MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s a reflex. The phone rings and no matter what we are doing, we look.
“I think it’s a nuisance, especially if it’s a telemarketer,” said Dannae Allen.
Our cell phones were once an oasis from the, ‘I’ve got a deal for you’ calls.
“We’re seeing more and more of it, and more and more of it is coming from overseas,” said Russ Duffley, a Verizon manager.
“Sometimes I answer it,” said Daryan Allen. “Sometimes I just ignore it.”
“Tell them not interested and I hang up,” said Jim Alwine.
Phone companies are not giving out phone numbers to solicitors, but others are trolling for numbers for just for that purpose. So, if you don’t recognize the number calling, don’t answer it.
“What they’re looking for is a response, and if you don’t answer, then they delete that number,” said Duffley.
Unfortunately, having the call go to voicemail is the same as you answering.
“You go on their list to receive calls again and the same thing if you call back said,” Duffley.
So whatever you do, do not call them back.
Even if they tell you the FBI has identified your area as vulnerable. In reality, they have no idea where you live. Most of the calls aren’t coming from centers full of people, but rather, your caller is a machine.
“Just dialing one number after the next until they get a hold of a person,” said Duffley.
But wait, your number is on the ‘Do Not Call List,’ so how is this happening?
Actually, you may open the door inadvertently.
“Don’t give your number out to any kind of a prize patrol or anything like that because those type of companies do sell your number,” said Duffley.
Also, responding to any kind of offer, ad or deal on your smartphone hands the retailer your number and establishes a business relationship, which cancels your do not call protection.
If you give it up, you’re wide open.
So, even if you’ve done it before, experts say to sign up again for the ‘Do Not Call List.’
Go to your state’s Do Not Call website; and while you’re there, click over to the Federal Trade Commission’s site and put your number in there, too. Plus, notify your wireless carrier.
“We’ve worked with the law enforcement and shut many of those down,” said Duffley.
While we’re at it, if you’re getting pop-up ads on your phone, go into the media section of your phone and check the browse download section. Look for something called the “Daily Scoop” or anything you know you didn’t knowingly download.
“There it is, hit options, erase it,” said Duffley.