Every month, over 150,000 people report robocallers to the FTC and FCC. You know robocalls as the automated messages that take you from calm and happy to sheer annoyance in the span of 2 milliseconds. The only legitimate robocallers are from a nonprofit, or are informational or political (because even legal robocalls can be annoying). Unfortunately, the majority of robocallers these days are both illegal and annoying. According to the FCC, companies “require prior express written consent to deliver an autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing call to a cell phone.” If you didn’t give your consent, then it’s illegal. If they’re trying to sell you a good or service, it’s also illegal.
With modern technology on our side, here are six tips to help you avoid robocallers:
Your phone number is not a gift. Don’t give it out. Don’t want people calling your number? Don’t spread it around like chicken pox at a 2nd grade lunch table. When you list your number on Facebook, Craigslist, online forms, etc., spiders pick it up wherever you put it down. That tiny font that you never read? Yep. That’s you granting them access to your number.
Block spam with an app. If you’re already getting the same calls day after day, then bad news, you’re already on their list [gasp]. Thankfully, it’s 2016. We have apps that can fix that. Check out your Google Play or App Store and load some protection onto your cell.
Block the caller. If you only have one persistent number that is interrupting your day, you can block that specific number. Now, if the robocaller wises up and gets a new number, rinse and repeat. Unfortunately, most robocall numbers are extinct within two weeks of their first call.
Get a second set of digits. I’m not talking about a fake number that you give out to creeps at a bar. If you have to publicly post your number, it may be time to get a second phone number. It’s not my favorite choice, but if you’re in deep, this could be the only viable option left for your sanity.
Report that $!*#. Don’t suffer alone! AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and Bell users can copy spam texts and forward them to 7726 (SPAM), free of charge. To report a robocall, use the FCC’s Complaint Board.
Register on the Do Not Call List. Ah, the tried and true. You can register your landline or mobile number here. Unfortunately, being on the DNC registry doesn’t protect you from illegal calls, but it will put an end to any legitimate robocalls.
Today’s mobile world is full of pros and cons, worthy of its own rollercoaster. For every cat video at your fingertips, there’s someone looking to take advantage of your number. Fight the robocallers and free up more time for guilty pleasures. #Catvideosforall.