When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone back in 1867, it’s likely he was not imagining a world in which his groundbreaking invention was used to harass people in their homes, with pushy marketers trying to promote their products and get people to part with their hard-earned cash, and yet here we are.
For many of us, nuisance calls are simply a slight inconvenience that pops up during our day and are forgotten about as soon as we hang up, however, for the more vulnerable in society, these calls can be quite distressing and feel very invasive.
How to spot a nuisance call?
Before you answer a call, you might not necessarily know whether it’s going to be a nuisance call, or if it might be someone who genuinely needs to talk to you. One thing you can do is search the number on this site, which will tell you if other people have reported that number for harassing calls. This can take a lot of the stress and guesswork out of answering calls and will let you know whether they are worth calling back, or answering.
What counts as a nuisance call?
Unfortunately, the official definition of nuisance calls doesn’t stretch to calls from those family members that ring you up to ask you what you’re doing with your life. However, they may include silent calls, persistent marketing calls, and scam calls. Especially since the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a rise in the number of scam calls and text messages, particularly around this, with scammers pretending to be your doctor, insurance company or even the World Health Organisation. Scam calls are usually trying to liberate you of your money, or personal information, either to sell on to someone else or to use in identity theft.
A nuisance call may come in the form of an automated pre recorded message, or a live call with a real person.
What can you do about nuisance calls?
They say that prevention is better than a cure, and in this case, there are a few things you can do to ensure that these scammers and nuisance callers don’t get your number. For example, be wary of where you put your phone number when signing up for things online. There may be a checkbox that says the company you are signing up with has permission to share your details with third parties and this is often where they sell your data.
On your iPhone or Android smartphone, you can add numbers to a block list if you find the same numbers are calling you over and over, which should give you some relief too.
As soon as you realise it is a nuisance call, whether marketing or scams, send a strong but clear message that you will report them if they continue, and hang up.
It can be incredibly frustrating but know that you’re not alone and there are ways to deal with these annoying calls.