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Stop robocalls forever


Kill dead robocalls in their tracks.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

I think we all got a call saying "Hello, can you hear me?" Starts. Or how about "Congratulations, you've won a free trip to the Bahamas!" the moment you say hello. It's a bit exciting, if not confusing, when it happens the first time. But if you find out that this is a robocall and ultimately a scam, it will lead to frustration.

The number of robocalls ringing on our phones at any time of day has reached an all-time high. Attention also attracts the government and technology companies . The House passed legislation banning robocalls, while the FCC passed a proposal allowing operators to be more aggressive in blocking spam calls. More recently, the implementation of SHAKEN / STIR technology by mobile operators and telephone companies has begun to identify and block spam calls. Apple has even added a feature to iOS 1

3 that will prevent any unknown callers from ever ringing your phone. 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 take some time for the FCC proposal to be implemented so that the number of unwanted calls will not drop dramatically overnight.

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How To Stop Robocalls


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 annoying robocalls at bay Unknown numbers.
  • Do not answer calls from numbers you do not know.
  • Just because an incoming call comes from a local number does not mean that it does.
  • Do not answer questions that can be answered with "yes".
  • If someone calls you and claims to be with an XYZ company, hang up and call the company yourself. 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, it is used to tell the spammer that your number is real. You can then sell your number to another company or target your number more frequently.

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    Apple promises to soon eliminate robocalls from your iPhone.

    Josh Miller / CNET

    Google's Call Screen feature may conflict with FCC recommendations as 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.

    Apple's iOS 13 has added many new features, including Unmute Unknown Callers which allows calls from unknown numbers to be routed directly to voicemail. When enabled, Siri allows calls to numbers found in contacts, emails, and messages. Everything else is sent to the voicemail, and if the caller is legitimate, he can leave a message. And that's the catch – we often receive important calls from numbers that we do not store on our phones, and ultimately you might miss important calls. However, if everything else fails and you really want to stop robocalls, this is a valid option.

    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.

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    Call screening is part of Pixel 3.

    Sarah Tew / CNET

    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 features caller ID for unknown numbers and mobile security features unrelated to robocalls. The premium version of Call Protect costs $ 3.99 per month.
    • Verizon's Caller Filter app is now automatically enabled for Android users with a postpaid plan . The service offers spam detection, a spam filter 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 search, 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 for 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. [19659036] 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 with similar features are YouMail and RoboKiller.

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    Hiya offers robust call monitoring.

    Jason Cipriani / CNET

    The recently released firewall app is only available on the iPhone and does a fantastic job of holding calls from your phone. 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. 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 emails you receive on your phone.

    Originally published last year. Updated with new information.

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