Spotting Scams: Robocalls

Robocalls are phone calls that play a recorded message when you answer. They can be easy to identify when they use an automated, robot-like voice, but some use a recording of a real person timed with breaks in the audio to make it sound like you’re talking to a real person.

There are some legal reasons for robocalls, but if you are getting a lot of these calls trying to sell you something, they are likely illegal or even a scam. Even from real companies, robocalls trying to sell you something are illegal unless they have your express written permission to contact you with robocalls. However, if someone is already willing to break the law to illegally contact you, it’s likely to also be a scam.

If you get an illegal robocall, just hang up. Do not press any numbers, even if the recording claims that you can do so to stop the calls. You can help fight robocalls by reporting those you receive to the Federal Trade Commission at The FTC will want to know your phone number, the number that called you (even if you think it’s fake), and any phone numbers the robocall may have told you to call back. They will also want the exact date and time of the call if you know it.

For more information about robocalls, visit the FTC’s website.