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Robocalls: New ways to deal with and end them

Robocalls: New ways to deal with and end them
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Unsolicited robocalls have become somewhat of an epidemic in the U.S. In August alone, over 2.8 billion robocalls were made within the country.

There is good news on this front though. Some new tools are available that can help block them.

What are robocalls?

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), robocalls and telemarketing calls are consistently the top sources of consumer complaints. It estimates that in 2016 alone, U.S. consumers received nearly 2.4 billion robocalls per month. 

Robocalls are unsolicited prerecorded telemarketing calls to landline home telephones, and all auto-dialed or prerecorded calls or text messages to wireless numbers, emergency numbers, and patient rooms at health care facilities.  

FCC rules limit many types of robocalls, though some calls are allowed if prior consent is given. Rules differ between landlines and wireless phones. However, there are steps that you can take on your own to stop receiving them.

To make matters worse, some robocalls are actually scams. The fraudsters behind these calls are getting creative and have learned how to spoof phone numbers. Click here to learn how scammers will now call you from your own number.

With scams and robocalls on the rise, you need to know how to deal with them. Here are some suggestions:

Use call blockers

Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC's website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls. (Click here to learn how to block specific phone numbers.)

Block unknown callers

Many phone companies allow you to block calls that don't show a number on caller ID. Check with your provider to find out how to turn this feature on. Note: if someone you actually know calls you and blocks their outgoing number, their call won't make it through if you've turned this feature on.

Don't answer

This is actually the easiest solution to eliminating robocalls. If you receive a call from an unknown number or one that doesn't show up on caller ID, don't answer. If it's an important call the person will leave a message and you can get back to them.

Subscribe to the Do Not Call Registry

This move will stop many robocalls before they begin. If you're on the registry, it's illegal for many robocallers to call you. Click here to get your number into the National Do Not Call Registry. After your number is on the registry for 31 days, you can report unwanted sales calls.

Hang up

If you answer the phone and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify and target live respondents. Once they know the number is active, you will receive more calls in the future.

Taking the steps in this article will help cut back the number of robocalls that you receive. It could save you from falling victim to a scammer. Remember to share this article with your friends and family so they can block those annoying calls too. Simply click the share button along the left side of this article to post it on Facebook.

Speaking of unwanted robocalls, here are 3 awesome apps that block them

Unwanted calls from scammers, telemarketers and robots are annoying. But they can also be eliminated by using call blocking apps on your phone. Stop annoying spam calls for good with the help of these great apps that are user-friendly and keep pesky or malicious calls from interrupting your life.

Click here for the best robocall blocking apps.

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