The Tyranny of the Unknown Caller
It’s the Unknown Caller again. Or my favorite, the Not In Service caller.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is a government body which tasks include regulating these very difficult to regulate unsolicited calls.
First, it’s good to understand exactly why they are calling you – here are the most common reasons:
- Legitimately trying to sell you a service or product. Maybe it’s insurance, maybe it’s a new appliance… sometimes these are companies with whom you have a prior relationship. More often, they’ve simply purchased a list – if they are selling auto insurance, for example, they procure lists of new auto purchasers.
- Lead generation. These companies are calling to fill their database with additional data points besides your name and phone number. They may use a survey to get more information out of you – and then they attach that information and sell your name, over and over, to people interested in reaching your particular demographic.
- Actual hacking. Maybe they are trying to get your TFN, credit card information, or simply want to confirm that the phone number they have is a “live” one.
As long as autodialing and “robo-calls” are so inexpensive, billions of calls will continue to occur every year – so how can you protect yourself and put a stop (or at least a slow-down) in the calls you may be receiving every day?
- If you sign up for something online (especially for something free – a report or article), there is often a “terms and conditions” clause that allows that company to share your data with their “trusted partners.”
- Watch for pre-checked or enticingly well-placed boxes that indicate a willingness to have your data shared with other companies. You’ll find these on everything from hotel check in forms to online registrations.
- Add your name to the Do Not Call register. (LINK: https://www.donotcall.gov.au/) Only about 1 in 5 mobile phone numbers are on the registry, so get yours added today. While it won’t stop all calls, it should stem the tide a bit.
- Block the caller. If you are getting repeated calls from one number, block it. Again, this is not 100% effective, as phone scammers will call from various phone numbers or, better yet, spoof the first several digits of your number – or even make it look like you are calling yourself!
- Don’t hang up. Once you’ve answered the call, keep calm and ask to be removed from their list. Legally, they are not allowed to call you back. If they do – file a complaint with the ACMA. (LINK: https://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/ACMAi/Complaints )
Stop putting up with annoying, unsolicited calls that waste your time! And if you are ready to stop putting up with system downtime and protect your computer from unwanted hacks – check out Blutone Technologies My Personal Helpdesk and get the service you need to secure your devices. (LINK: https://www.blutonetech.com.au/mph