Almost everyone has received a call from an unknown number that has left them puzzled about the identity of the caller. But, are you aware that what seems like a harmless “wrong number” may actually be someone trying to scam you or even attempting to steal your personal details? And in the wake of such cases, the big question remains. The question of how to deal with unknown calls. Here are some of the ways that you can tackle creepy, unknown calls and keep yourself safe.
Step 1 : Determine The Type Of Call
Unknown calls can be broken down in various different types. There are calls that are deliberately blocked, also known as private numbers. Private numbers are blocked using a simple trick of adding *67 before entering the number that they would like to call.
And then there are others that are called spoofing numbers, whereby the original numbers used are masked to seem like they are a call from a number that the receiver is familiar with. Such calls are a basic tactic for scammers and hackers as their calls will be displayed on your phone as a number that you know, maybe that of family members, bank or your medical practitioner.
Step 2 : Identify the Numbers
If you get an unknown call from a blocked or private number, you can try to identify these numbers with a few easy hacks. The first method to uncover the identity of the person behind the unknown number is to use an app that can help you reveal the details on an unknown number.
For spoofed calls, you can run a quick reverse phone lookup on the number that has been displayed and send the details that you have obtained to your mobile carrier. They would be able to take the necessary steps to help you identify who the real caller is. General unknown numbers are much easier to deal with. Just a simple reverse phone lookup will tell you everything that you need about the caller.
Step 3 : Block The Numbers
Calls from a private or blocked number can easily be blocked by setting up a few call barring rules in your phone. This is usually available for both iOS and Android phones. However, this can only be done once you have identified the actual phone number of the private, unknown call. You can use the same method for unknown calls from unknown numbers with a caller ID. Another simple method is to ‘whitelist’ only numbers that you know, however, with this method, you may stand to miss an emergency call.
For spoofed numbers, a simple phone lookup will give you publicly available details on the number that has been used to mask the original caller’s number. The phone lookup will easily provide you with details such as location, mobile operator or carrier as well as their name. With these details, you can get your mobile operator to trace the call back to the source and help you block the particular number and similar numbers.
Bonus Tip : Don’t Answer Unknown Calls
When you answer unknown calls, the scammer will know that your number belongs to a real-person. As soon as you pick up the phone, the fact that you are a real person is made known to their network and you will begin to get such calls frequently.
The best thing to do is to ignore all calls from any number that you don’t know. This however, may pose an issue during emergencies, when loved ones are trying to reach you via someone else’s phone. Also, don’t attend to calls from people you know but were not expecting to speak to. These calls may be spoofed calls and you may be at risk of being scammed if you attend to the call.
These simple steps are all you need to protect yourself and your family from being victims of phone scams and hacked phones. If you find a fishy, unknown number, a simple reverse phone lookup will tell you all you need to know about the person who owns the number, from public records.