Robocalls can be a waste of time and energy, and the worst of them may even give you a headache. Here are some ways you can fight back
Almost everyone has received a robocall. In the United States alone, over 100 billion robocalls have been made to consumers over the past two years. Of course, not all robocalls are the same. Some are legal and may include messages from health providers, charities or political campaigns.
However, many robocalls are illegal. It can be confusing or frustrating to figure out what to do about robocalls, and how to minimize their intrusion on your life. Here’s some actionable advice for stopping robocallers from interrupting your day.
Reject The Call
The vast majority of calls can be identified, but it’s time to reject calls that seem like they might be robocalls. If you keep getting calls that show up as “No Caller ID” or “Unknown Call” it’s best to just reject these anonymous calls in general.
Some scammers are getting more creative. Phone scammers are turning to “neighbor spoofing” in order to fool potential victims, since individuals are much more likely to answer a phone call from their own area code.
Robocallers use technology to modify the phone number that appears on your Caller ID, so it’s best to reject any and all calls from phone numbers that you do not recognize. You can also block these numbers, but there’s a good chance that you’ll still have to take additional steps.
Join The Do Not Call List
The first step to take is to join the National Do Not Call Registry, which was created by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
It’s completely free and it’s a relatively easy process. Whether you have a landline or a cell phone number, you can register that number at donotcall.gov. If you are still unsure if your number is registered, you can always call 1-888-382-1222 from any phone to be added to the list.
Unfortunately, joining the Do Not Call Registry doesn’t guarantee that you’ve blocked robocalls completely. There are criminals and scammers who don’t care whether your number is on this list or not.
Contact Your Carrier
If you’re still wondering what to do about robocalls, it might be time to call your wireless carrier. Some display “Scam Likely” on your smartphone when specific individuals call you, while others may not. Every carrier is different, but it’s worth checking to see whether they have any additional tools in place to prevent scam calls.
Some carriers can help you when it comes to stopping robocalls by offering specific features. For example, a carrier may be able to forward calls straight to voicemail if the person calling isn’t in your contact list.
Turning To Apps
If you’re serious about understanding how to avoid robocalls, then it might be time to take some more proactive measures. You may already reject any and all unknown calls on your smartphone but you’re still getting robocalls left and right. What should you do in this situation? It might be time to download and activate a call blocking app.
Many robocall blocking apps offer free trials, which can be a great way to determine if the app can help you when it comes to stopping robocalls. Some of the most popular call blocking apps are Truecaller, Hiya, Robokiller and Nomorobo. These apps may not be effective in terms of stopping robocalls completely, but they can reduce them significantly.
To learn more about avoiding robocalls, you may want to read our article about how to spot and stop robocalls.