Robocalls- no one likes them. I think that’s one thing that everyone, regardless of background, race, creed, or political affiliation can agree on these days. Non-stop automated phone calls that are the cell phone equivalent of spam/junk mail, robocalls often attempt to masquerade themselves as legitimate callers, but it doesn’t take long for even an unwary recipient to deduce their true nature. But until the victim takes the necessary steps to rid themselves of this malady, robocalls – whether they’re out to sell you services you don’t need or scam you out of your hard-earned money – will continue to be a burden…but one easily kicked to the sidelines with just a few simple steps.
First of all, if you ever receive a call and the number on the Caller ID isn’t one you instantly recognize, your first step should be to keep the White Pages website bookmarked on either your home computer or smartphone browser of choice. Not only do the White Pages allow you to check to see who this mysterious caller is – or isn’t, as the case may be – but they can also help you track down the source of the interloping distraction, and in turn contact them about getting your phone number off their call directory. A little legal threat in cases like these doesn’t hurt, either. But regardless of how you want to proceed, always start with some detective work with the White Pages; it’s invaluable, comprehensive, and best of all, free.
Your next step is to register with the Do Not Call Registry. Yes, it’s what everyone says to do and, in reality, it’s not 100% effective, but the blame for that in most instances can be laid at the feet of the consumers that use it. Simply being on the list won’t stop every robocaller on Earth from violating the sanctity of your home, but it does give you the ability to register a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC); after all, robocalling someone on the Do Not Call Registry IS illegal, but most people don’t bother following through and filing a complaint. Doing so is a fairly quick and easy process, and when enough complaints are directed at a certain company accused of robocalling, action is often taken. You can report robocallers with the FTC at consumercomplaints.fcc.gov
or call 888-225-5322.
There are also a number of technological methods of keeping vile robocallers at bay. If there are specific, reoccurring phone numbers involved, you can simple block them with any number of apps – many of them free, or at least supported by ads – available either in Apple’s App Store or Google Play. There is also a service known as Nomorobo, a service that detects and blocks robocalls contained on a blacklist of known offender numbers. Hiya is another service that is centered on identifying and blocking suspicious phone numbers from harassing you.
A number of mobile phone carriers have released their own, dedicated services and apps that help to ID ad block robocallers and telemarketers; T-Mobile has introduced Scam ID flags suspicious called with a warning symbol after comparing them to a global database, and Scam-Block heads such calls off at the pass altogether by blocking them before your phone even rings. Likewise, AT&T has Call Protect, and Samsung phones utilize Smart Call developed by Hiya, a former division of White Pages.
Like the Do Not Call Registry, these lone solutions are not perfect, but when used in all together with the White Pages, it can form a combined layer of protection that is hard for robocallers to penetrate. In today’s harried and complicated world, the last thing you need when you finally get home to the peace and tranquility of your home is some digital interloper intruding upon you though your phone. While it takes a little effort, these dastardly robocallers can easily and effectively be put in their place, never to bother you again.