Everyone gets unwanted spam calls. But sometimes the sheer number of them can become frustrating. It is the scammers calling. Spam calls and robocalls can become irritating after some point. It becomes a major problem when you are having a busy day or expecting a call from someone important. Due to spam calls, you might also end up missing an important call.
Lawmakers on the state and federal levels have passed legislation for addressing the problem. Robocalls and spam calls are not going to stop trying to reach out to you. Their schemes bring hundreds and thousands of dollars every year. Studies have shown that robocalls or spam calls are becoming more prevalent and older people are more likely to fall prey to the scams.
A spam call or a robocall is a call delivering pre-recorded messages through a software to millions of people across the world. In case someone answers the call, they will get to hear a recorded message rather than a real person speaking, you will hear a robot.
Robocalls offer useful details, such as flight cancellations or appointment reminders. Most of the time they are just trying to sell you something and many are scams.
Millions of robocalls are made every month across the world and they are generally taken as a nuisance. Scammers and telemarketers are using technology to make robocalls through the internet. This is the reason it has become so common these days.
Some robocalls might be from legitimate sources but there are also scammers who are looking to trick you into providing them with your financial details. Well, the good news is you can take some steps to eliminate these spam calls or robocalls.
Robo callers use thousands of different phone numbers and might use the same telephone prefixes as your phone number. You can use the block feature on your smartphone to block the numbers. Let’s take a look at how you can block them.
a. Blocking Numbers on iOS Phone
For blocking the numbers as they come on your iOS device, open the Phone app and then tap on option, Recents. Then tap on the ‘Info’ icon placed next to the phone number you would like to block and select ‘Block this Caller’ and then ‘Block Contact’.
The spam number will be blocked. But spammers jump from one number to the other. Hence, the tip can only be useful if the caller is using the same number more than one time.
If you are using iOS 13 or higher, you can use a more effective measure to reduce the spam calls. All you have to do is go to ‘Settings’ and then ‘Phone’ to go over to ‘Silence Unknown Callers’. Thereafter, toggle the switch that says ‘Silence Unknown Callers’.
The feature will silence the calls from the numbers, which are not on your contact list. These spam calls will be sent to voicemail and might appear on the Recent list. Thus, if there is a legitimate call that you would like to return, you will find it on this list.
b. Blocking Numbers on an Android Phone
The steps you have to follow to block the numbers on an Android phone vary depending on the operating system and device you are using.
Usually, you have to open the Phone app and choose the call history or recent calls. Tap on the number you would like to block and you will find the command saying block or report as spam. Next, you have to confirm the request for blocking the number.
A few Android devices will let you block unknown callers, too. But the processes from one device to the other. You just have to open the Phone app and go over to the Settings menu. Look for the option to block the number and activate it. Android phones let you block the numbers manually, too.
A spam-filtering app will provide you with additional protection. It can help in securing your smartphone. The makers of the app maintain a large database of user-reported spam calls or robocalls. If one of those spam numbers dials you, the app will block the phone from ringing or informing you about the spam.
You will find tools available in the Google Play Store and App Store for Android and iOS smartphones. Here are two tools that you can consider using-
With a call blocking app, you can cut down on spam calls. Apart from blocking unfamiliar calls, the apps might have some additional features customized to your requirements. It can filter spam texts and add automated answers. Usually, these apps charge a subscription fee. But you need to do some research prior to subscribing to these apps to make sure they are catering to your requirements.
Let’s take a look at some of the popular call-blocker apps.
The call blocking app has been designed for Android and iOS users. It will block the spam calls and will also mess with the spammers. The Answer Bots of the app are going to answer the spam calls for you with pre-recorded nonsense created to waste their time and irritate them. You are going to be surprised by the results. The app will also let you create your own bot response. It includes a database of known spammers but you can add certain numbers that you would like to block.
This tool is available at $3.99 per month for iOS users and $2.99 per month for Android users.
b. Call Control
The call blocking app is available for Android and iOS users. It can block spam calls using crowdsourcing. Call Control has a feature that is known as CommunityIQ that consults a plethora of community reports and complaints of Do Not Call to decide which calls are from the spammers.
