HOW TO STOP ROBOCALLS ONCE AND FOR ALL PROTECT YOURSELF

Written by Theresa Rose on June 9, 2017

Iowa Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)

a Project of  Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging (NEI3A)

Millions of Americans on the National Do Not Call Registry (donotcall.gov) complain they still receive unwanted calls from robocallers. Why? Because most robocalls are scams run by con artists who are only trying to trick you out of your money, and they simply ignore the law. Here are some things you can do to reduce those unwanted calls.

 

Set up “anonymous call rejection” option: This is a free landline-calling feature available from most telephone companies. It lets you screen out calls from callers who have blocked their caller ID information — a favorite tactic of telemarketers. To set it up, you usually have to dial *77 from your landline.  Call your telephone service provider to find out if they offer this feature, and if so, what you need to do to enable it.

 

Sign up for Nomorobo: This is a free service and works only if you have an Internet-based VoIP phone service. It does not work on traditional analog landlines or wireless phones. Nomorobo uses a “simultaneous ring” service that detects and blocks robocalls on a blacklist of known offender numbers. To sign up, or see if Nomorobo works with your phone service provider, visit Nomorobo.com.

 

Buy a robocall-blocking device: If you don’t mind spending a little money, purchase a call-blocking device like the Sentry 2 ($59) or Digitone Call Blocker Plus ($100). These small devices, which plug into your phone line, allow you to blacklist numbers you no longer wish to receive, and set up a whitelist, or manually program the phone to recognize and accept a certain number of safe numbers. Both devices are very effective.

 

Get a cellphone app: To help with robo telemarketing calls and robo spam texts to your cellphone, get a call-screening app like Truecaller or PrivacyStar that screens and blocks them.

 

Don’t pick up! Don’t pick up! Don’t pick up! If you have a caller ID, another tip is to simply not answer the phone unless you recognize the number. But if you do answer and it’s a robocall, you should just hang up the phone. Don’t press 1 to speak to a live operator and don’t press any other number to complain about the call or get your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, you’re signaling that the autodialer has reached a live number and this will probably lead to more robocalls.  SavvySenior.org; Jim Miller