By Amanda Morgan
We all get them, those unwanted calls from unfamiliar number that come at the most inconvenient times. Usually it’s a machine trying to sell something like a new credit card or an advertisement to vote for a certain political candidate. Sometimes they can be useful when they are used to remind a person of an upcoming doctor’s appointment, but on the whole they tend to be unnecessary and bothersome. These machine calls, often referred to as robocalls, can cause a person’s phone to ring every second of the day. Read this article to find out nine ways to stop these robocalls once and for all and only get the calls you really want.
1) Do Not Call List
The first step people should take when trying to limit the amount of robocalling they get is to be put on the National No Call Registry. Both home and mobile phones can be registered online on the official Do Not Call website. The Do Not Call Registry is monitored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The registration does not need to be renewed and it never expires. The National No Call List will prevent cold-calling and advertisement from legitimate companies. Unfortunately, this does not work for all companies and it is still possible to receive robocalls even while being on the No Call list. Political organization, charities, and surveys are still allowed to call a person even when on this list. Also if a person directly gave their number to a company or organization, the company is allowed to continue calling.
2) Use an App
Fight back against these calls with new apps designed to block and prevent robocalls. One app designed for mobile phones is Nomorobo. Nomorobo works by identifying the number and informing the owner that the number calling them is a robocall. The owner then has the option to hang up, block the calls, or have all robocalls sent straight to voicemail. This app assures that the owner’s privacy is not infringed upon by not requiring their contact list or personal information. Over 750,000 people use this app daily and rave about the reduced amount of solicitation calls. Interested people can try the app free of charge for 30 days before committing to it at $1.99 per month. Thanks to these new apps, people can worry less about being disturbed and focus on their day to day lives.
3) Block the Number
One of the easiest techniques to use when receiving multiple robocalls from the same number is to block that number. This is particularly effective when the call is on a cell phone, since newer phones like the iPhone have made it easy to block a number. On the iPhone a person has to go to the number under the call list and press block. The user will never receive calls, texts, or voicemails from this phone number again. Unfortunately, this process isn’t as simple on a landline phone and requires a call to the telephone provider. Some landline phones allow a number to be blocked by pressing *60. While this process works well, it can be quite tedious as each number needs to be individually blocked. However, this will stop the same number from calling every day.
4) Check with Your Provider
Sometimes phone companies can offer advice on how to best avoid the extreme number of robocalls. Some companies can put your number on a no robocall list and stop the majority of the calls. More companies are starting to implement this type of list in order to stop the excessive calling that plagues a large number of clients. Other times, the phone company can offer robocall-blocking technology. Services like AT&T have taken the initiative to provide this type of technology. While it does not stop the call, it will provide a warning that the call is a suspected robocall. Some people have suggested that the use of Caller ID also helps to stop these machines. It might be time to inquire with the phone company about which services can help the issue.
5) Hang Up
Robocalls have become more advanced as technology grows. They have even started to use numbers with area codes that are familiar to the person they are targeting. This makes it harder to identify from just looking at the number if the call is a machine or not. If you pick up a robocall be very wary of what you say. Some experts recommend never saying the word yes if asked “Can you hear me?” and instead saying “I can hear you.” This prevents the companies from using the “yes” as an agreement to their services. Once a robocall receives this yes they can start to bill a person. The best way to avoid this issue completely is to not press any buttons and to hang up immediately. When in doubt, it is best to just hang up.
6) Revoke Permission
Companies can sometimes get a person’s contact information directly from the individual without he or she even realizing it. When filling out a form, survey, or any document always check the fine print. It may say that by signing the contract the company has permission to contact the person using the phone number provided, even if the person’s phone number is on the do not call list. One way to revoke the permission to use the phone number is to call the company directly and ask to be put on their no call list. Although this process does take some time, it is an efficient way to get off their list. One important tip to remember when revoking permission is that after revoking a number it may take up to 30 days for the number to be fully removed.
7) File a Complaint with the FTC
The greatest benefit that comes from being on the Do Not Call Registry is the support from the government. After 30 days if a person is still receiving robocalls from companies that were never given written permission to contact the person, that person can file a complaint with the FTC. To file a complaint, a person needs to go online to the Federal Trade Commission website and fill out the claim. This claim can also be filled out over the phone. The goal of filing a complaint is to bring the scam artist or insistent robocaller to justice. After the claim is filled the FTC will be on the lookout for that number and hopefully find the person responsible. This helps not only the original person being affected by the robocall but all of the other Americans being called by that robocaller.
8) Stop Giving Your Number Out
It is important to know what information is required to give when filling out forms. Although there may be a spot for a telephone number, it may not be necessary or required. Often companies will call people who give their number while signing a form. It is always important to read the fine print on what the phone number will be used for and if the company will be calling with sales calls. If a phone number is required, another option is to give a fake number. Remember: do not give a fake number when it is important to get a real call back, for example at a job interview. Overall, the best option is to not give a number. Most times in order to register for something all that is legally require is an address.
9) Set Up Anonymous Call Rejection
A feature that most cellphone services have to combat robocalls is anonymous call rejection. This service, also known as ACR, will prevent calls from numbers that have blocked Caller ID information. Instead of the call going through, the person or machine calling will get a message stating that the user of the phone does not accept calls from blocked numbers. This service is not available in all areas of the country but can be quite useful in the areas in which it is available. This service can be activated easily by calling the phone company or pressing a code on the phone. Usually this code is *77 but it varies by the phone service. Set up anonymous call rejection and never worry about getting anonymous calls continuously throughout the day.