We're constantly praising smartphones and everything they can do. And for good reason. With millions of available apps, the possibilities are endless.
One downside to always having your phone in hand is the increased risk of scam or spam calls reaching you. You're not going to believe how many of these calls can flood your phone in just one day. But, is there anything you can do to stop them?
Junk call nightmare!
This nightmare scenario recently happened to a real estate agent in South Carolina. Kim France started receiving tons of what she thought were robocalls back in June. We're talking about 700 phone calls every day. Can you imagine?
France told Arstechnica, "I am in the middle of a [cellphone] nightmare. My phone started ringing three days ago and has continued to ring every few minutes since then. Each time it is from a different number...I can't conduct a client call, can't text because calls coming in interrupt the process, can't even take photos for the same reason."
In most cases, the best advice for France would be to register her number on the Do Not Call list. Click here to learn how the government has just made this service more effective.
Unfortunately for France, even the Do Not Call registry can't help. She called the police to file a report, she called her phone company to ask for help. There was nothing anyone could do.
That's because the incoming calls were from spoofed phone numbers. Every call had a different number, so blocking specific numbers didn't even stop the problem. Which also meant robocall blocking tools were ineffective.
It turns out that, for an unknown reason, someone was targeting France's number with nuisance calls. The good news is the calls were not scams trying to rip her off. When she would answer the phone, she would simply hear what sounded like a fax machine on the other end.
The bad news is that this could happen to any of us. And there's not much you can do to stop it.
How to stop junk phone calls
Wait it out - At this time, if you start getting bombarded with junk calls the best advice is to wait it out. Stop answering the phone and let your family and friends know what's happening so you can communicate through different means. These types of targeted junk calls normally last for just a few days and things should get back to normal then.
Change your number - Since France is a real estate agent and her phone number is listed all over town, changing it wasn't an option. However, for most people, changing phone numbers is simply the way to go. If you wait a few days and still are getting tons of junk calls, contact your service provider and have your number changed.
Do Not Disturb - Both Apple and Android phones have a Do Not Disturb mode. You can silence all incoming calls if you choose, or just silence calls incoming from those who are not on your contact list. Click here to learn how to set this feature up on your smartphone.
Unfortunately, those are your best options to stop junk calls at this time. The FCC has been working with mobile carriers to try and block these calls but nothing has been settled as of yet. Keep checking in with our Happening Now section and we'll let you know if there are any updates.