Does your (or your loved one’s) phone ring all day? Do you answer an automated call more often than connecting with a real person? Those are dubbed ‘robocalls’ and they make up around 50 percent of all phone calls today. Not only are they annoying, but they can also mean trouble for their intended target. Seniors are often targeted by spammers via robocalls because of the ease of accessibility to the senior population via phone.
The average consumer receives at least seven spam phone calls a month. One tactic that telemarketers use is to call from what appears to be a local number. They will use the same area code at least, if not the prefix too, to increase the odds of someone answering the call. Some companies will even use ‘911’ as the area code for the outgoing call because it sparks concern and/or curiosity in the person on the receiving end.
There is good news! There are precautions you can take to safeguard both yourself and your loved ones when avoiding robocalls. First and foremost, higher a caregiver! Caregivers can intercept these calls as well as aid in helping seniors to recognize when a trickster is on the line. Hiring a caregiver is our first recommendation, but there are other ways to protect your loved ones from unwanted callers.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) manages a national ‘do not call’ registry, and if you aren’t already on it, sign up today. Sign up your loved ones too. You can do so by visiting donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222. While this won’t stop the phone from ringing completely, because the following organizations are still allowed to make calls to numbers on the registry, it will cut the number of incoming calls significantly:
- Political organizations
- Survey takers
- Debt collectors
- Businesses you’ve bought something from or made a payment to in the last 18 months
Both landlines and cell phones have other tools available to help minimize unwanted callers. Landline carrier companies often offer features that allow you to screen callers who have blocked their phone numbers (something that telemarketers often do). Call your carrier and ask if they offer this feature. Cell phone users have a number of helpful applications at their fingertips to both identify and block unwanted callers. Call your provider to see what they offer as part of your monthly plan, or see which apps they recommend as most effective.
Feel free to contact us if you would like additional information on ways to keep your loved ones from falling victim to telemarketers. We’d be happy to help set your loved one up with a caregiver too!