How to Tell a Vanity Number From a Scam Number

It’s happened to just about anyone who has a telephone. The phone rings, you start to answer it and then you notice you don’t recognize the number on your caller ID. Do you ignore the call, or should you answer and run the risk of being pestered by a salesperson — or even worse, a scammer?

Many people face this dilemma every day. With more and more legitimate businesses having access to caller ID spoofing technology (and the same technology being widely accessible to people with nefarious intentions), an increasingly larger number of individuals are left wondering if 800 numbers are safe.

Although many people now know 855 numbers are toll-free just like an 866 number, an 800 number or another number that starts with a different toll-free area code is often viewed with suspicion by consumers these days. This suspicion isn’t the result of legitimate businesses abusing their calling privileges. Rather, it’s the result of scammers taking advantage of innocent victims who’ve fallen prey to phone scams throughout the years. This abuse has led to countless people losing anywhere from a few dollars to their life savings — simply because they answered the phone.

In addition to costing people untold sums of money, this malicious practice has also led individuals to view the first three digits in toll-free numbers as unsafe area codes.

Phone Scam Warning Signs

While it would be nice to have access to a master list of common scam numbers so you could block them or avoid answering the phone when one appeared in your caller ID, such a list doesn’t exist. Even if it did, it would probably have too many 866 numbers and similar toll-free numbers to be useful.

Since it can be difficult to tell a legitimate vanity number from a scam number based on the number alone, you often have to answer the phone to determine the nature of a call. Scammers typically use common phrases to hook their victims. If you answer an unsolicited call and the caller uses any of the following lines, hang up without sharing any personal or financial information and contact the FTC to file a complaint:

  • You’ve been handpicked for this special offer.
  • If you make a purchase today, you’ll get a bonus absolutely free.
  • You’re the lucky winner of a valuable prize.
  • You’ve won foreign money in an overseas lottery.
  • Our low- or no-risk investment yields a higher return than anything else you can find.
  • You need to decide right away to take advantage of our offer.
  • You trust me, don’t you?
  • There’s no reason for you to do a background check on us.
  • We’ll only charge your card for shipping and handling.

Contact 800response

As a business owner, it’s critical to have a phone number that people will recognize and be able to differentiate from scammers. That’s what you’ll get from 800response — a legitimate toll-free number that’s ideal for locally targeted online campaigns and more traditional advertising formats, such as radio spots and print ads.

We have the largest selection of true vanity 800 numbers available today. To find a vanity number for your organization that will increase your credibility and stick out in the minds of consumers, contact 800response online now or call us at 1-800-NEW-SALE.

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