“Congratulations, you’re today’s winner of the free vacation to Cabo!” The tinny voice on the other end drags on as you realize it’s not your neighbor calling you like you thought. It’s a robocall. Robocallers are like the telemarketers of the past…except worse! They’re incessant and you can’t simply ask them to put you on their “do not call” list.
Good news! We found ways to stop robocalls from ruining your life.
But First, What is a Robocall?
Robocallers are bots that call your phone number. They are pre-recorded messages that are generally trying to sell something you don’t need. There’s a difference in robocallers, spammers and fraud calls.
Spammers may also try to call your phone. They call people in batches. Spammers may be people who get your number from the Internet or they may be people who get your number from a source you gave it to. Some places that require you to give them information (think store cards and some survey websites) sell your information to spammers! A spammer can be a live caller or a robocaller.
Fraudulent calls are people who call with the intent of causing harm or damage. They might call you and tell you they’re from the IRS or even your local police station. They might be trying to get you to say things so they can record and use your voice. Fraud calls are the worst kind of robocalls and they are the reason it’s important to never talk to robocallers
If you want to stop robocalls, follow these tips!
1. Use Your Phone to Block Calls
Blocking won’t necessarily stop robocalls, but the calls won’t get put through to you. It is one of the easiest steps you can take to regain your phone back. If you have an Apple phone, your phone already comes with a block feature. Simply click the circle with an “i” in it to the right of the number on your call log. It will take you to a page with information on the number. Scroll down and select “block this caller.”
If your phone doesn’t come with a blocking feature on it, you can download an app to block calls.
- Hiya – may help you by allowing you to block numbers.
- Safest Call Blocker – provides you with a simple way to block numbers that have called you before.
- Norton Mobile Security – is a full security package. It is pricey, but it can help provide full protection on your cell phone.
Check your phone to see if you have settings that will allow you to automatically block numbers. Most phones allow you to block unknown or anonymous numbers. You may also be able to block numbers that are not in your contact list, but be careful with that as you could miss important calls from schools, medical offices and other important places.
2. Talk to Your Phone Company
Your phone company may be able to help you stop robocalls. Different companies have different options for blocking calls.
AT&T offers a Call Protect Program. It may stop robocalls by blocking numbers that are known as spam. It will not block all robocalls or telemarketers. AT&T also cannot block any private numbers. It is a free software.
T-Mobile’s Scam Block can help stop robocalls. It uses a database to help identify scam numbers. You may also use the program to select which calls came through that were a scam so it can add them to its database. If you are a post-paid customer, it is free.
Sprint offers Premium Caller ID. You can have the program on your phone to help identify the threat level of a call. It does not automatically stop robocalls. You will have to use the program to block these calls in the future. It costs $2.99 per month to add to your plan.
The Verizon Caller Name ID program may help you stop robocalls. Even though the company allows you to block up to five numbers for free, the block is only good for 90 days. With the Caller Name ID, you will automatically see who is calling you and whether it is a scam. Verizon then allows you to block the number. Verizon charges $2.99 per month for this service.
3. Put Your Phone on Do Not Disturb
If your phone is equipped with a “do not disturb” setting, you can use this to stop calls from coming through. Putting your phone on the setting can help you get some peace while you figure out a way to stop the calls. This will stop robocalls while your phone is on the setting, but it is not a permanent fix.
4. Whatever You Do, Don’t Answer!
You may not always be able to tell when a robocaller is calling you, but if you don’t recognize a number you shouldn’t answer it. By screening your calls, you can avoid answering a robocall. Some will even leave a voicemail so you can block them from there. The system the robocaller is calling from might be able to tell when you don’t answer the call. There’s a small chance that if they continue to call and you don’t answer, your number will get pushed out of the system.
5. Change Your Number
If you absolutely cannot stop robocalls with any other method, you may need to change your phone number. Most people get attached to their phone number so this can be a difficult solution. Changing your number is a permanent solution to stop robocalls. Once you get your new number, be very careful about who you give it to or where you put it at on the Internet. Be safe to stop robocalls from coming to the new one!
While all of these steps can help you make your life easier, they are not guaranteed to stop robocalls. You might still have unwanted calls even after you take the most drastic steps. It’s important to note that scam companies can get your number in many ways and there is always a chance they will start calling you again.
Get More Help With Your Cell Phone
If you need help finding a new provider that can help you block calls or you want to switch your service up when you change your number, we found help! You may even be able to get a free phone or free service.