Do you ever get calls or texts from unknown numbers and need help handling them? It can be difficult to decide what to do in these situations, especially if you don’t recognize the number or don’t know who it belongs to.
While there are no guarantees that you can protect yourself from unknown callers and texters, you can take some practical steps to minimize the chances of being taken advantage of.
That’s why we’ve put together 9 practical tips on how to deal with unknown callers and texters. These tips will help you better manage these situations and give you more control over who you talk to and how.
1) Ignore them
When you receive a call from an unknown caller, it’s wise to simply ignore them. Don’t pick up, don’t answer the call, and don’t press any buttons on your phone. If you do, you risk getting connected to a telemarketer or a scammer who may try to get your personal information. If it’s important, they’ll leave a message. And if it’s a spam call, they won’t.
The same applies to private numbers. Private numbers do not have any information attached to them, such as a name, address, or phone number. If the caller does not provide identifying information, it’s best not to pick up.
2) Let your voicemail pick up
One of the best ways to deal with unknown callers is to let your voicemail pick up the calls. This way, you can avoid answering calls from numbers you don’t recognize while still getting the message they’re trying to deliver.
If you’re feeling especially cautious, you can even create a custom voicemail greeting that lets the caller know you won’t answer calls from unknown numbers. This will ensure that if the call is important, they’ll leave a message for you to review.
3) Block their number
To avoid unsolicited calls or messages, you can block the number. This is easy to do on most modern cell phones, and it will prevent potential scammers from calling or texting you again. Once a number has been blocked, your phone will automatically block any future calls or texts from that number. You can also unblock numbers if you ever change your mind.
4) Don’t respond to texts from unknown numbers
Text messages from unknown numbers can be annoying and sometimes even dangerous. If you receive a text from an unknown number, it’s important to refrain from responding. This includes not clicking on any links or attachments in the message. Links and attachments can contain malicious software that can compromise your device.
Another option is to set up a spam filter on your phone. This will help to block incoming texts from unknown numbers while still allowing texts from people in your contact list.
5) Google their number
Entering the phone number into a search engine is an easy way to check whether the person is who they say they are. You can track down their identity if you find the number listed on any social media sites or other public listings.
You can also use Google Maps to see where the number is registered, giving you another clue about the person’s identity. If you don’t find any helpful information through your search, it’s probably best to ignore the call or text.
6) Use a reverse phone lookup directory
One more way to quickly find out who is behind an unknown caller or texter is to use PhoneHistory. With this reverse phone lookup directory tool, you can look up someone using their phone number and get detailed information about them, such as their name, address, and workplace. This can be especially helpful if the unknown caller or texter is persistent and you want to identify them quickly.
7) Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry
If you’re tired of getting calls from unknown numbers, you can sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry. This free service allows you to register your phone number to stop receiving unwanted telemarketing calls and text messages.
You can add both landline and cell phone numbers to the list, and they will be blocked from receiving any calls or messages from any company that has not been pre-approved by the FTC. The registration process is quick and easy – all you need to do is go to the website, provide basic information about yourself, and enter your phone number.
8) Use a disposable phone number
Disposable numbers are provided by many phone companies and can be used as temporary numbers for short periods. This allows you to receive calls and texts from unknown numbers without having to give out your personal information. You can use these numbers to communicate with strangers and get rid of them quickly if the conversation turns sour.
Disposable numbers are great tools for protecting your privacy while still being able to talk to unknown callers and texters. Just ensure that you follow best practices when using this method, such as not giving out personal information or financial details.
9) Report the number
Consider reporting the number if you receive a call or text from an unknown number. Reporting it will help protect yourself and others from scams and harassment.
The first step is to determine who is calling or texting. Once you have identified the caller or texter, you can report them to the appropriate authorities. For example, if it is a scammer, you can report them to the Federal Trade Commission or your local law enforcement agency.
You can also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau if it is a telemarketer or your rights have been violated. The BBB will investigate the complaint and take necessary action.
Finally, if you receive harassing texts, you can report the number to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC will investigate the situation and take action if necessary.
The Bottom Line
When dealing with unknown callers and texters, you should always remain vigilant and take proactive steps to protect yourself. Replying to unknown numbers could open the door for spammers, scammers, and other malicious actors. Following the above tips can keep you safe from unwanted and potentially dangerous contacts.