Hoosiers warned not to answer phone calls from unknown numbers

By Kayla Walker

INDIANAPOLIS­­ — Unknown numbers calling your phone may seem harmless or a little annoying, but answering might lead you to more problems than you may be able to handle.

“The simple answer is if you do not know who is calling you, do not answer the phone,” Attorney General Curtis Hill said.

Hill warned that by simply answering the phone and confirming your identity could lead more problems. Some scammers are recording the call and will use the audio of your voice to authorize purchases or activity in the future.

“Some people feel uncomfortable simply hanging up,” Hill said. “The more you start to talk the more they are getting information on you.”

To help Hoosiers the attorney general’s office is launching a campaign called Do Not Call/Do Not Answer. The campaign discourages people from answering calls from unknown numbers in an effort to avoid scammers and reminds people to register for the Do Not Call list to prevent telemarketers from contacting them.

Scammers sometimes know target relatives. Corey Elliot, Attorney General’s Press Secretary, found himself in this situation when he was on vacation outside of the country.

A scammer called his grandmother and told her Elliot had been arrested.

“They called her several times telling her I was in jail and she needed to send $2,000 immediately,” Elliot said.

Even when you write down the number of a scammer, law enforcement struggles to catch them because of the developments in technology.

“The availability and accessibility of numbers and phones are so rapid that there is nobody at that number when it circulates back,” Hill said.

That’s why Hill said the best strategy to avoid scammers is not answering the phone if you don’t recognize the phone number. Blocking the number and hanging up the phone right away are also options Hill suggested people to do that are having a continuous problem. 

Hill’s goal is for scammers to start to give up on calling Hoosiers.

“Because they got smart and they said don’t answer the phone,” he said.

Kayla Walker is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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