Over the years I have written numerous times about the problems presented by robocalls and with good reason. Automated robocalls which, for commercial purposes, are illegal, are the number one consumer complaint reported by the public to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at a cost to consumers of billions of dollars each year. Robocalls are used by scammers to perpetrate a wide variety of scams. The ease by which illegal robocalls may be made by computers using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) accounts for much of the problem. Most of the robocalls received in the United States originate overseas.
In an effort to stop these overseas VoIP calls the FTC is taking action against the VoIP service providers here in the United States and warning them that they must stop their services from being used to bring illegal robocalls into the United States. The FTC and its partners in law enforcement have identified 24 service providers responsible for routing and transmitting illegal robocalls during the last two years. The FTC then contacted these service providers and demanded that they stop their services from being used for illegal robocalls. To date 22 of the 24 have cooperated and one of the remaining uncooperative service providers is presently subject to an FCC law enforcement action.
The actions of the FTC is reducing the number of robocalls originating outside of the United States. However, there also are a number of options we all have for preventing robocalls including a number of apps that for free or a small fee will reduce and, in some instances prevent, robocalls.
Samsung’s SmartCall informs you if the call you are receiving is from a known robocaller. This feature is available with newer Samsung Galaxy phones. Here is a link to information about SmartCall and instructions as to how to activate this app. https://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/apps/smart-call/#:~:text=The%20Smart%20Call%20function%20lets,Suspected%20to%20be%20spam
Google also has a spam blocker that will warn you when you are receiving a robocall and your screen will turn red. Here is a link to information about the app and how to install it.
AT&T also offers free apps to block robocalls on iPhones and Android phones. Here is a link to information about these apps.
Verizon’s CallerName ID is a free service for iPhones and Android phones that will alert you to suspected robocallers. Here is a link to Verizon’s app.
T-Mobile offers a free scam blocker of known robocallers for Android phones which you can activate by merely dialing #662#
Sprint offers a paid service to protect your iPhone or Android phone from robocalls. For more information, use this link
Finally, you can just choose to ignore any calls that come from numbers you do not recognize. This is a good option. If they are legitimate calls, they will leave a message and you can call them back.
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