Have you noticed an uptick in telemarketers, those super annoying robocalls, and frauds hitting up your hours of night and the day? I have, and it’s driving me nuts.

I had a bogus call. A couple weeks before, it was a pause after I said hello, and a girl saying, “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m fixing my headset,” before launching into a sales pitch of some sort. And then there is the daily deluge of numbers which appear legit — like my daughter’s school phoning, or a media outlet from Manhattan to become an apparent scam.   “This is George Michael,” says a man caller with a heavy emphasis, “calling out of the online pharmacy with your diet medication.” Talk about adding insult to injury.

Robocall Anger

As stated by the Federal Communications Commission, you will find almost 2.4 billion robocalls created every month. That’s more than 7   calls per person, based on new study by the YouMail Robocall Index.

#1 Google your smartphone number

Let’s begin with a. Are these criminal-callers getting our mobile numbers in the first location? If you shout it out, utilize it on unethical shopping websites, or do not post it across social networking? The Better Business Bureau urges Googling your number. Do it. I will wait patiently.

Can it be there? Mine was. It might not be alongside your title, but chances are it is there, collected by a “people search” business like Nuwber which aggregates information from “White Pages listings, Public Records and Social Network Information.” These lists are now Simple for cyber scammers.     And that is how robo-games begin.


#2 Add your number to the Do Not Call list

In case you haven’t already, add your cell number to the National Do Not Call list. I went there to confirm that I am on the record and sure enough, I’ve been registered since February 2006. So much for that. It doesn’t fix the issue but it does keep businesses that are legitimate out of cold-calling you. Sadly for us, the bad-guys have easy workarounds (such as #1).

If you’re already on the Do Not Call Registry and get up struck, report the calls to the FTC, which compiles hands and the accounts . You block some texts also and might also block them.

#3 Blocking texts and calls

On iPhones, tap on the green phone icon on your home screen, select the “Recents” tab on the bottom of the display, tap the blue “I” information icon next to the contact number that you want to block. A screen pops up with a bunch of options and at the very bottom you’ll find “Block This Caller.” Harness on it and then when the verification screen appears, confirm your choice.

There are two methods. If you’re on the typical version of Android 6.0 you can go into your phone log and long-press on the number you would like to obstruct, then select “Block amount” from your pop-up menu.

If you are using a version of Android besides the stock version (or in case you do not know which version you are actually using) you can choose “Settings” then “Call blocking,” then tap “Insert number” and type in the amount that you want to block.

#4 Bring in the big guns

There are a small number of programs that guarantee enough ammo to quit calls once and for all. They all require a bit of setup, however, the part of this far for me has only been remembering my AT&T password. (you will want the provider password for a number of them.)

Nomorobo – (iOS)

So it’s no surprise that it won a contest by the FTC — this is my finest of these apps I’ve reviewed so far. Once you download the program onto your device, you may register for a free trial for 30-days, or perpetrate right away to either $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. (If you do not remember to cancel your sign-up, you’ll be auto-billed.)

After you install the app, it prompts enter your iPhone’s settings, select “Telephone” then tap “Call Blocking & Identification” and tap on Nomorobo to enable it. Back in the Nomorobo app, it asks you to enter your phone number for confirmation (to make sure you’re not a robocaller your self). Then — you’re done.

You can send yourself a test robocall to determine how it works. Every time a sketchy telemarketer hits up your contact number, your phone display shows a large red dot and a note that states “Robocaller” so that you know to avoid it. There’s an option from the program to block those calls automatically, before they reach your smartphone screen.

Nomorobo swears it does not block legitimate calls from pharmacies, schools, or other essential institutions — because it “analyzes millions of calls made to hundreds of thousands of phone lines each and every moment.” I am using it while it does not want to say much more about its sauce than that and it appears to be working nicely.

Truecaller – This app (iPhone, Android, Windows Phone) reports that it’s accumulated more than 3-billion phone numbers and relies on advice from users to filter out the scams. After the app describes a telephone number as scam or robocall, it lets you know with an alert to the telephone screen. The site states it gets its information from a central database that’s constantly being updated with new telephone numbers. TrueCaller offers a free and a paid variant.

Setup is similar to NoMoRobo.

Download the program, follow the prompts. I enjoy that you get connection it to auto-fill to Facebook and there is an animated screen that shows you the process. It will not get much simpler than that.

There are several pricing options, but you wind up paying about $1.50 a month for the complete package of features. The app asks a data link to recognize callers, so keep that in mind if you find yourself in places with no 3G or 4G accessible because Truecaller inquiries a central database for info on each number.

Enough is enough!

I posted a message within my FB feed, and heaps of people chimed in. Other people have good things to say about similar programs such as PrivacyStar, Mr. Number, Hiya, and YouMail. We are going to try those and provide an updated with the upcoming few weeks.

Perhaps you have discovered a way? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.