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.
Earlier this week the FTC imposed a record fine of $299,997,000 on an international network of companies including Sumco Panama, Virtual Telecom, Davis Telecom, Geist Telecom, Fugle Telecom, Tech Direct, Mobi Telecom, and Posting Express for violating a variety of federal laws when they made more than five billion robocalls involving illegal auto warranties to more than 500 million people in a mere three month period in 2021.
While this FTC action is helpful, I am a firm believer that the best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm so here 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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