Users can ask the app to block calls from phone numbers that look similar to yours. So, look for numbers to find out if they are from spammers. It is a tool that you can also connect to a compatible landline for extending spam blocking.
It is an app that shows the information of the users about callers that is not in their address book. Truecaller can easily block unwanted calls. It allows you to search for any number or name. Hence, you can block organizations or people, easily.
The basic app is available for free. But if you get the premium edition, you can remove the ads and enjoy several other features. You can get the premium version for $4.49/ month or $29.99/year.
It is a legal service chatbot that allows users to file disputes against individuals and businesses. The platform was launched by Robo Revenge and lets you track robocalls and makes it convenient for them to file a claim against the scam callers.
DoNotPay will also provide a virtual credit card that you can share with scammers. The scammers will then try to charge the credit card. This will enable DoNotPay to access the information of the scammers and unveil to you who they are. You will then receive details about the scammers and then use them for filing claims.
Often, scammers use robocalls to find out if the person on the other end of the call is a human being. If they are human, they continue targeting them. They use this technique to mark numbers, which are a spoof of their own number to keep calling you.
So, make sure that you don’t respond to the calls with your name or answer with a ‘yes’ as these spam calls might be recording you.
Some scammers might not respect the Do Not Call Registry by FTC. But it won’t hurt you to register the mobile phone or landline number here. Through the official website, you can easily report unwanted calls. Cross-check if the number is registered with the registry. If it is not, get it added today.
In case you think that you have already registered yourself for DNC, Choose Register Your Phone and then select Verify Here. Type the email address and phone number, and then click on Submit. In the following screen, click on Verify for confirming the number and email address. You might receive an email informing you if the phone number has already been registered. So, check your email to find out.
But if you are not already registered, choose Register Your Phone and then click on Register here. Next, you have to enter your number along with your email address. When you are done, click on Submit. But make sure you confirm the details and then click on ‘Register’. It will then redirect you to check your messages in the email. To complete the registration, click on the link present in the message.
Report any scam calls or robocalls you receive to the FTC. The agency cannot act on your complaint but it will suggest some steps you can take and gather details to use for their own fight against the scam callers.
In case you receive a spam call or a robocall, the best thing to do is not answer it. In case you answer the call, the number will be taken as good by the scammers. Thereafter, they are going to try again since they realize that there is someone on the other side. So, the less you answer, the fewer calls you are going to get.
But it can be difficult to understand if a robocall is spam or not. Spoofing calls have become really common but with the help of these tips, you can reduce the risks.
1. Hang Up As Soon as Possible
The less you engage with the spam callers. If you react or talk, the caller might mark you as live and you will start receiving more of them.
2. Avoid Saying ‘Yes’ If Possible
Many spam calls will start with the question ‘Hi, can you hear me?’ and people might reply ‘yes’ to it without thinking. In case they store the recording of what you have said, they can use it for some fraud activities. Hence, you need to avoid saying anything, if possible.
3. Don’t Follow the Bot’s Instructions
At times, the robocalls might prompt you to take action. But you should avoid following the instructions. If you do, you actually confirm that you are their potential victim. It can lead to further spam calls or robocalls. So, make sure that you don’t take any action.
4. Report the Call and Be Careful
You are allowed to report robocalls in the US. So, you can report the call. But you should also exercise caution. The damage that robocalls can do is considerable. Even if they do not get your credit card details, they can still waste your time. So, when you get an unknown call, proceed with caution. In case a business is calling you, just hang up, and look for their contact number on the website. If you find the number, call them back to find out if they are legitimate.
5. Use a VPN
Using a VPN will help you avoid common online scams. If a spam caller asks you to visit a website and trick you to reveal your banking details, a VPN can help you avoid the scam. The VPN security will inform you that the site you are visiting is not safe. So, having a VPN installed on your mobile device is handy.
The internet has made it much easier for businesses to dial several numbers at once with the help of an internet connection rather than a phone. Also, someone can easily spoof your caller ID that makes a phone call appear legitimate. A few of these calls even come from overseas. So, it becomes difficult to track.
But with the help of the tricks, we have listed above, you can easily reduce robocalls. The apps and tools will help in blocking unwanted calls from scammers.
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