Spam calls have become worse than ever. Robocall complaints to the Federal Trade Commission have quintupled since 2009 and the number of complaints about live telemarketers has also increased. So what can we do to start fighting back against these spammy calls?
There are three steps you can take to start fighting back. They won’t entirely solve the problem, but they can help you reduce the annoyance caused by spammy calls.
Step one is to use a call-blocking app. There are many free apps available that can block spam calls before you even answer your phone, including Hiya and Truecaller. Nomorobo and RoboKiller also provide call-blocking services, but require a subscription. Nomorobo won the Federal Trade Commission’s Robocall Blocking Challenge, so it is a good option to consider.
Once you have installed a call-blocking app, you will need to give it permission to handle your caller ID. These apps have a constantly updating list of known spammers, which they use to check against who is calling you. If they detect a known spammer, they either won’t let the number through or will identify them when they call. If a spam call does get through by accident, you can tell the app and it will use this information to help block more spam calls.
The second step to take is to make sure your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry if you are in the United States. This could help to reduce the number of spam calls you receive legally. Additionally, see what your phone provider can do. AT&T and T-Mobile both offer services to identify spammy callers when they hit your phone. Verizon and Sprint have similar services, but charge for it.
The third step is to know what to do when you receive a spam call. Don’t talk or press any buttons. Also, be aware of the most common phone scams so you don’t give them your time or money. If you want to talk to someone, consider calling them back from a number that you know is legitimate. When you are handing out your information over the phone, make sure you are identifying yourself instead of giving your identity to someone who doesn’t already have it.
In conclusion, it may not be possible to fully put a stop to robocalls, but you’re not defenseless against them. The government and phone carriers are doing their best to put a stop to them, and if you take some of these steps, you’ll be able to start reducing the annoyance.