QUESTION: Due to all the calls that we get every day from everywhere, and most of them are from Medicare, but a lot of them are from different numbers. The ones that I want to know what the purpose of is where they don’t say anything, but they’ll call you several times a day when you’re trying to sleep and everything. What is the purpose of these calls? Do you have any idea?

ANSWER: The phone might be silent on the other end, but it’s likely someone is still up to no good trying to gather information that will be used later toward some dastardly deed.

I found a great NPR article that quoted Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO of Atlanta-based Pindrop Security, which specializes in detecting phone fraud for companies and government agencies, saying these types of calls are “essentially the first of the reconnaissance calls that these fraudsters do. They’re trying to see: Are they getting a human on the other end? You even cough and it knows you’re there.”

That triggers more phone calls in which the fraudster tries to gather more information about you, maybe with recorded, fake warnings about your debit or credit card, for instance.

In the same article, the Federal Trade Commission recommended the best course of action is just to hang up on robo calls and not respond in any way to questions or prompts on the call.

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