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5 ways to stop spam and disturbing robocalls on your Andriod smartphone

5 ways to stop spam and disturbing robocalls on your Andriod smartphone

5 Ways to stop spam calls

You must have noticed that these days often you get spam or disturbing robocalls on your Android cell phones that are very annoying specially when you are busy or in the middle of some important task. Your phone is continuously ringing and on picking you find it was an automated telemarketing call. Phew!

So what are exactly Robocalls?

According to Verizon Telecom provider Robocalls are phone calls with prerecorded messages. These calls have increased in recent years because technology has made it cheap and easy for robocallers to make calls from anywhere in the world while hiding their identities by displaying fake Caller ID information.

Federal Trade Commission describes in a better way: If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it’s a robocall.  There have been a significant increase in the number of illegal robocalls because internet-powered phone systems have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world, and to hide from law enforcement by displaying fake caller ID information.

To date, the FTC has brought more than a hundred lawsuits against over 600 companies and individuals responsible for billions of illegal robocalls and other Do Not Call violations.

Robocall

The FTC also is leading several initiatives to develop technology-based solutions. Those initiatives include a series of robocall contests that challenge tech gurus to design tools that block robocalls and help investigators track down and stop robocallers. FTC is also encouraging industry efforts to combat caller ID spoofing. Here’s the FTC’s game plan to combat robocalls:

  • continue aggressive law enforcement
  • build better tools for investigating robocalls
  • coordinate with law enforcement, industry, and other stakeholders
  • stimulate and pursue technological solutions.

Note that all calls with prerecorded telemarketing sales messages are illegal unless you agreed to be called. Some non-marketing robocalls (such as political and charitable calls to wireline telephones) are authorized by law in most states, even if they are unwanted. According to the Federal Communications Commission, there are nearly 2.4 billion robocalls made every month. That’s more than 7 calls per person, according to new research from the YouMail Robocall Index.

So anything you can do about it? Yes you can. Here are the five ways to stop spam and disturbing robocalls on your Andriod smartphone

First Google your own smartphone number and find who is listing your number in its telemarketing advertisement

Have you ever thought how these spammers and criminal-callers get your cell numbers. If you don’t post it publicly across social media, use it on shady shopping sites, or shout it out to every telemarketer who calls — how is it getting out there? The Better Business Bureau recommends Googling your own number. If you find your number even you can find your name alongside which is often collected by a people search company like Nuwber that aggregates information from “White Pages listings, Public Records and Social Network Information.” Thanks to modern technology, these lists are now easy for cyber scammers to scrape.  This is how the the robo-games begin.

1. Just add your number to the Do Not Call list

Do not call registry

Putting your number in the Do Not Call registry is one step to blocking robocalls. If you haven’t already, add your cell number to the National Do Not Call list. Obviously, it doesn’t fix the issue all the way around, but it does help keep legitimate companies from cold-calling you. If you’re already on the Do Not Call Registry and still get hit up, report the calls to the FTC, which compiles the reports and hands out the fines. You can also block them right from your smartphone and block any spammy texts too.

2. Block calls and texts with Android phone

Block Number on Android

On most Androids, there are two easy ways to block numbers. If you’re on the standard version of Android 6.0 you can go into your call log and long-press on the number you want to block, then select “Block number” from the pop-up menu.

If you’re using a version of Android other than the stock version (or if you don’t know which version you’re actually using) you can select “Settings” and then “Call blocking,” then tap “Add number” and type in the number you want to block.

3. Use an anti robocall tool like cell phone apps that block the call

Truecaller app

Consider using an anti-robocall tool. Various companies offer products or services that help you control what calls ring on your phones. They range from cell phone apps for wireless phones to devices you can plug into your home phone jacks in order to block robocalls to your wireless phone.

Fios Digital Voice customers can sign up for Nomorobo – a service offered by the Telephone Science Corporation that can help block robocalls and telemarketers from calling your home phone. See if Fios is available in your area.

After you download the app onto your device, you can sign up for a free trial for 30-days, or commit right away to either $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. (If you don’t remember to cancel your sign-up, you’ll be auto-billed.)

You can send yourself a test robocall to see exactly how it all works. When a sketchy telemarketer hits up your phone number, your call screen shows a big red dot and a note that says “Robocaller” so you know to avoid it. There’s even an option in the app to block these calls automatically, before they even reach your smartphone screen.

Nomorobo swears it doesn’t block legitimate calls from pharmacies, schools, or other important institutions — because it “analyzes millions of calls made to hundreds of thousands of phone lines every single day.”

Another is truecaller – This paid app reports that it’s collected more than 3-billion phone numbers and relies on information from users to filter out the scams. When the app identifies a specific phone number as robocall or scam, it lets you know with an alert on the call screen. The website says it gets its information from a central database that is constantly being updated with new phone numbers.

Set up is similar to NoMoRobo. Download the app, follow the prompts. You get link it to Facebook to auto-fill and there’s an animated screen that shows you the entire set-up process. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

There are several pricing options, but you end up paying about $1.50 per month for the full suite of features. Because Truecaller queries a central database for information on each number, the app requires a data connection to identify new callers, so keep that in mind if you often find yourself in places without 3G or 4G available.

Also there are similar apps such as PrivacyStarMr. NumberHiya, and YouMail that you can try.

4. Report the call to the FTC

Report to FTC

Also you can hang up the phone. Do NOT interact with the caller. Do NOT call back in order to be taken off the list – calling back can cause you to get more calls because the scammers know you are a real person. Report the call to the FTC at DoNotCall.gov

You need to include the following information like time and date of call, the number that appeared on your Caller ID screen, your telephone number, and a description of the message.

You normally won’t see immediate action, but the FTC’s complaint database is important – it helps government agencies and companies go after illegal robocallers and come up with new ways to attack the problem.

You have multiple options for filing a complaint with the FCC:

File a complaint online

By phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322); TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322); ASL: 1-844-432-2275

By mail (include include your name, address, contact information and as much detail about your complaint as possible):

Federal Communications Commission, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division, 445 12th Street, S.W. Washington, DC 20554

5. Seek help from your phone service provider

If annoying calls of any kind still get through, ask your phone-service provider about call-blocking services—for instance, blocking all “private” numbers, which are often used by solicitors. This, however, may result in additional fees. Blocking specific numbers from past robocallers may not be worth the cost, as scammers change numbers frequently. GoogleVoice’s free Internet-based phone service has a screening feature that asks callers to say their names before you pick up your home phone or cell phone; it’s a great option for people who miss listening to someone talk on their answering machine before picking up.

You can try these five ways to reduce or stop robocalls and spam texts on your cell phone. For some  you can get a free call-blocking app, that can work, which maintains a blacklist of spam numbers reported by its users to block those calls and for some reporting the matter to Federal Communications Commission is the only solution.