In today’s digital age, it’s way too common to receive calls from unknown phone numbers. Before answering or calling back, it’s crucial to determine if a phone number is safe. Said another way, before you answer the phone or dial a number, you need to know whether it’s legitimate or part of some kind of fraud.
Here are some steps to help you assess the safety of a phone number.
Use Reverse Phone Lookup Services. For example, this free phone number lookup service by YouMail will tell if you if the number is likely part of a scam and even what that scam is. These services are remarkably ease to use. You just enter the phone number. You’ll then likely get quite a bit of information about it. This may include reports by people that number has called, and examples of the kinds of messages or calls it makes. If a phone number has any indications of problems, it’s best to avoid it.
Look Up The Business Directly. If the caller claims to represent a business, politely let them know that you will call the business yourself. For most businesses, you can go to their web site to find their official numbers. And if it’s a bank or credit card, you can call the number on the card. Legitimate businesses will have no issue with you hanging up and then calling them. They know it is better for them to interact with you when you are confident the phone call is safe instead of worrying if the number is spam!
Trust Your Instincts: If a call feels suspicious or the caller pressures you to provide personal information or make immediate decisions, it’s a red flag. If you start to worry if this number is a scam, it probably is! Trust your instincts and hang up. It’s better to err on the side of caution when dealing with unknown numbers. Don’t feel like you are being rude. There are so many phone scams now, it’s just the safe thing to do.
Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to phone calls from unknown numbers. By taking these steps, you can protect yourself from potential scams and unwanted solicitations. And, in fact, the advice applies to understanding whether a number that texted you is safe too!