Robotic Intruders: Unmasking the Nuisance
Your smartphone rings again, an enigma in the form of an unknown caller. Could it be a long-lost friend, a child in need, or perhaps even the pope? Alas, the truth is maddening.
Telemarketing calls, robocalls, and spam calls have reached unprecedented levels, with a staggering 50 billion robocalls inundating the United States in 2021. Beyond mere annoyance, these incessant calls pose potential dangers, leading to an estimated loss of 19.7 billion USD to phone scams in 2020.
While legislative measures aim to combat the surge in spam calls, safeguarding against phone scams remains crucial. Here are seven proactive measures to shield your privacy and obstruct spam calls.
1. Harness Your Carrier’s Unwanted Call Filter
Explore if your carrier provides call-filtering solutions. In the U.S., carriers like T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T offer such services, though some may involve a fee. Delve into the specifics of each carrier’s filtering offerings:
- AT&T’s Call Protect: Free service with robust protection against robo, spam, and scam calls. A premium version, Call Protect Plus, adds caller ID, reverse number lookups, and voicemail options for 3.99 USD/month.
- Verizon’s Call Filter: Free for Verizon customers with additional options like Call Filter Plus and Call Filter Plus (multi-line) available for 2.99 USD/month and 7.99 USD/month respectively.
- T-Mobile’s Scam Shield: Comprehensive anti-scam protection offering call blocking, caller ID, and the flexibility to change phone numbers annually.
2. Embrace Call-Blocking Apps
Opt for call-blocking apps to effectively thwart spam calls. These apps, such as RoboKiller, Truecaller, YouMail, Nomorobo, and DoNotPay, offer distinctive features like voice recognition, detailed caller information, voicemail protection, and even legal actions against scammers.
3. Leverage Built-In Phone Features
Explore the native features of your phone to block unknown callers. On iPhones (iOS 13 and later), activate the Silence Unknown Callers feature in Settings. Android users can block unknown callers within the Phone app settings, preventing unwanted intrusions.
4. Join the National Do Not Call Registry
For U.S. residents, an effective and free method to filter out telemarketers is by registering your number with the National Do Not Call Registry through www.donotcall.gov or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
5. Outsmart Robocalls
Avoid confirming your humanity to scammers by refraining from divulging personal information during calls. Exercise caution with your responses, as robocalls may be recording, and even a simple “yes” can mark your number as valid.
6. Safeguard Your Number
Prevent unnecessary exposure of your phone number online. Regularly check and remove your number from public platforms, and consider using alternative numbers for social media sign-ups.
7. Report to Federal Authorities
U.S. residents can report spam calls to the Federal Trade Commission at reportfraud.ftc.gov. For non-U.S. residents, explore local law enforcement channels for reporting scam or spam calls.
Additional Insights: Unraveling Unwanted Call Mysteries
Discover the diverse landscape of spam calls, from telemarketing and legal robocalls to illegal robocalls and scam calls. Differentiating between these types provides insights into dealing with the nuances of each.
Confronting the Unwanted Calls Onslaught on Landlines
For landlines, apps like Nomorobo offer call-blocking services, while hardware call blockers provide an alternative solution, albeit with potential limitations compared to software-based services.
Unmasking the Spam Epidemic
Gain an understanding of the rise in spam calls, driven by lucrative sales for spammers and the lack of deterrents for scammers. Explore the varied nature of spam calls, from telemarketing to scam calls, each carrying its own set of challenges.
How to Combat the Spam Onslaught
Share your strategies for dealing with unwanted calls in the comments. Let collective wisdom prevail against the incessant intrusion of unwanted calls.
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