Is your cell phone flooded with calls from robots and telemarketers? You’re not alone. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the nation’s top telecom regulator, reports that consumers receive an estimated 2.4 billion robocalls per month. The FCC adopted new rules that allow phone companies to block robocalls from numbers that appear to be spam (generated from illegitimate or unassigned phone numbers). Robocalls are the number one complaint from U.S. residents to the FCC every year. Americans are tired of receiving robocalls at all times of the day -and night, according to the Consumers Union advocacy group. The new FCC rules will help provide relief from the relentless scourge of unwanted calls. Even though the FCC rules will help, everyone should consider protecting using tools to protect their phone line from telemarketers and spammers. Here are 6 ways to help rid yourself of those annoying and unwanted robocalls.
This is rule #1 when it comes to blocking robocalls. Don’t answer your phone if you don’t recognize the number. Interacting with robocalls is a mistake. If you interact with them, it will verify that your phone number is a working number, and they will call you more incessantly.
Get your phone number listed on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Do Not Call Registry at don’tcall.org. If your number is already on the list and you continue to receive unwanted calls, report them here complaints.donotcall.gov. While the Do Not Call registry can be helpful, there are lots of companies who are not concerned about violating the registry.
There are a number of mobile apps that you can use to block unwanted calls.
Consider using services like the Jolly Roger Telephone Company. This service allow you to patch incoming robocalls calls to a robot, which understands speech patterns. The robot will work to keep the caller engaged with different robot personalities. The robots will string the caller along with voice fillers like “Yes” “Uh-huh” and “OK, OK.” After a few minutes, the robot will ask the caller to repeat their sales message from the beginning. Telemarketers reportedly get pretty frustrated and angry, according to some amusing sample recordings posted on the Jolly Roger Telephone Company website.
If you do inadvertently answer a robocall, it’s best to just hang up. Be very wary about what you say. The FCC has warned that some scammers will record your voice saying “yes” and later using a recording of your voice to make unauthorized charges on your credit card. For example, some scammers will ask, “Can you hear me?” and if you answer “yes” the telemarketer will record your voice signature that can later be used for fraudulent charges.
Most current smartphones have a Do Not Disturb feature where you can set your preferences so that your pone will only allow your saved contacts or your Favorite contact phone numbers to ring through. Robocallers are getting more intelligent. Some are able to make it look like they are calling from your local area and others use software that imitates a person coughing, laughing and with background noise. As artificial intelligence evolves, so does telemarketing software. While the FCC’s new rules and regulation enforcement will go a long way toward blocking unwanted calls, the problem is so embedded in our society that it is going to take numerous technological solutions to create a safer telephone network. And being able to trust the phone network is in everyone’s best interest.
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