Reducing Robocalls: Practical Tips & Tricks

You don’t have to tell us twice, we know robocalls are annoying. Our Robocall Challenge generated advice we wanted to share, from consumers who say they’re using certain tricks to stop these harassing calls now. 

 Here are the tips, in a nutshell:

  1. Ask your telephone company if it allows customers to block calls from multiple phone numbers, but note that it may charge for this service. You might also want to check out the call-blocking services offered by other companies, including Voice over Internet Providers.
  2. Search online shopping sites for “call blocker” — you’ll find a variety of products you can buy for your landline, along with reviews about how well they work.
  3. Consider putting a “special information tone” that signals a non-working number at the beginning of your voicemail or answering machine message. 
  4. If you have a smartphone, look for call-blocking apps — and reviews — in your app store.
  5. Use a “virtual phone line” with call screening options, forward that number to your actual phone, and only give out the virtual number. This option might work if you’re willing to change your phone number and are tech-savvy enough to set up call forwarding and screening.

These tips might not work for everyone, but the good news is that they are helping some people block illegal robocalls. What works best for you?

For more information about the FTC’s battle against illegal robocallers, visit ftc.gov/robocalls.

Tagged with: FTC, mobile, privacy, robocall
Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Comments

Thanks -Great info

How about some more tips on blocking unwanted calls

Hello Tewksbury,

You can sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry, which gives people a way to reduce unwanted telemarketing calls at home. Registering your phone number is free — you can sign up online at donotcall.gov. Read our article on stopping unwanted sales calls to learn more.

You may also want to read our article on robocalls or watch our short videos to learn what to do if you get a robocall, why there’s been a spike in these types of calls recently, and what the FTC is doing about it. 

*BY WAY OF INFO: *Registering with the Do Not Call Agency is ONE BIG JOKE!!!
*In order for a "telemarketer" to request and RECEIVE a list of numbers/names -
*the telemarketer SHOULD NOT CALL -
*the telemarketer MUST SUBSCRIBE and PAY A FEE TO RECEIVE THE LIST OF "DO NOT CALL" NUMBERS/NAMES.
*DUH-H-H-H-H-H-H-
*What MORON thought up that clever idea?
*Does anyone really believe that a telemarketer
is going TO PAY for a li$t of who not to call?
*DUH-H-H-H-H-!!!!!!!
*All the telemarketer has to do is either 1) just enter the phone numbers in sequential order in the auto/robo system, OR 2) just enter numbers from the phone book.
*HERE'S A NEW TWIST TO AUTO/ROBO CALLS:
*Received one 08/16/13 with a recording that if I was interested in their home alert system to to "press __" to LEAVE A MESSAGE and A REPRESENTATIVE WOULD GET BACK TO ME" - OR - press __ to be removed from their list.
*I pressed __ and when it "beeped" - I TURNED ON MY LITTLE "PIERCING ALARM" GADGET AND LET THE REALLY "PIERCING ALARM" SOUND BLAST INTO THEIR MESSAGE RECORDING.
*That is the way I respond to those calls.
*I press 1 or whatever, and when a live person answers
*I LET THEM HAVE IT WITH MY "PIERCING ALARM" gadget purchased at a Dollar Tree.
*Sometimes I just SCREAM AT THE TOP OF MY VOICE when a "live representative" answers.
*Whether or not it stops the auto/robo calls -
*I DUNNO - SURE GIVES ME A LOT OF SATISFACTION!!

Why you don't prohibit Robocalls?

STOP USING MY MINUTES FROM MY PLAN. IF I WANT YOUR SERVICE, I WILL CONTACT YOU. STOP CALLING, YOUR ANNOYING. AND COSTLY !!! FIXED INCOME. THANK YOU.

why cant the government do more to stop the calls??

My phone service is through Brighthouse in central Florida. It offers a great feature called selective call forwarding. So, I put the numbers of the spam callers into it to forward any call from them right directly to the FTC do not call complaint number. So far its worked wonders. No calls and each time one calls they get to talk to the folks whose job it is to police these annoying pricks. If your phone has this feature try it..youll like it!

*The phone number that is displayed on Caller I.D. screen when a telemarketer calls -
*IS NOT NECESSARILY A TRUE NUMBER.
*Telemarketers often just enter a phony number -
*So "forwarding" calls to the FTC may not necessarily work.

Problem is that the telemarketer are getting more savvy. They change their phone number ever so often. You block one and they use a new phone number. Being on the National Do No Call Registry does not help. Filing complaints does not seem to do a thing either.

It will definitely help cut down robocalls if you decide to use virtual numbers. When I started my business I was getting about 5 calls everyday and now I only receive a few a week.

*Registering with the Do Not Call Agency is a BIG WASTE OF TIME!
*In order for a "telemarketer" to obtain a list of phone numbers "not to call" -
*The "telemarketer" must pay a fee and subscribe to the Do Not Call Agency.
*DUH-H-H-H-H!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*What makes the government/Do Not Call Agency think a
telemarketer is ACTUALLY going to pay for a list of phone numbers that the telemarketer is NOT supposed to call?
*Go to the Do Not Call Agency website and see for yourself at the upper right corner -
*You will see where telemarketers can pay to subscribe to
receive a list of phone numbers not to call.
*I have been, and renewed, my registration with the Do Not Call Agency since its inception -
*AND I GET MORE AND MORE CALLS ALL THE TIME!
*I have received calls from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm,
*I have received as many as 3+ calls a day.
*THE DO NOT CALL AGENCY IS ONE BIG WASTE OF
TAX PAYER MONEY!!!!
Ms. B

It is completely unacceptable that these dirt bags are able to harass us every day over and over again with absolutely no accountability. And why can they harass and assault us daily with total impunity? Because corporations own the government and can get and do anything they want. Just like with any other problem in this country, it will never be solved to our advantage until we get money out of politics. We are slaves until then.

I forward idenfiable robos to the local fbi office. Do not know what happens, but it pleases me

I file complaints daily with donotcall.gov, my two companies that will never end; GE Integ, a home security company and CARD Services, promising lower rates on bankcards and supposedly associated with the some federal government program. I am beginning to think that no one ever reads these complaints; according to the number of calls I have filed these companies should owe millions in fines!! Do Not Call? Yet another waste of our tax dollars????

I didn't realize you had to be screened to post a comment. Couldn't the NSA just post for me while they are monitoring my personal email account; saving taxpayer money and time?

Nice post and really intelligent thought.
I appreciate your post ….
Thankin.g you

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Hi, Jasmine,

Feel free to quote, link to, share, or re-post any of our blog posts. They are free to use and in the public domain. We're very happy to have people share this info. Thanks!