We all hate answering the phone only to find out it’s a telemarketer trying to sell us something we don’t want. While it may seem like telemarketing isn’t as prevalent as it was in the past, telemarketers are still making hundreds of thousands of calls per day because to some extent, it still works.
How can you spot when a telemarketer is calling and know to not pick up? For starters, you can reference the search option on 800Numbers.net and lookup the number that is calling you. It’s hard to always be certain, but we can provide a few tips to let you know when something smells of of a bad caller.
1. Did they call your landline phone?
There are laws in place to prohibit telemarketers from calling cellphones, though in many cases they still break the law and will call your cell. But most commonly, they will call your landline. If somebody is calling your landline and it is a number you don’t recognize, or a number outside of your area code…chances are you don’t want to pick up the phone.
2. Is it an 800 number?
This one might be a no-brainer, but numbers that start with 800, 866, 877, 888, or 855 are typically telemarketers and the call should be avoided. If the call is real and from a company related to you, they will leave a voice mail and you can call them back.
3. Is it from an area code you don’t recognize?
To get around laws and use international numbers, telemarketers and scammers will call from random numbers that don’t make sense. If the number is not in your area code and also is not an 800 number, it is good advice to avoid picking up. Make sure that it’s not an area code that a relative lives in, but after that it might be safe to assume it’s somebody you don’t want to talk to.
4. Is it between the hours of 8am and 9pm?
Due to more federal regulations, telemarketers are only permitted to call in this daytime hours. If you receive a call that meets any of the criteria above, and is within these hours, you should suspect that it’s a number you don’t care to speak with.
5. Did the caller leave a voice message?
If an 800 number calls you and doesn’t leave a voicemail, it’s likely that it was a telemarketer or scammer. It is also common for auto-dialing scam programs to leave a 0 or 1 second voice message. If you check your voicemails and see that it’s an 800 number that left an extremely short voicemail, it’s safe to delete and block this caller.
6. The number comes up as ‘Unknown’ or ‘Private’
This is one you’ve probably seen before, but when a number comes up on Caller ID as Unknown or Private, chances are this is a hidden number that is a telemarketer or scammer. Avoid answering these calls.
Many of these tips may seem like common sense, but we hope that maybe you learned something new with 1 or 2 of them. As always, you can use our website absolutely free at all times to look up individual 800 numbers and see if they are legit or a number you want to block.