UGH! ROBOCALLS! (part 2)

robocall scams

“Hello! Please don’t hang up… did you know that you could save a bundle on…?”

Part 2:

4. Use the Best Apps to Block Robocalls

Another way to stop nuisance calls on your smartphone is via call–blocking apps. These apps can identify who is calling you and block unwanted calls that show up on a crowd-sourced spam and robocaller list.

Here are the top call blocking apps:

Nomorobo

Nomorobo is an iOS and Android app that offers real–time protection from a growing list of robocallers, telemarketers and phone scammers. Nomorobo lets the phone ring once, then tries to identify the caller. If the number is on the app’s robocaller list, the app will automatically block the call for you.

Nomorobo is free to use for 30 days, and then it costs $1.99 per month or $19.99 for an entire year. To sign up, you will need to provide Nomorobo with information. List the type of phone you have – wireless or landline – and select your carrier. Note: Not all major cell carriers support Nomorobo.

Truecaller

The Truecaller app for iOS and Android lets you find out who’s behind that unknown number. Copy and paste the number into the app’s search bar. Truecaller will search the unknown number to find out who it is. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, it’s a great resource to avoid answering an unwanted robocall. Another great feature of Truecaller is its ability to block spam calls. When a pesky telemarketer calls, there will be a big warning in red, telling you that it’s a spam call. Just swipe up when this happens to automatically block that caller and add them to the spam list. The Truecaller app is free for both download and use. However, there is a professional version that can be bought as an in-app purchase for $1.99 per month.

Hiya – Caller ID & Block

The Hiya – Caller ID & Block app is perfect for identifying calls that you want to accept and blocking calls and texts you want to avoid. The Hiya app is available for free on both Apple and Android gadgets with no ads, and it is simple to use. If you had to choose one, this is the best choice, in my opinion. It allows you to block calls, blacklist unwanted phone numbers and text messages, reverse phone search incoming call information and receive spam alerts. The app is powered by a database of hundreds of millions of phone numbers confirmed to be spam by other users.

Call Control – Call Blocker

The Call Control – Call Blocker app automatically blocks spam calls and calls from other numbers you don’t want to hear from. You can block entire area codes (like 888) if you’re getting tons of calls you don’t want from a particular location. The Call Control app is free and available for both Apple and Android gadgets. Worried about missing out on important calls? Call Control gives you your own personal Whitelist and Contacts Protection to make sure people you know get through. The app’s users actively report their spammers so its catalog is always up to date. Call Control will automatically block active spammers, and the reverse lookup allows you to track them to their source. You can add numbers to the Community Blacklist and choose to block specific numbers that won’t leave you alone.

5. Some Phones Block Robocalls Automatically

Did you know that some smartphones already have built–in spam and robocall protection in place? Samsung’s flagship Galaxy and Note smartphones have a native feature called Smart Call that automatically screens and flags suspicious numbers. Google’s Android smartphones like the Pixels and the old Nexus and Android One have built-in spam call protection. With this feature, users with Caller ID enabled will get a warning if a suspected spam call or robocall is received. Aside from ignoring the call, the user has the option to either block the number or whitelist it if the spam flagging is deemed an error. Any blocked number can be unblocked at any time. An option to report the call to Google is available.

6. Block Individual Phone Numbers

Here’s a feature that’s available on any iPhone and Android – the ability to block specific numbers. Although this cannot possibly stop every robocall and spammer number, you can at least block the recurring ones.

iPhone

On an iPhone, open your Phone app, go to your Recents tab, then tap the circular information icon on the right side of the number you want to block. On the next page, tap “Block this Caller” to put the number on your block list.

Android

On Android, you can likewise open your Phone app, navigate to the Recents section, do a long press on the suspicious number then select “Block/report spam.” (This may vary, depending on the manufacturer and model of your Android phone.)

7. Set Your Phone on Do Not Disturb

To block every number except your most trusted contacts or favorites, you can turn on your iPhone or Android phone’s built-in Do Not Disturb Mode. It’s an extreme solution but it will definitely stop all unwanted calls, including robocalls, telemarketing calls and spam calls.

Keep in mind that you will undoubtedly miss some legitimate calls when this mode is on, but unknown callers will always have the option to leave a voice message. You can add any number to your contacts list to let them through in the future.

iPhone

To customize your Do Not Disturb preferences on an iPhone, go to Settings  >> Do Not Disturb. Here, you can turn the mode on, set a Do Not Disturb schedule and set your allowed calls to either all your saved contacts or just your Favorites list. To quickly activate Do Not Disturb, go to your iPhone’s Control Center (swipe down from the upper-right corner on iPhone X, swipe up from the bottom for other iPhones) and toggle the Do Not Disturb switch (the icon looks like a moon).

Android

On Android, go to Settings >> Sound (or Sound & Notification in other phones) >> then Tap Do Not Disturb to customize your Do Not Disturb settings. To activate Do Not Disturb, simply swipe down from the top of your display to access the Quick Menu then tap the Do Not Disturb icon to turn it on. (This may vary, depending on the manufacturer and model of your Android phone.)

8. Common Sense Prevails

This is the simplest solution, and many people try this low–tech approach to robocalls. If you receive a call from an unknown number or one that doesn’t show up on caller ID, don’t answer. If it’s an important call, the person will leave a message and you can get back to them. Millions of people are unencumbered by robocalls, and they don’t give these pests a second thought. But be advised: If you answer the phone and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify and target live respondents. Once they know the number is active, you may receive more calls in the future.

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