The number of robocalls ringing on our phones at any time of day has reached an all-time high, which is why these calls have received much attention from government and technology companies. Recently, the House passed a bill that virtually prevented robocalls. The FCC has approved a proposal that allows operators to be more aggressive in blocking spam calls. Apple has even added a feature to iOS 1
Robocalls send a pre-recorded message to your phone that frequently prompts you to do something. Sometimes it's a message from a candidate running for office or a call from your bank promoting a new service. Even more worrying are the fraudulent robocalls, for example, posing as "IRS" and want to get people out of their money. It will be some time before the FCC proposal is implemented. So you will not notice a dramatic drop in unwanted calls overnight.
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 reaching your phone, there are several steps you can take to reduce the number of calls The number of calls you receive.
Best Practices to Keep Troublesome Robocalls at Bay
According to FCC, you can take some simple steps to reduce the number of robocalls:
- Do not answer calls from blocked or unknown numbers.
- Don calls from numbers you do not know can not be answered.
- If someone calls you and claims to be with an 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?" Just hang up.
- The same applies to a call that prompts you to press a number before joining a coworker.
When you answer a call and interact with the voice prompt or press a number, the spammer tells you that your number is real. You can then sell your number to another company or target your number more frequently.
The Google Calling feature may conflict with 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. Even though Google's calling screen is incredibly funny and entertaining, unless you know the phone number is real, it's best not to respond.
Applewith numerous new features. One of these features is the option to forward calls from unknown numbers directly to voicemail. According to the feature list on this page, Siri allows calls to numbers from contacts, emails, and messages. Everything else is sent to the voicemail, and if the caller is legitimate, he can leave a message.
If you find that you are receiving a lot of spam text messages, you can forward the message to number 7726 (Spells SPAM). It will not immediately prevent the number from sending you an SMS, but your mobile service provider can check where it came from and put an end to it.
Contact your provider.
All four major mobile operators offer their customers a kind of call blocking feature. Some are free while others charge for something that should be free.
- AT & T's Call Protect app is available for iOS and Android. The free version blocks calls from "likely scammers" and marks telemarketing calls. You can also add numbers to a blocked list in the app. The paid version offers caller IDs for unknown numbers and mobile security features that are not related to robocalls. The premium version of Call Protect costs $ 3.99 per month.
- Verizon's call filter provides spam detection, spam filtering and the ability to report numbers for free. You can pay $ 2.99 per month (or $ 7.99 per month for three or more lines) for caller ID, spam lookup, and a personal blacklist and spam list. The call filter is pre-installed in most Android devices (as you have probably been told), but is also available in the App Store for iOS users.
- T-Mobile's Scam ID is free to all customers and includes Scam Block. The ID portion of the service indicates that an incoming call is probably spam while blocking prevents the call from ever reaching your phone. You need to enable the lock feature either through the Scam Block app or by dialing # 662 # on your phone. You can pay US $ 4 for the name ID to see the names of incoming callers.
- Sprint's Premium Caller ID feature costs $ 3 per month to identify all incoming callers and block robocalls. There is no need to install an app. The feature is integrated with "selected" phones and the Sprint network.
Check with your wireless service provider to see if they offer a similar service.
Use a third-party 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 works on your device that offers auto-call barring and spam alerts for suspicious calls, and easily dials a number when you make a call.
Hiya is a free app that I have used on Android and iOS for some time now with success. 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 $ 2 per month for mobile users. Additional services that offer similar features include YouMail and RoboKiller.
The recently released firewall app is only available on the iPhone. In the event that you need to make a call for which you prefer not to use your real phone number, the subscription offers an unlimited number of fake one-way phone numbers for $ 4 per month.
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 required 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. You can reduce the number of unwanted calls and spam you receive on your phone by proactively placing unknown calls to your number and using a (paid or free) service.
Published on July 13, 2018.
Updated on July 29, 2019 at 3 am (PT) : Add more third-party options.