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‘Tis the season for stopping robocalls

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Nothing puts a damper on the holidays like unwanted calls interrupting your day.

Maybe you’ve gotten one — you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person. Internet-powered phone systems have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal sales robocalls from anywhere in the world.

Fortunately, you have some options to block robocalls and other unwanted calls. Some are free and others cost money.

  • Check with your carrier about call-blocking services. Many carriers now offer services that block unwanted calls for wireless phones and for some types of home phones, too.
  • Try a call-blocking app. These apps use blacklists to weed out or flag unwanted calls and give you options about how to handle the calls — ringing through with a warning, going straight to voicemail, or blocking the call altogether. Many apps also let you flag additional numbers that should have been blocked, which helps improve the app. Some apps even use complaints to the FTC as a source of information.
  • Use features built into your mobile phone. These features can let consumers block specific contacts, identify unwanted incoming calls for future blocking, and set “do not disturb” hours.
  • Consider a call-blocking device for your home phone. Devices can be installed directly on a home phone.

During the last few years, the FTC has stopped billions of robocalls that offer everything from fraudulent credit card services to so-called auto warranty protection. We recently announced a case against a company offering allegedly bogus credit card interest rate reduction services.

If you get a robocall, hang up the phone. Don’t press 1 to speak to a live operator and don’t press any other number to get your number off the list. If you respond by pressing any number, it could lead to more robocalls.

Report your experience to the FTC online or by calling 1-888-382-1222.

This post was updated on December 18, 2017 with information on how to make a report to the FTC.

Tagged with: robocall, scam

Comments

When I was getting calls asking for my daughter I just said she moved and here is her new number. Then I gave them the number to the local Police Dept. non emergency.

I get all the info I can when talking to these idiots and email the info to the Public Service Commission in my state. That helps close them down. A lot of time if you ask for a web address (which is helpful to the psc) the spammers will hang up and not call back. I love messing with them.

You get a robocall, you send it to an app that wastes their time with canned responses and fake info. If thousands of people would do that, they wouldn't have enough people to take all the calls and would soon go broke

Computer Advertisement with taking over a well known company's WEB PAGE and replacing it with a Bogus phone number is serious if like most people will do. If that person answers your call, and gives you another company's name, and try to convince you with one word can be persuasive. I called to get tech support for my printer, if SUPPORT is the key word then don't go another step. Protect your PC because it they manage to crack your password they're hacking your files while you are talking to them by allowing them to take over your computer to fix the problem. Some may ask as much as $300 because they will keep your Desktop protected. Once you engage in telling them they're crazy they transfer you in a second to someone else until the rotation gives them time to Swipe your HARD DRIVE. GET PROTECTION FOR YOUR SYSTEM or LOSE YOUR PASSWSORDS TO EVERYTHING.

This has already happened to me once and they shut my computer down. I took it to be looked at and was told my computer hard drive was "shadowed". Any tips for protecting my new computer?

Well thanks to BIGFOOT88, I am living a peaceful life again. Bigfoot suggested signing up on nomorobo.com which I did. Everyday I receive many calls that terminate after the first ring. It's amazing and it works.

Soon after you register, you'll begin to enjoy hearing the phone ring again. If it rings more than once, it's a legit call. Do this for yourself, it will save so much aggravation.

answered landline phone call and agreed to donate to "Firefighters Support Fund". before I send check, I went here. Found out there is a legitimate "Firefighters Support Foundation" which has a very similar logo but there was no "Fund" so I will not donate after all. Seems to be scam.

I have FIOS from Verizon. You can block 100 numbers, that is all, no more. If you buy a phone with blocking ability, you can block 250, and that is all, cause that list will also fill up fast. These losers deserve to go to the Big House, the Pokey, the Can, the Hoosegow, and be behind bars for all the extortioning they do.

I'm so tired of the robocalls and the spoof calls! I just received a spoof call this morning, a Saturday no less, from a local business. Of course it wasn't them calling. I have the same problem with my phone. Samsung Galaxy 5S has a limit (200) I believe that you can block. I reached my limit long ago and Verizon is a joke in what they can block and you have to pay for it! Seriously, how much worse is this going to get before something is done??? I'm also on the Do Not Call List. That is of help. It seems to have made it worse.

I want to block the robocalls How do I do it?

This FTC article lists options for blocking unwanted calls.

Who wrote this site? Your IT is ? tried to enter my phone 10 times it does not work Genius try it out

Have all the same experiences listed so far, including calls from myself. If not in my contact list, I do not answer. Robocalls are going to VM with the instructions to press a number if not interested. Made the mistake of doing so, and now get 15
+ robo/scam calls per day. On Do Not Call Liist since 2006. One marketer laughed in my ear mentioning the DNC list.

All the comments above do nothing to stop the problem before it starts. Why do I have to pay a phone company to protect me from calls originating on the phone companies system? Seems to me that it is just another revenue stream that the phone company is unwilling to do away with. DO SOMETHING PRO-ACTIVE NOT RE-ACTIVE!!!

I ordered a small air canister powered boat horn I was so frustrated. When a scammer calls I say
"Hello". They ask for me or someone in the house. I say "hold on a minute". I wait about 20 seconds the say "Hello" again and then blast them with the high pitched boat horn thru the phone line! Now my phone will noy stop ringing day and night! Stupid me.

I received a call that could possibly be from someone I know and called back. It was an obscene call, the 1st time I received one since the robocall/scam call debacle. Reading your guidelines, I realize I can't enter the conversation here. I blocked the caller, but this is getting worse! How could this person get my number?

If everyone would just take the robocall and waste as much of the callers' time as possible by pretending to be interested, they would stop calling. However, everyone has to participate. If they did, robocalls would cease quickly.

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