7 Ways to Stop Those Annoying Robocalls
If you are like most people, you want those robocalls to stop. Instead of decreasing, they have increased. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) estimates that about 163 million robocalls are made every day. YouMail is a company that tracks robocalls and blocks them. The company estimated there were 4.9 billion unwanted U.S. calls last month. Last year, there was an average of 48 billion robocalls. This year, there will be even more.
The calls come with every message conceivable. They usually include the following:
- Selling insurance
- Selling vacation packages and timeshares
- Offering advice about medical supplies and prescriptions
- Telling you have won something
- Asking where they can send a check they have for you
You might think there is nothing you can do, but there are at least seven things you can do to stop them completely or minimize them.
1. Stop Giving Out Your Phone Number
Whenever you give your number out to one business, chances are you are giving it out to many more. That's because your phone number could be sold to third parties.
When businesses ask for your telephone number, most people don't hesitate. They give it right away. Within weeks, you will start getting those annoying robocalls because that's the way it works. Therefore, you should think twice before giving out your number.
2. Tell Companies to Stop Calling You
This is hard to believe, but you might have given companies permission to call you. When you purchased a product or a service and signed an invoice, you might have unintentionally given the business permission to follow up or contact you later for some reason.
It is not illegal for a company to make marketing calls if they have a relationship with you because you purchased something from their business.
If you discover that you signed up to get those calls, you can request them to stop. Let companies know you do not want to receive calls from them. If they keep calling you, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and report the company.
3. Don't Answer Calls from Unfamiliar Numbers
The Better Business Bureau advises the public to ignore calls from unfamiliar numbers. Most people have Caller ID so they can see who is calling before they pick up the phone. Some people also have a feature with their FiOS cable so they can see who is calling because their name and number will flash on the television screen when the phone rings.
If you forget and answer the call, hang up if you suspect it is a robocall. Telemarketers are smart these days. They have telephone numbers with an area code the same as yours. Because you recognize the code, you might think the call is coming from someone in your neighborhood. However, the call could be coming from as far away as India, Spain, or Russia.
You might even see a number that is similar to your own number. In some cases, your own number appears on your Caller ID as if you are calling yourself. You know you are not calling yourself from your phone number to your own phone number. Therefore, it must be a scam.
Do not answer any calls with numbers similar to your own. Definitely, do not answer any calls coming from own number no matter who curious you might be.
4. Be Aware of Spoofing
Spoofing is the act of someone impersonating someone else. You might get calls from someone pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service, a debt collector, or a computer specialist saying you have a virus.
Contact your service provider to see if it has free blocking services for the spoofing calls.
5. Sign Up to Be on the Do Not Call Registry
Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry. It’s free and once your number is on the list, telemarketers shouldn't call you, but they still do even though it is illegal for them to continue calling you. The National Do Not Call Registry is for cell phones and landlines.
Once you add a number to the Do Not Call Registry, you do not need to register it again.
6. File a Complaint
If you’ve been on the Do Not Call Registry for a month or longer and still get calls, file a complaint with the FTC.
If the call comes from an identifiable business, you should also report it to the Better Business Bureau.
7. Block Robocalls and Calls from Telemarketers
Several companies now offer technology that can block robocalls. Nomorobo is a popular tool you can use to block those calls. The technology identifies and answers the calls so they can't get through to you. The software is free for landlines and $1.99 a month for cell phones. Nomorobo adds more than 1,200 new numbers each day that robocallers use. It is easy to sign up for this blocking service. Then, an algorithm blocks robocalls.
Other options include:
Update Concerning Robocalls
On May 15, 2019, the FCC announced that it is doing something about consumers getting those annoying robocalls. The organization has made a proposal for telephone services to block most robocalls before they even reach households. As early as this summer, telephone subscribers will be able to see a difference if the proposal is approved.
Do you get robocalls and calls from telemarketers?
If you have a method to stop robocalls not mentioned in the article, please share in the comment section below so others can be informed.