Spam calls are frustrating. When they keep hitting your phone every single day, it may be tempting to answer the call and tell off the person—or robot—on the other end of the line. However, it's important that you absolutely avoid engaging these spammers, and here are two reasons why.
You Just End Up Validating Your Number
You may think answering the phone and telling the spammer to stop calling you will reduce the number of calls you receive. Unfortunately, the opposite is true.
A lot of spam calls are automated scouting missions seeking out valid numbers with people willing to pick up the phone on the other end. By answering and engaging with the caller, you're essentially confirming your number is one of the "good" ones. The spammer will then add you to a list they will sell to other companies, use later to perform a scam, or both.
As annoying as the calls can get, you're better off ignoring them and blocking the numbers. Additionally, ignore any requests for a call back the spammer may leave in a voice or text message. This is just another way to test if your number is valid. If you're not sure if the caller is legit, feed the original and callback number into a search engine like Google. Spammers call hundreds of thousands of people, so chances are good others will have encountered them and report on what the call was about.
It's also a good idea to download an app that tracks spam calls. Many times, these apps will catch the call and send it straight to voicemail. However, the best feature of these apps is they let users flag suspected spam numbers, which creates a database they use to screen the calls and keep spammers from blowing up your phone.
You May Inadvertently Greenlight a Scam
Possibly the most important reason to ignore spam calls is you may get taken for thousands of dollars. In particular, scammers are now attempting to manipulate people into saying certain words and phrases. They'll then manipulate the audio from the call to make it seem like the speaker was making a statement they didn't actually say.
For instance, a common tactic is for a scammer to ask the listener whether they can hear them to get the person to say "yes". The scammer will then combine the recording of the individual saying the word with another audio file to make it seem like the victim agreed to pay old debt and then use it to convince them to actually send the scammer money by threatening to use their "agreement" in court.
Save yourself from this problem by ignoring spam calls. If you happen to answer a call by accident, either hang up or be very strategic with your answers. The last thing you want is to be on the hook for thousands of dollars you don't actually owe.
For more information about dealing with spam calls and how to stop robocalls, contact a consumer advocacy agency or law firm such as Heidarpour Law Firm.