How to Deal With Scam Calls

How to Deal With Scam Calls

Brett Bolander, News and Features Editor

Earlier this month I answered the phone and heard a robotic voice say the following:

“Hi, this is Timothy Churchill with warranty services.  How are you today?”

Without waiting for a response, he continued:

“You should have received something in the mail about your car’s warranty expiring.  Since we did not hear from you, we are giving you a final courtesy call before we close your file.”  


I don’t own a car.


Anyone that owns a phone has received these types of calls before.  They turn answering the phone into a stress filled game of robo-call roulette.

Unsurprisingly, most robo-calls are scams.  

No, the IRS doesn’t call people to tell them they have a warrant out for their arrest and no, your car’s warranty likely isn’t about to expire, but the fear these situations instill is a useful tool scammers utilize to extract your information.

“I’d say I get about a dozen or so [robo-calls] a month,” said Gunnar Smith, a student at Riverton High.  He tries to control the calls by hanging up and blocking their number.

There are more telephone scams out there than can fit in a single article, but a general rule of thumb is if something seems either too good or too bad to be true, it likely isn’t.

There are things you can do to mitigate the impact these calls have.  The simplest thing to do happens to also be the most effective: don’t answer calls from unknown numbers.  

Many of these scam calls, especially robo-calls, call numbers indiscriminately hoping to find a real person.  Answering the phone or pressing a number to be put on a do not call list only serves as verification that a real person is behind that phone number, and you will likely receive even more calls in the future.

If all else fails, there are actions that can be taken to involve the government.  You can place your number on the National Do Not Call Registry, but this will only stop legitimate telemarketers from calling, scam artists will have no problem with breaking one more law.  

You can also report the call to the FTC, although  many robo and scam calls use spoofed numbers to mask their true phone number.

Now when a robot or scammer calls you, you know what to do.