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Unsolicited sales robocalls are illegal. Yet many people are still pestered every day by these annoying, pre-recorded calls.
Many robocalls are more than annoying. They are scams. Robocalls are an easy way for scammers to contact thousands of people in a day.
What can you do if you are receiving robocalls? Is there a way to stop robocalls? Here’s everything you need to know about unwanted automated telephone calls.
What Are Robocalls?
Robocalls are automated telephone calls with recorded messages. Computers are dialling phone numbers on a list and playing a message to anyone that answers.
Technology has become more advanced, cheaper, and easy to use. So, more and more scammers are using robocalls to scam people.
Robocalls are used with several different types of phone scams. The call might say that you owe the IRS money. It might say that you need a new Medicare card. It might even say that you have won a prize.
Scam phone calls could be coming from anywhere in the world. That’s why it is so hard to stop them. They often use fake caller IDs to fool you into answering your phone. Here’s what a typical scam robocall sounds like:
Are Robocalls Illegal?
Automated sales calls are illegal unless you have given your consent to receive them. The law varies on other types of robocalls from state to state.
Calls that are providing information are allowed. For example, a call to remind you about an appointment, or a call about a school not being open. Charity and political calls are also allowed in most states.
Any automated call that tries to sell you something is illegal. Scammers, though, are not going to let the law dissuade them from using robocalls.
What Can You Do to Stop Robocalls?
Preventing all robocalls to your phone is difficult. But there are steps that you can take to reduce the chances of getting unwanted calls.
Register with the National Do Not Call Registry
You can register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. It’s easy to do and, and it’s free.
If your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry, it will be illegal for any type of telemarketer to call you.
Install a Call Filter App on Your Smartphone
The Verizon Call Filter App, for example, is free to download.
The free version of the Verizon app will block calls from known fraudsters. It will also give you spam call warnings.
There is also a paid option that provides much more functionality.
The paid version of the Version app costs $2.99 per month. Additional features include a personal spam list, a “risk meter”, and a personal block list.
Call Filters for Landlines
You can talk to your phone company to see if they offer any call filtering services. You can also ask your phone company to block certain numbers.
Phone companies may charge to block numbers. Scammers usually keep changing the numbers they are dialling from to avoid detection. That could make blocking numbers ineffective and expensive.
Depending on the phone company you use, you may be able to use the Nomorobo call filtering system. It’s a cloud-based system that filters out telemarketers and robocalls.
Install a Call Blocker Device on Your Landline
If your phone company doesn’t offer a call filtering service, you can install a call blocker device on your landline.
One of the most popular call blocker devices is the CPR V5000.
The CPR V5000 comes with 5,000 known scam number preloaded.
You can add more blocked numbers to the list at the touch of a button.
What to Do If You Receive an Illegal Robocall
Blocking all robocalls and scam calls is impossible. The scammers are always finding ways to get around call filtering systems. Here’s what you should do if you receive an unwanted robocall.
Hang Up Straight Away
If you receive an illegal robocall, don’t interact with the call at all. Hang up straight away. Don’t press any buttons on your phone, and don’t call the number back.
If you interact with the call, the scammers will know that there is a real person who will answer the number. That is likely to result in you receiving even more scam robocalls.
Report the Call
Report the call to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). A complaint to the FTC may not result in immediate action. But it does provide government agencies with the data they need to investigate the call.
If the calls keep coming from the same number, you can also ask your phone company to block that number for you.
We hope that this post on robocalls has been helpful. Receiving lots of unwanted calls can be annoying and upsetting. If you think that this post might help other people stop robocalls, please do share the page on your social media accounts.
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