Tips published on how to stop annoying robocalls on your iPhone or Android phone.
Annoying robocalls are the bane of cellular users’ existence, at least in the US where the Federal Trade Commission receives almost 400,000 complaint reports every month. Despite initiatives like the national Do Not Call list that allows users to enter their number to be listed as forbidden for advertisers, calls from scammers using blocked or spoofed numbers seem to be on the rise.
Spam phone calls are bothersome at best and a potential identity theft threat at worst; essentially, once your number is on the Do Not Call list, you can rest assured that almost any phone call of this kind will be perpetrated by a scammer trying to steal your money, your identifying information, or both (it’s worth noting that recognized non-profits and charities, as well as political campaigners, are exempt from the Do Not Call requirement). However, a new report by Chris Welch for The Verge offers up some helpful tips for trying to put a stop to these calls.
The first step is to check with your carrier to see if they have a solution. Many major US cellular providers have a call blocking feature that automatically prevents known scammers’ calls from getting through. Unfortunately, this service typically costs a monthly fee, and thanks to phone number spoofing, scammers can slip through the cracks by harnessing another phone number.
From there, you can download any of a number of free or freemium third-party apps to block the calls. Many apps work by crowdsourcing the effort: users add calls that slip through to the block list, and that number is now blocked for anyone who uses the app. It does require you to accept a call to discover whether or not it is spam, then copy and paste the number into your block list within the app.
Of course, the Do Not Call list is still a somewhat effective tool, so don’t avoid that one if you’re trying to prevent a significant number of calls. You can find out more or sign up at donotcall.gov.