Scam calls and robocalls are annoying, and they cause the victims to suffer through the loss of time and other resources. These scammers have affected the lives of millions of people. They often offer opportunities that seem too good to be true. Sometimes, they may make threatening calls impersonating IRS or other law enforcement agents. Their goal is to try and terrorize you to extort you for some money for their own financial gain.
According to the FTC, millions of people fall victim to scammers every year. The majority of people support the idea of the government taking action to keep the scammers in check. Since there are millions of scam calls every day and thousands of those callers are reported every day, the problem has been a huge challenge for the FTC. To tackle FTC’s inability to control scam callers, there are some options you could use to fight scammers. These available options are discussed below.
Option 1: Register your phone number with National Do Not Call Registry
You can register your phone number on a “Do Not Call Registry.” The estimates suggest that half of the annoying telemarketing calls will stop when you register your number to the Do Not Call Registry. The legitimate telemarketers who respect and abide by the law will not call any numbers registered on the Do Not Call Registry. This alone, however, is not enough to stop receiving annoying calls completely.
Option 2: Report a number to FTC
After you have registered your phone number on FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry and it has been listed there for at least 31 days, if you continue to receive unsolicited calls from telemarketers, then you can file a report against that caller online or by phone. The web address to file a complaint is https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/ or https://www.donotcall.gov/report.html. If you wish to file a report via phone, then you can call 1-888-382-1222. There is no guarantee that the FTC will take any action against the number you report. Increasing number of users have reported that filing a report with FTC has been ineffective. You could still give it a try.
Call Protect, Nomorobo, YouMail, RoboKiller, Hiya, and TrueCaller are some of the reputed apps with a proven track record. You can use any of these apps to decrease the number of spam calls you receive.
Option 3: Use Do Not Disturb mode to filter out unknown callers
Most modern phone operating systems have a Do Not Disturb feature. You can enable this feature if you do not wish to receive calls from any unknown callers. Do Not Disturb feature can be a temporary solution to silence everyone who is not on your contact list. It is important to note that this solution may not be viable when you are expecting calls from numbers that are not yet on your contact list.
Option 3: Block unwanted callers individually
Blocking each number manually is a tedious option for stopping scam calls. If there is a particular number that has been calling you continuously, then you can use this option to block that number. Once blocked, the calls from the number you blocked will not come through.
If you are on an iOS device, to block a caller, go to ‘Phone’ app, then to ‘Recents’, and tap the blue information icon to the right of the number you want to block and scroll down. You will find ‘Block this Caller’ option. Tap that option to block that number.
If you are on an Android device, go to ‘Phone’ app, then to ‘Recent’ section. You can then long‑press on the number you wish to block and choose ‘Block/report spam’ or ‘Add to reject list’ or similar options. The available options may vary depending on the Android version and/or phone manufacturer.
Option 4: Get help from your carrier or phone service provider
Most of the renowned telecom operators have offered some services to help create a barrier between you and scammers. Those services are usually available for a small fee. The three main phone service providers (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile) offer a somewhat similar service through their respective apps to protect you against spam callers. When you have installed and configured their app, it can notify you when anyone who could potentially be a spam caller calls you. The carrier’s app can also block the known spam callers automatically.
Option 5: Install third‑party call blockers
Using a third‑party call blocking app is another promising option to gain freedom from spam callers. There are a handful of apps available on both iOS and Android platforms that can differentiate spam and robo callers from safe callers. Different apps tend to implement their own unique method to fight spam callers. Some of them identify spam callers using crowd‑sourced caller‑related information. Others use some advanced automated classification techniques to identify spam callers. Call Protect, Nomorobo, YouMail, RoboKiller, Hiya, and TrueCaller are some of the reputed apps with a proven track record. You can use any of these apps to decrease the number of spam calls you receive.
You could use any of the presented options to stop or at least reduce the number of spam calls you receive. When you utilize these options, you will surely benefit. At the same time, please note that as the techniques to fight spam calls are getting better, the techniques used by the spam callers to generate new spam calls are also evolving. As a result, blocking spam callers with 100% effectiveness may never be possible.