What you should never, ever do if you want to stop scam calls

Enough. Is. Enough.

You’re getting ready for work, at work, making dinner, out to dinner, packing for vacation, on vacation — by now you’ve probably been interrupted by a nonsense scam call or two, or three, or dozens of them.

The Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker says nearly 6,000 scams involving phone calls have been reported just this year.

So what can you do if scammers just won’t stop?

Consumer advocates at the Office of the Maine Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau agree:

  1. DON’T answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize. As soon as you pick up the phone, your number is registered as active and can then be sold.
  2. DON’T “press 9” if you do answer and hear an automated message offering to take you off a call list. Just hang up. Pressing your keypad is another way to alert the caller you’ve reached an active number.
  3. DO join the Do Not Call registry. While it won’t stop scammers, it will cut down on telemarketing and sales calls.
  4. DO try an app. Nomorobo promises to cut down on annoying robocalls and telemarketers. In fact, it won the FTC Robocall Challenge. It’s free for your landline but costs $1.99/month for cell phones.
Jon Chrisos

About Jon Chrisos

Award-winning journalist Jon Chrisos is the investigative and consumer reporter at CBS 13 in Portland. He also anchors weeknights at 5:30. Chrisos is “On Your Side” investigating the stories that make a difference in your life. He’s passionate about helping those who’ve been wronged, exposing government waste, asking tough questions, and uncovering the truth.