Most can agree, one of the most annoying things is constantly receiving robocalls, telemarketer pitches, and scams on your smartphone throughout the day. How did they get my number? Why am I getting these calls? The Federal Communications Commission has reported that nearly 2.4 billion robocalls are made every month, that’s more than 7 calls per person. Eventually, you begin to stop picking up calls from unknown numbers altogether to avoid the frustration—and it’s maddening!
To return your cell phone back to peace (or what fraction of peace it previously had), follow these 4 steps:
- Google your own smartphone number
First off, begin with google searching your mobile phone number. This is likely where your phone number is taken from by telemarketers. Your number may not necessarily be paired with your name, but it can still be there unidentified. A few ways for your number to be put out there on the internet is by posting it on social media or by using it on sketchy shopping websites. If you’re doing any of these things, it would be wise to stop. There is a chance your phone number could be online, gathered by a “people search” company like Nuwber that compiles information from “White Pages listings, Public Records, and Social Network Information.” Lists like these make it easy for cyber scammers to gain access to your information for their purposes.
- Add your number to the Do Not Call list
Although it doesn’t fix the issue completely, it’s a good start. Putting yourself on the National Do Not Call list keeps legitimate companies from cold-calling you. If you have already signed up for the Do Not Call list and are still receiving calls, report the calls to the FTC. The FTC compiles the reports and distributes the fees.
- Block numbers directly on your smartphone
If you want to block a number that has called you:
On an iPhone, open your green phone app and select the “recents” tab. Then tap the blue “i” information icon next to the phone number that you are wanting to block. Next, a screen will come up with a list of options and if you scroll to the very bottom you will see a feature to “Block This Caller”.
On an Android, there are two ways to block numbers. If you are using a standard version of Andriod 6.0, you go into your call log and long-press on the number you want to block, then you select “Block number” from the pop-up menu. If you’re using something other than the stock version of Android, you can go into “Settings” and then “Call blocking,” then tap “Add number” and type in the number you want to block.
- Plan D
Luckily, if none of the previous options are successful, there is more hope. They all require a little bit of setup but will promise you with some peace from annoying robocalls.
Nomorobo (IOS): Nomorobo won a competition by the FTC, and is one of the leading apps for blocking robocalls. Initially, you are granted a free 30-day trial and after it is $1.99 per month. Once the app is installed, it will prompt you to “Phone” in your “settings” and enable Nomorobo in “Call Blocking & Identification”. Nomorobo displays a big red dot on your screen when a robocall is coming to alert you. Additionally, there is a feature that allows for the robocalls to be blocked altogether to avoid them from popping up on your phone at all. The app promises that it doesn’t block any legitimate calls from important institutions and only robocalls.
Truecaller (IOS, Android, Windows Phone): Truecaller has collected more than 3 billion phone numbers and relies on information from users to filter out the scams. The app alerts you on the call screen when a phone number is identified as a robocall or scam. The app gathers information from a central database that is constantly being updated with new phone numbers. This app provides a free and paid option varying for the service. The setup follows suit with the previous app, following prompt.
If you’re sick of receiving robocalls, put an end to them by following the previous 4 steps!
Derived from USA Today