How to Block Robocalls and Get Your Sanity Back

You’re waiting for an important phone call, and when the phone finally rings, you reach for it. When you see who it is, you only see that it’s from an unknown number. Since you never know if the call might be urgent, you go ahead and answer the call.

Who is it? A pre-recorded message from a company you’ve never contacted before, or at least you think you haven’t. These calls can be annoying, but the good news is that there are things you can do to stop them from bothering you again.

Robocalling is when an autodialer makes a phone call to deliver a pre-recorded message. The message is usually associated with a political message or telemarketing phone campaigns (among other things).

robo-call

These autodialers can make thousands of calls per minute and are legal, but only if they fulfill specific requirements. For example, in the United States a robocall is legal only if the pre-recorded message says who is calling and how you can contact the caller.

The most comfortable and quickest thing you can do is to hang up. The worst thing you can do is press a button or talk thinking the call will be redirected somewhere. That’s only going to flag your number as real, and the calls could increase.

Signing up for Nomorobo is also something you can try. Nomorobo will deflect calls before the call reaches your phone. The incoming number will then be compared with the whitelist and blacklist of the Federal Trade Commission.

robo-nomorobo

Signing up for the Federal Do Not Call Registry will also help keep those robocalls at bay. As soon as you’re on the list, it’s illegal for telemarketers to call your number. This method won’t prevent every single telemarketer since some don’t respect this list, but the majority do.

You may not remember, but you may have given a business permission to call you. You may have done this when you signed up for a service, and the small print (that no one usually reads) stated that you will allow telemarketers to call you.

robo-android

If you’ve noticed that those robocalls are usually from the same number, you can try blocking those specific numbers. Android phones and iPhones have an integrated feature that allows you to do this, but if you prefer, there are various third-party apps you can try. For example, you can try Should I Answer? for Android and RoboKiller – Stop Spam Calls for iOS.

If you’re willing to spend some cash, you could also buy a robocall-blocking machine if you’re getting those calls on your landline phone. The one you get will obviously depend on your budget, but Amazon’s top-selling robocall blocker is the CPR V5000 Call Blocker. It can be all yours for $99.99.

roco-blocker

Last but not least, you can decide to block all anonymous calls. How you set this up is going to depend on the phone company you’ve signed up with. Call your phone company and ask them how you can set this up.

The next time you have to sign up for something, make sure you read the fine print. I know it’s annoying and time-consuming, but at least you’ll be aware of what you’re allowing that company to do with your information. How do you deal with robocalls? Share your experience in the comments below.

6 comments

  1. “Signing up for the Federal Do Not Call Registry will also help keep those robocalls at bay.”
    To an extent. Political messages are exempt from the Do Not Call list. Some other types of robo calls are also exempt. Also, you have to renew your registration every 5 years. NoMoRobo registration is one time only forever (or until the company goes out of business).

    The nice thing about NoMoRobo is that you can update your blacklist with any number you wish, be it a politician, your mother in law, or someone who is harassing you. Using NoMoRobo, I have managed to block the vast majority of political messages during all the elections since I signed up.

    I am glad that NoMoRobo added mobile phones to their coverage. When I signed up with them, they only serviced land lines.

  2. I put out the money for one of the CPR V5000 Call Blockers and it’s one of the best $100 I’ve ever spent. It’s hard to describe the feeling of glee you feel when after receiving a robo or live call from a telemarketer or supposed charity, you walk to the Call Blocker and hit that Big Red Button! It definitely works as advertised.

  3. Calling numbers are spoofed now, so it doesn’t help to blacklist any numbers. They spoof random numbers, or people in your own area code and exchange (last 4 numbers different) or even your own number, so it looks like it’s a neighbor calling you.

    NoMoRobo can help, not so much by blacklisting, but requiring unknown callers to dial one number before they’re connected. Humans can do this, robots can’t (yet). I also block our own number, because we don’t call ourselves, but that blocks 10% of the robocalls.

    And since I’m retired with nothing better to do, when “Windows” calls, I lead them on for half an hour before I admit I’m running Linux. that keeps them from scamming someone else for a while.

    • “Calling numbers are spoofed now, so it doesn’t help to blacklist any numbers.”
      Yes, it does. Some calls may bypass NoMoRobo but any call that NoMoRobo blocks is one less I have to put up with.

      “They spoof random numbers, or people in your own area code”
      In the past month or so, I noticed that many of the calls that used to come from other area codes now come from my area code and even my town. However, I use an answering machine with CallerID to screen all my calls. If I don’t recognize the number, I let the machine pick it up. 99% of the time, there is no message.

  4. “Signing up for the Federal Do Not Call Registry will also help keep those robocalls at bay.” I disagree. I used to religiously report robocalls. Then I did a Google search on the caller and found they had been reported numerous times for YEARS before. The only thing the Do Not Call lists stops is the legitimate telemarketers. As far as the legal callers, I never vote for any candidate that robocalls. I will never donate to a charity that solicits by phone. I think this works much better than the Do Not Call list.

  5. It is heartening to note that the private and the commercial developers are ‘pursuing’ the privacy bandits more aggressively ‘so to speak’ in 2017. Perhaps within this decade the telephone, fixed and mobile, privacy issues may be put to rest and humanity can catch a break(?) from daily wide-spectrum privacy issues.
    Complaints by John Q. Public, Rights Advocacy groups, Concerned communications agencies, etc, etc, has fallen on the ears of politicos for what, +/- twenty years? I’m dating myself; but In the late 90’s, a number of our group, put the old “we’re sorry, but the # you have reached…,” It only took the first 3 notes, and the call terminated + your number was removed from their DB.

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Stories