Voicemail Could Become the Most Threatening Feature of Your Phone?
Telecriminals continue to make billions of unwanted calls to landlines and cell phones each month.
They use every technique at their disposal to influence you, the called party, in an effort to acquire private data in order to steal money or assets from you.
More and more consumers are becoming aware of the increasing dangers of unwanted callers and are following TeleZapper’s Telephone Security Tips. This, coupled with using call blocking devices, services and apps that are now readily available, mostly for free, is having a positive impact for the users.
The single biggest defense against scams from tele-criminals is simply following our #1 Tip - “NEVER answer a call when you do not recognize the Caller ID”.
The impact of more people following this one tip means that currently only about 3-5 out of 100 tele criminals calls now appear to be answered by a live person. Unfortunately, those 3-5 % (millions of potential victims) who do still answer, represent most of the tele-criminals’ victims, who are losing billions of dollars per year along with their privacy and peace of mind.
Many intelligent people tell me that they could never, ever be conned by callers. I can only say that anyone, including myself, can fall prey to the influence of a well-executed con. Don’t risk it. PLEASE don’t answer.
Since fewer people are now answering phone calls from unknown callers, they go to your voicemail. Also, because most call blocking services and apps generally don’t prevent unwanted calls entirely, they usually filter or deflect them to your voicemail so even more unwanted callers end up with access to more consumers’ voicemail system.
Consequently, an effective new deception is now being used at alarming rates by unwanted callers. This is voicemail scam!
This is where the telecriminals can very inexpensively leave enticing and influential voice mail messages that are designed to get the recipient to do something that is not in their best interest and may ultimately cause irreparable harm.
A recent article in AARP “Telemarketers Just Got Harder to Stop”
talks about a call system designed to bypass a phone ringing and allow the caller (usually a RoboCall) to go directly to voicemail. This technology has been around for years and has been used mostly as a sly way for individuals to bypass a ringing phone so the called party cannot answer but still allows the caller to leave a voicemail.
Now, there are some who would like to legally use this system to deliver large quantities of unwanted voicemails. In fact, the developers hope to get the FCC to give them an exemption to the TCPA rule regarding Robocalls based on the argument that a phone doesn’t ring.
If the FCC gives credence to this ridiculous argument, and provides a waiver, all our voicemails could quickly be as cluttered with junk voicemail messages as our e-mail is with spam. You may want to voice your opinion to the FCC on this.
Since this is an escalating problem, it is up to all of us to protect ourselves vs. waiting for the government or your phone provider to offer protection.
So, here are Free solutions that I follow myself to protect my privacy, security and peace of mind from unwanted calls and voicemails.
Important: Always Follow these TeleZapper’s Tele-Tips:
- Never answer a call when you do not recognize the Caller ID.
- If you do answer a call and determine it is an unwanted RoboCaller or telemarketer, hang up immediately.
- Never press any buttons on your phone after answering a robocall.
- Never engage in conversations with unwanted callers. Say nothing. Just hang up. Don't be embarrassed. They are intruding into your space.
- Never call back a number from an unknown caller. If it’s important and legitimate, they will leave you a voicemail or contact you via alternate communication.
- If an unwanted caller gets to your voicemail, do not respond to any message left unless you can verify the legitimate purpose of the call with a trusted third party.
- Put your number on the Federal Do Not Call list. It is not perfect, but it does stop some sales calls from legitimate companies.
- Use free call blocking devices, services and apps that can slow down or stop unwanted calls altogether.
With cell phones:
- Get a free call blocking app: My favorite is Mr. Numberhttp://mrnumber.com. It does a great job of notifying you of suspected scammers and filtering calls to your voicemail. They have a very large database of offending callers that is updated in real time with the help of comments from users. You can also add individual numbers to your personal blocked list.
- Use YouMail’s https://www.youmail.com free service with conditional call forwarding. YouMail does a great job in helping to authenticate callers who can be allowed into your voice mail. They also have a very large database of offending callers. You can also add individual numbers to your personal blocked list to prevent them from ever leaving a voicemail.
- My best recommendation is to call forward your landline to a protected cell phone using the services recommended above for cell phones. I do this. See article, http://www.telezapper.com/reduce-robocall-annoyance-on-your-home-phone-forward-to-smartphones.html
- Alternatively, if you don’t want to call forward your landline to a cell, you can use the free version of Nomorobo http://www.nomorobo.com/ but only with phone service providers that permit simultaneous ring. It is like having Nomorobo as your party line. They have their own database of offending callers and hang up on those callers before the second ring. Nomorobo is reasonably effective.
- YouMail is a good option to prevent unwanted voicemails but will only work on landlines where your phone provider offers conditional call forwarding. Unfortunately, most landline carriers don’t offer this option. I am not sure why.
- If YouMail is not possible for your landline and you don’t want to call forward your landline to your cell, or use Nomorobo, you may want to simply attach TeleZapper2020’s 2 second jingle to the beginning of your outgoing voicemail message.It’s Free. Here is the link http://www.telezapper.com/links.html to review and copy onto your voicemail if you choose. This jingle will confuse many Robocallers’ computers into thinking your phone is not working and prevent some from leaving their unwanted voicemail messages. Note: TeleZapper2020’s jingle may also prevent some wanted robocall voice mails so consider that prior to using it. Many consumers are now choosing to have alerts like pharmacy notifications, etc. delivered by text, e-mails or via apps rather than RoboCalls so this may be a good option.
Voicemail could be the most threatening feature of your phone. Following these tips will help protect you.