Spam calls are unbelievably annoying and, at times, seemingly incessant. Once your number makes it onto some sort of list, the deluge of robocalls and messages from scam artists can drive anyone mad.

While some spam calls are easy to screen, scam artists have grown increasingly clever when it comes to coercing you to pick up the phone. One trick they use is to call from a number that is either similar to yours or comes from the same area code. So, for instance, if you’re phone number is (555)-315-3852, you might see a spam call on your phone from (555)-315-3258.

Spam calls and recordings to ignore

If you get a call from a familiar-looking number, you’re more likely to believe it’s legitimate. It’s only human nature, after all. In these scenarios, however, there’s a strong chance the number itself is fake. Scam artists use this spoofing tactic to purposefully hide the actual number they’re calling from. That being the case, it’s inevitable that some spam calls will go through.

If you pick up the phone and you hear a recording on the other line, the FCC advises you to hang up immediately. If you’re prompted to respond to a question — even if the question is ‘Would you like to stop receiving these calls?’ — the FCC says to hang up and not answer.

The reasoning behind this guidance is two-fold. For one, if you answer “yes” or press a number on the keypad, it signals that there’s a real person on the other line. This incentivizes…

Read more…