The US has a robocall problem. These are the calls that are made on your phone and send you a recorded message that often asks you to do something. Sometimes it is a message from a candidate applying for a position. Or a call from your bank advertising a new service. More worrisome are the fraudulent robocalls who, for example, impersonate "IRS" and intend to divert people from their money. On Wednesdaysuggested that operators such as Verizon, AT & T, Sprint and T-Mobile be given the authority to block some of these robocalls by default, and allow customers to receive calls from to block unknown numbers.
It will be some time before Pai's proposal becomes official ̵
Not every automated advertising call is considered illegal. Calls from political campaigns, debt collectors and charities are allowed. What is not allowed are calls from fake IRS agents or companies claiming they have won a free vacation in the Bahamas.
While it's not possible to completely stop robocalls from reaching your phone, you can take some steps to reduce the number of incoming calls.
According to FCC, there are a few simple steps You can take the following actions to reduce the number of calls:
- Do not answer calls from blocked or unknown numbers.
- Calls from numbers you do not know do not answer XYZ company, hang up and call the company itself. Use the company website to find an official number.
- When you answer a call and hear a recording like "Hello, can you hear me?" Listen, just hang up.
- The same applies to a call to you who will be asked to dial a number before connecting to a co-worker.
When you answer a call and interact with the voice prompt or by pressing a number, the spammer is notified that your number is genuine. You can then sell your number to another company or target your number more frequently.
The Google Calling feature may be against FCC recommendations because you not only answer the call, but also interact with the caller through your phone number, which is likely to lead to further calls to your number. Even though Google's calling screen is incredibly fun and entertaining, it's best not to respond unless you know the phone number is real.
If you find that you receive a lot of spam text messages, you can forward the message to number 7726 (Spells SPAM). It will not prevent the number from sending you an instant text message, but your mobile service provider can check where it came from and put an end to it.
Contact your provider.
Telephone companies know how frustrating robocalls are for their customers, and have taken measures to help users block intrusive calls on their systems. For example, AT & T's Call Protect app is available for Android and iOS users . When the app is installed and set up, AT & T attempts to block fraudulent calls, warn of suspected spam calls, and block unwanted calls from a specific number for free. Verizon's Call Filter app provides basic spam detection, spam filtering, and number blocking features.
Both carriers offer a premium version of their apps with advanced call-tracking features, such as: For example, backward search but requires a monthly subscription.
Check with your service provider to see if similar features are available.
Use an app!
If your provider does not offer an app or service to reduce robocalls, or if they are simply too expensive, many third-party apps are available.
You want to find an app that meets these needs Works on your device, provides automatic call barring and spam alerts for suspicious calls, and can easily report a number when you're in a call.
Hiya is a free app that I have been using for Android and iOS for some time now. It's the same company that supports AT & T's Call Protect app and Samsung's integrated call blocking and spam protection service. Samsung Galaxy users can enable the built-in service in the Phone app under Settings > Caller ID and Anti-Spam . The setup is painless and provides an easy way to report a number.
Nomorobo is the service that Verizon uses for its Fios users, but also has a phone app. The service is free for VoIP users and costs $ 1.99 per month for mobile users. Additional services with similar features include YouMail and RoboKiller.
You can also sign up for a free Google Voice phone number. Instead of spending your real number for random services, you can also use your Google Voice number. Once the robocalls come in, you can use the lock feature. Just know that blocking calls can be a lot of work, as robocallers are constantly faking other phone numbers.
None of the above solutions are perfect and will probably not be until the network operators have integrated the technology needed to verify caller identification. Therefore, at the moment you need to do some extra work to keep the number of robocalls received to a minimum. By proactively processing unknown calls to your number and using a (paid or free) service, you can reduce the number of unwanted calls and spam messages on your phone.
Originally posted on July 13, 2018.