The phone rings. You don’t recognize the number, but you answer anyway, only to be caught by yet another automated call. You’re probably asking yourself how seemingly everyone has access to your phone number. You didn’t give it to them, after all. And if you’re not publicly posting your number on social media or handing it out to telemarketers worldwide, it may seem like a conundrum. So, how do you avoid robocalls?
You’re not alone. In the month of July, 4.2 billion robocalls were placed throughout the United States. These calls are illegal, and have been since 2009 (unless you’ve given a company permission). Take a few seconds and Google your own number. Did a page of information pop up? More than likely, the answer is yes. While you may not have explicitly given access to your digits, it’s incredibly simple for companies to scan lists, making your phone number accessible to robocallers. From there, it’s just a matter of time before they’ll make the call. Here are a few tips to help you avoid robocalls.
Register with the Do Not Call List
Now that you know your number is out there, the first step toward ending the games is registering your number to the National Do Not Call list. It’s a simple process that helps reduce the number of unsolicited calls you receive. Unfortunately, it won’t completely solve the problem. Many of the calls you receive are from scammers who have no regard for the law. The FTC compiles information about unwanted calls and serves those who abuse it with fines. Take an extra step to report unwanted calls to the FTC to make those criminal callers pay. Literally. The FCC receives more complaints about robocalls than anything else, and each call is subject to a $16,000 fine.
What do they want, anyway?
Robocallers are scammers. They’ll claim you owe back taxes, that they can lower your credit card rates, or extend your vehicle warranty. But remember: they aren’t who they say they are. They want your information, and they want your money.
Block them to end repeat calls.
For those consistent pests, it is also possible to block calls (and texts!) directly from your phone. Every phone is a little different, but take a look for instructions on popular phone choices:
Tap Green Phone Icon > Recents > “i” tab next to unwanted number > scroll to the bottom and select “Block this Caller”
Call Log > Press and hold number you want to block > select “Block Number” from pop-up
Settings > Call Blocking > tap “Add Number” and type in the number you want to block
Samsung Gusto 2 / Gusto 3 & LG Cosmos
Main Screen > Menu > Settings > Phone > Utilize 5-way navigation pad to highlight, and select “Security” using the OK button > Enter security code (default is last 4 digits of your number) > Select “Restrictions” > Enter the “Calls and Service Code” (default is last 4 digits of your number) > Select “Calls (Select Incoming Calls or Outgoing Calls > Select an option (Allow All, Contacts Only, Block All)
Plan your Offense.
Another option for ridding yourself of unwanted calls is to take the offensive. While it does require a bit of work and on your part, and usually there’s a fee for the service, there are apps that claim they can rid you of those annoying calls once and for all. Truecaller, PrivacyStar and Nomorobo are a few good examples.
It may seem too simple, but if you’re at your wits end, just ignore those incessant ringings. Eventually, the calls will stop too. And if you do find yourself answering, make sure you don’t interact with the caller at all – not even to opt out. Don’t push any buttons and don’t speak into the phone…just hang up!
We hope these tips help you to avoid robocalls! What else do you do to keep those pesky callers at bay?