July 20, 2019 — Here is one thing in this increasingly divided nation that we can agree upon — we all hate Robocalls! These annoying and persistent calls often come right around dinner time from numbers and names that look familiar. If you answer, it is about a scam trying to part you and your hard-earned money and security. Even when enrolled in DO NOT CALL registries, the problem is so bad that many people have stopped answering their phone unless they are sure who is calling. The problem is also spreading to text messages.
For this article we have done some research to find out the best ideas for how to minimize the problem. Here we go:
Don’t answer your phone. Unless you are sure who is calling, better just to let it ring. If you do answer, it just confirms there is a real person behind your number, and they’ll be happen to try you again.
Ignore messages if the caller says they are from the IRS, Medicare, or Social Security. The real organizations don’t call, they always write. The scammers will try to scare you into paying them money.
Register with the national Do Not Call service. Although it doesn’t always work against the worst offenders and local telemarketers, it will screen out some spammers. Visit https://www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx. Call toll-free from the phone you want to register: 1-888-382-1222.
Consider a blocking service. Some phone carriers offer a spam call blocking service. AT&T subscribers can use a free iOS and Android app called AT&T CallProtect. The other carriers either have or are working on similar services.
Get the app. Apps like Nomorobo, TrueCaller, Call Control, and Hiya either block calls from know spammers or give you a way to find out who is actually calling.
Be careful about where you put your phone number and email address. Some scammers scrape websites looking for numbers and emails to harvest. To them, there is nothing better than a real number they can sell to someone who will harass you. We recommend you never add your phone number or email to a Blog or Forum (and that includes on Topretirements!)
Block individual numbers. Most smartphones give you the ability to block individual numbers. If you see from your call log that the same number is calling you over and over again, tap the “i” next to that number. Scroll down and you can block that number.
Scammers don’t deserve politeness. If you do slip up or answer a call you didn’t want to, hangup. Most of us are polite and don’t want to offend anyone. If you are not interested and/or your instincts set off alarm bells, no matter how faint, hang up! No matter how serious it sounds, if your grandson really was in jail and needed money he would call you (or his parents) directly.
Bottom line. Although Congress says it is working on a plan to end the scourge of robocalls, we’re not holding our breath. In the meantime, a few simple steps can help reduce the annoyance these inconsiderate (and worse!) folks cause you.
Comments? Have you taken other steps that have worked to reduce spam calls? If so, please share your experiences in the Comments section below.