Why Do Robocalls Hang Up? Don’t Answer!
You may have seen a random number call your phone, and if you’re a prompt person, rushing over is your first instinct. You answer it, but it hangs up within a few seconds. These phantom callers are probably robocalls, and they dial plenty of numbers a day, calling thousands of people just like you.
Why do robocalls hang up? They’re not real people, and they only serve to reach numbers. Read on to find out the reason behind robots hanging up on you.
What Is a Robocall?
A robocall is an automated computer that plays you messages pre-recorded. They fulfill many purposes; some of them are perfectly legal and beneficial, while others are scams.
Nowadays, robocalls can mimic actual human speech vividly and fluently. Some are so realistic that you may not detect the automation until you think about it. As such, you should be careful with any random number dialing you.
Robocalls dial hundreds or sometimes thousands of calls every day. They do so by automatically dialing numbers from a randomly generated list. They may know a number is active if they hear you speak or even cough.
To tell a robocall from a genuine human caller, you can check for these signs:
- The caller tends to stick to a script much more stubbornly than humans.
- You don’t receive answers to your questions.
- Their voice is always a neutral or helpful tone.
- The caller tries to get your details no matter what.
- You are told to act right away without question.
- The voice can’t explicitly tell you why they’re calling you or why you must do something.
- The caller will make ridiculous claims of money and offers.
Some robocalls help you in different ways, such as reminding you to get a prescription from a pharmacy, or they might be political bots. These are legal and don’t require your permission.
Other robocalls that don’t require permission and are perfectly legal include:
- Charities calling for donations
- The IRS calling to inform about developments and changes
- Schools and educational institutes calling you to tell you of events
There are also other strict laws and legal requirements that robocalls must follow.
Why Do Robocalls Hang Up When I Answer?
As mentioned earlier, robocalls dial many numbers daily. Their operators employ random phone number generators to create thousands of phone numbers to call. If the robocall hangs up, it has verified that your number is “active.”
The companies or scammers who verify your number as “active” will start planning scams or sell your number to other companies. Since they only need to hear speech or even human sounds to verify a phone number, they hang up immediately to dial the following number on their list.
You may notice that after getting robocalls that hang up, the frequency of scam calls increases. The constant calls are because the people behind the robocall or companies which purchased your phone number are trying to contact you.
Other times, they’ll use your number to “spoof.” Spoofing is to pretend to be someone they aren’t. In effect, the operators behind the robocalls are cloning your phone and locations, which they can use for malicious purposes.
What Happens When You Answer a Robocall?
Once you pick up the call, the robot starts recording. Most people tend to say “hello,” or something to this effect, triggering the robot to read its script. These robots can understand human speech very well, and they respond based on what you say.
Some robocalls ask you to perform actions by pressing digits on your number pad. They’ll record your choices and say the appropriate lines.
There’s a chance that robocalls that hang up after you answer may not call you again. However, other robocalls of this nature might, which can be a source of irritation.
Even if you don’t fall for robocalls that try to scam you, the scammers will still consider your number a “good number” and sell it so other scammers can call you.
What Should I Do if I Accidentally Answer a Robocall?
No matter the robocall, you should be cautious and never give out your personal information to callers. Robocalls notice if you speak more, they’ll label you as a good prospect. Once they know you’re willing to talk to them, expect more scammers and robots to call you.
Here are some things you should do if you notice the caller is a robot:
- Hang up.
Ending a call is the best solution. If you hang up immediately, there’s a chance that the robocall might not flag you as “active.” It’s when you keep talking or making sounds that give the “thumbs-up” to callers on the other end. The sooner you disengage, the better your chances of avoiding other robocalls.
- Say nothing about your personal information.
If a robocall wants your credit card information, legitimate ones only ask for the last four digits. Should a robocall demands you provide information beyond that, you should hang up right away. Privacy is your right, and legitimate callers will respect your right to withhold personal information.
- Don’t press any keys on your number pad.
An old robocall trick asks you to press one on your number pad to unsubscribe or talk to live representatives, which has the opposite effect. The robocall operators will mark you as a prime target instead. Any time a suspicious robocall asks you to perform instructions, never follow them.
- Don’t say “yes.”
Some robocallers ask if you can hear them, and most people will answer “yes.” This trick can lead to abuse of recordings, where criminals use clips of your recorded “consent” to commit fraud and impersonation. If they ask you questions, you can ask them questions back.
Since robocallers don’t know how to answer mundane questions, you’ll see that it’s a scam right away. End the call and don’t say a word to keep your number safe.
- Get your number registered on the “Do Not Call List.”
If you live in a country with a “Do Not Call List,” registering your number can reduce the number of spam calls. It’s not 100% effective, but it can result in severe fines if the government takes action against culprits.
- Block the number afterward.
After you hang up, you ought to block the caller just in case it calls you back. You can block calls as a standard feature on your phone, but some apps can even alert you of incoming robocalls. These apps are available on both Android and iOS.
Why Are More Spam Robocalls Coming From a Local Number?
Scammers and robocallers have access to plenty of telephone numbers, and spoofing is child’s play to them. Once a scammer figures out your area code, they can disguise themselves and pretend they’re local to your area. That’s why spam callers who have access to your number can appear local.
Carriers find it increasingly difficult to verify if a phone number is legitimate. While apps and software solutions exist, they’re not infallible.
The next time you answer a call from a local number, but it doesn’t sound natural, know that robocallers have access to your phone number. Robocalls from local numbers are a little harder to prevent, but some paid solutions may help.
Don’t Call Me
Ultimately, robocalls that hang up immediately are signs that a fraudulent company or scammer has you in their sights. As long as you take precautions, you’re more likely able to escape the constant hounding. While there aren’t solutions to permanently solve the problem, you can take steps to stay safe.
What do you use to prevent spam robocalls? Let us know in the comments section below.