Technology has done a fantastic job at connecting us to each other all over the globe.
Unfortunately, we’re now often connected to other adverse things, people, and devices as a result. Creepy messages hitting your voicemail could be from robocallers, pre-recorded calls, and even scammers.
So, what should you do if you receive a strange voicemail from unknown numbers?
In situations where you receive an unwanted call, you can either block the number, contact your phone carrier, or protect yourself with third-party apps. Whatever you do, don’t call back the number left on the voicemail!
Is it safe to listen to a voicemail from an unknown number? Learn more in this article!
Why Did I Get a Voicemail From an Unknown Number?
First, you need to understand that the voicemail might have been from spammers, scammers, or even robocallers.
The majority of these voicemails or calls may have been from people trying to pretend to be someone they are not. Alternatively, you may have been contacted by an automated system in an attempt to connect you to a sales team!
Robocallers are always innovating new schemes when it comes to masking their identities, and the majority of them now use real-looking numbers to contact people.
Sometimes, you may even get a voicemail from scammers about an impending arrest or an order you know nothing about.
Is It Safe to Listen to a Voicemail From an Unknown Number?
First, remember that credit card companies and the IRS won’t call you directly. In addition to that, as long as the call was intended for you, you can safely listen to your voicemail.
The caller or spammer won’t know whether you listened or ignored the voicemail anyway!
However, returning the call or responding to the voicemail may be where you cause problems for yourself.
Note that if you decide to call back, the caller can record your voice and will know that there is a human at the other end.
Additionally, if you get a strange link directing you to your voicemail, note that clicking on that link can potentially infect your device with malware.
If your telco didn’t alert you of any voicemail or give you any specific number to dial, it’s best to stay away from these kinds of links.
If a robocaller or spam caller leaves a message on your voicemail, don’t respond to the message unless you can verify the caller’s identity. Instead, simply discard the message and go about your business!
To take it a step further, you can even put your number on the “Federal Do Not Call” list to keep these calls to a minimum.
What to Do if You Get a Weird Voicemail
If you are sick of pulling out your phone only to see a creepy voicemail from a random number, there are a few steps you can take to fight back and restore some peace to your device. Here’s how to do so:
Block the Number Right Away
Although this may not be very effective in keeping spam numbers away forever, you can block the number if you suspect that it is a spam caller.
There’s a high probability that the caller will try reaching you with different spoofed numbers. However, blocking every suspicious number in your voicemail is the first step to protecting yourself.
Head to your phone settings and block the number from contacting you! Here’s how to do so:
- First, head to the Phone app
- Go to the Recent, Favorite, or Voicemail tab and tap on the info icon (i) next to the number.
- Scroll down and then tap on the “Block this caller” option.
- Head to the Phone app
- Tap on the Menu icon (the one with the three vertical dots)
- Tap on Settings and tap on the “Blocked numbers” option.
- Next, tap on the “Add phone number” option and type in the number.
- Finally, tap on the Block to block the number. That’s it!
Your Call Carrier Is Your Friend
In reality, these creepy voicemails can originate from anywhere in the world – not just your own country.
The majority of mobile providers will take an extra step to create a barrier between you and spam callers by weeding out spoofed numbers and spam calls. Additionally, they can even help to block spoofed numbers from leaving voice messages.
The majority of mobile carriers in the US offer free call protection services. For example, mobile carriers like AT&T provide a free “call protect” service to block robocalls and fraudulent calls before they can reach you.
All you have to do is download the software, and you’ll get a warning whenever a “nuisance number” tries to contact you.
Additionally, the service makes it easy to build a permanent block list and makes it harder for spoofed numbers to reach you or leave any voicemail.
You can subscribe to your carrier’s version of the “Call Protect Plus” service if you want other features such as caller ID identification, reverse number lookup, and the ability to categorize your voicemail.
Download Third-Party Apps
Although most of these apps come with a subscription fee, their services constantly update the list of robocallers and spam callers.
As a result, even if a spammer tries to use a hundred different spoofed numbers to drop you a voicemail, these apps will identify the numbers and block them before they can reach you!
Additionally, you can create your own blacklist and give the app permission to take over your phone app and keep these bad actors away.
Lastly, note that if you are using this app on an iPhone, you’ll have to head to your phone settings and give the app permission before they can work. Here’s how:
- First, download the app from the App Store
- Head to Settings, click on the Phone option, and tap on “Call Blocking & Identification.”
- Next, turn off the Provide Caller ID option for the app – and that’s it!
Now, when you receive a call, your iPhone will check and compare the number with the third-party app to see if it’s on their blacklist.
Trust Your Operating System
Some Android phones have a powerful call protection feature to keep spammy callers away.
Phones from Samsung and Google have a reliable way of identifying spam numbers on the go. For example, if you have a Google Pixel device, your entire screen will turn red whenever a spammer or spoofed number tries to reach you.
Additionally, on Pixel phones, you can also filter which calls are allowed to come in or go to your voicemail.
Not to be outdone, iOS devices also have a nice call-blocking feature in the settings where you can silence calls from unknown callers.
Complain to the FTC
Unfortunately, these spam callers answer to no one and might keep trying your line if you do nothing about it!
If you have tried everything and these creepy voicemails won’t go away, you can always contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for help.
Report the caller to them, and they’ll help keep them away from getting in contact with you!
Lastly, you can also contact the police if you feel threatened in any way. Just keep in mind that even with all these tools, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll still receive a creepy call or message from time to time.
More than 50% of Americans have complained about creepy messages from unknown numbers. These messages may be from robocallers trying to connect you to a salesperson, from or scammers trying to scam you out of your hard-earned money.
If you’re fed up and would like to keep these callers away from your phone, you can block the numbers, download and install protective apps, or contact your mobile carrier for help.
Also make sure to check your device settings, silence calls from unknown numbers, and report the offending number to the FTC!