What to do if you receive a call from an unknown number

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Getting a call from a number you don’t recognise can be nerve-wracking, especially in the digital age when technology is allowing scammers to become more and more creative.

But never answering your phone again isn’t the answer, after all, you don’t want to miss anything important. So what should you do if you look down and see a missed call on your phone? This blog has some top tips so that you can feel more confident in navigating the world of phone calls. You’ll be much safer and less likely to fall victim to fraudsters or money-grabbing schemes.

Find out who called

Before hitting redial on that missed call from an unknown number, it’s best to do a bit of investigative work to try and figure out exactly who has called. While it might seem easier to speak to the person on the other end and simply ask, calling the unknown number could cost a lot of money. Try using a service online that will search for the number that called you and tell you whether others have reported it as spam. If this is the case, you’ll know not to ring them back and can instead block the number.

Check your voicemail

Sometimes the person who called will have left you a voicemail. From this message, you can get a better idea of whether the caller is genuine or not. If the caller claims to be from the bank or your phone company, make sure you don’t call them back by redialling the number. Instead, find the correct number on the company website and type it into your phone. It doesn’t matter if the two numbers match, as many criminals can now disguise their numbers. If your bank has no record of calling you, then make sure you tell them when the call occurred so they can investigate.

Never give out personal information

If you’ve decided to answer a call from an unknown number, remember that you have no way of knowing if the person on the other end is genuine. It doesn’t matter what the person says, you should never give away your personal details. Callers claiming to be from the bank might ask you for passwords, sort codes and credit card numbers, but your bank would never request these details. If you’ve already given away your name and date of birth and the call starts to go south, make sure you hang up and report the call.

Don’t be afraid to block

If a number is repeatedly calling you but you haven’t had any luck getting through to them or are only hearing silence when they pick up, don’t be afraid to block them. And it goes without saying that you should always block anyone who was trying to scam you. Remember, if you’re not expecting any calls from somewhere like the doctors or job interviews, the person calling you likely has other ways to reach you, such as via e-mail or your address. If they’re legitimate, they’ll reach out, so block the numbers causing you worry.

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