Have you ever received a call from an unknown number, while you’re doing something important, only to find out it’s spam? If your answer is yes; you’re not alone. In 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received almost 3.5 million complaints about robot calls in the fiscal year 2016. That’s a 60-percent increase of spam calls in the U.S. from the previous year. Even the agency’s Do Not Call List is can’t entirely prevent the surge of this illegal activity.
Scammers Also Using Spam Calls
Of the estimated 30 billion robot calls in America last year, a significant percentage are coming from scammers; and not from legitimate telemarketing companies. Scammers are even using new technology and also takes advantage of cheaper call rates abroad, to snag more victims.
Because of this many startup companies saw the opportunity and offered different solutions to end spam calls finally. One such service is CheckUp.tel , which rates all phone numbers from the US and Canada. Users can rate a particular number and tag the calls as spam, so other users can decide to call back an unknown number.
How to Stop Scam Calls and Block Scammers
Simply ignoring spam calls or rejecting them a couple of times won’t solve your problem. Once these scammers get a hold of your number, they will maximize every opportunity to make you turn your hard earned money to them. Even more frightening than losing money is they can eat up a lot of your time; which you can’t get back.
Below are some tips on how you can stop spam calls before you kill your phone:
Register at the Don Not Call Registry
Your first line of defense is to register your number to the National Do Not Call Registry. You can also reach the FTC by ringing 1-883-382-1222. It’s entirely free and the registration process is pretty straightforward. This should stop at least some of those nasty annoying callers. However, it is limited only to marketing and sales calls from companies that abide by the law.
Ask your Phone Company to Block Specific Callers
Most phone companies have an “annoyance department” that can help their customers to place a trap on your number that rejects specific callers from contacting your number. Look up “spam controls” on your carrier’s website. Major phone companies such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, all offer blocking anonymous and unwanted calls.
AT&T’s Call Protect service, for example, stops nuisance phone calls at the network level. It also has an app that lets users flag other callers manually. The company also put up “Suspected Spam Warning” alerts when a call is suspected to come from an illegitimate account.
Install Call Blocking Apps
There are tons of call-blocking apps that are available for Apple iOS and Android users. The main function of these apps is to alert or block potentially fraudulent and unwanted call even before you answer. Some of the best examples of which are Call Bliss for iPhones, and Call Control for Android.
Some of these apps require one time or subscription payments. Companies behind the app also have large databases which stores flagged numbers used for robot calls or spam calls. Other services can also block unwanted SMS messages.
Check Unknown Number in Community-Generated Reports
Another free method you can use to check if the phone number trying to reach you is not from a telemarketer or scammer is through community-generated reports. Some of these you can download as apps, while some can be accessed online. Through user reviews, you can check the legitimacy of a number and even submit your own reviews and ratings on the call you receive.
Get your Landline an Inbound Call Blocker
If you are using a landline, you have fewer options in battling spam calls. While your carrier can also help you block calls from unwanted numbers, they can’t entirely prevent scammers.
The best way to go is to get an inbound call blocker that adds another layer of protection for your landline. This device blocks all calls that do not possess the required code to reach you. While sending out the code is an added task for you and using the code can be hassle your friends, it completely stops any unwanted calls.