How to Block Robocalls and Spam Calls
Spam calls have become quite a nuisance nowadays, we want to block robocalls right away. But it has always been like that all the same. Over the last few months, it has become too intense. Robocall complaints to the federal trade commission have quintupled since 2009, having jumped steeply in just the past year to four and a half million in total.
Surprisingly, that’s just robocalls. There are another two and a half million complaints about live telemarketers. Our private numbers are basically everywhere now being linked to our online accounts, pasted at our email signatures and printed on our business cards.
Giving our phone numbers to anyone, there’s a good chance they will be shuffled along to someone they shouldn’t. Thanks to auto-dialing software and the internet, scammers can place thousands of calls in a minute for really cheap prices. If they would like to, they can guess numbers, and you never know, you might be the unlucky one.
The auto-dialer can then playback a pre-recorded message when someone picks up. Technology is also making spammers cleverer. They can disguise their phone number as a local one within your area of code such that you are more likely to answer.
Spam calls have a lot of profit to the perpetrators. According to caller ID company – Truecaller – phone scammers made approximately $9.5 billion back in 2016 from the USA alone. The more calls they send out, the more chances they have of landing on victims.
Even though it’s a huge problem, it’s really hard to crack down on. Making such spammy calls is very illegal in the US. However, robocalls can be made outside the US which is outside of the jurisdiction. For phone service providers, it can be hard to tell whether a call that’s coming in is from a scammer or from someone you actually want to communicate with.
Some robocalls may actually be legal. Such as updates from schools, the airport, weather, or the hospital.
So what can we do to start fighting back against all the illegal spammy calls? There are 3 steps you can take. They won’t solve the problem wholeheartedly, but if you’re fed up, this is what you can do to start fighting back.
[ 5 ] Use a Block Robocalls App
There are so many call-blocking apps to choose from but they all serve the same purpose – block spam calls before you answer your phone. Some of the most popular ones include Hiya and Truecaller, which are free. Or you can go for Nomorobo or RoboKiller, which require a subscription.
When using Nomorobo – the FTC Robocall Blocking Challenge – all you have to do is install it and follow the prompts. Once installed, give the app permission to handle your Caller ID. It has a huge constantly updating list of known spammers, and it checks those numbers against who is calling you. If it identifies a known spammer, it either won’t let the number through, or it’ll identify you when they’re calling.
If the app lets a spam call go through by accident, you can tell it that and it will then factor in that information for everyone else to help block more spam calls. Since most of these apps are free, there’s no harm in trying one out and see how it works for you.