investigate the harassing caller further.
How to Block Phone Numbers on iPhone
If you’re getting unwanted calls from a specific phone number on your iPhone, you can block that number to stop the calls from coming through.
- Tap Recents, Voicemail, or Contacts.
- Tap the number or contact you want to block.
- Scroll down.
- Then tap “Block this Caller.”
How to Block Phone Numbers on Android
- Open your “Phone” app.
- Tap more options (the three vertical dots).
- Tap Settings.
- Then, tap “Block Numbers.”
- Next, tap the Add icon (the plus sign) to register the contact to your Block list.
- Alternatively, you can block numbers from your call log.
Use your Phone Carrier’s Tools
If you’re getting frequent calls from unknown numbers, your mobile carrier may have tools to help block them.
Many carriers offer caller ID services that can help screen calls and protect you from scammers and spam callers. Some carriers also offer blocking tools that can help filter out unwanted calls.
Here are the three major carriers:
- AT&T’s Call Protect, provides a spam call blocking app.
- Verizon’s Call Filter detects and filters out spam calls.
- T-Mobile’s ScamShield identifies and blocks scam calls.
Contact your carrier if they aren’t listed here to see if they offer tools to help screen calls.
Use Third-Party Apps
Several third-party call blocker apps can help screen calls and protect you from scammers and spam callers. Some popular options include:
- Hiya: This app uses the power of crowdsourcing to identify spam callers. Users can report numbers that they believe are spam, and the app will warn other users if they receive a call from that number.
- RoboKiller: This app uses a combination of human intelligence and artificial intelligence to screen calls and block spam calls.
- YouMail: This app offers visual voicemail, which can help you screen calls and manage voicemails.
- Nomorobo: This app uses a database of known robocallers to help screen calls and block spam calls.
- Truecaller: This app uses a crowdsourced database of phone numbers to help identify and block spam callers.
Unknown callers can be a nuisance, but hopefully, after reading this post, you’ll feel more equipped to handle unknown callers.
Whether it’s a spammer, a scammer, or just a nuisance caller, remember to use caution when talking to someone you don’t know.
If you ever feel unsafe or harassed, don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement for help.
And finally, if you’re getting unwanted calls from a specific number, block that number.
If you have any additional tips for handling unknown callers, please leave them in the comments below.
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