Do robocalls drive you and your family crazy? Many people complain that they continue to get robocalls despite requesting not being called. In fact, many people still get calls even if they are on the National Do Not Call Registry. Telemarketers may be ignoring the DNC list, or worse yet, con men might be searching out scam victims. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took about 2.2 million phone calls in 2012 complaining about robocalls.
Recent Federal Communications Commission Ruling Fights Back Against Robocalls
You may be happy to hear that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently ruled that phone companies could offer call blocking options to customers. Customers will be able to then stop irritating or illegal phone calls and spam text messages. This is a significant shift because up until this ruling, phone companies had to complete all the calls coming through without regard to the content. The nature of this problem is analogous to the U.S. Postal Service delivering all mail, even the junk mail.
It is important to note, however, that the FCC is merely freeing phone companies to offer call blocking options. It is not mandating it. This means that your provider can choose not to offer it. If you want your provider to offer this new option, and it doesn’t yet, you can speak out by signing a petition at Consumers Union to pressure phone companies.
Six Ways You Can Combat Robocalls
It will take some time to implement these changes, so in the meantime, here are five easy ways to combat robocalls:
- Ask Them to Stop: one of the easiest things to try first is to tell a business or political campaign to stop calling you. Put yourself on the Do Not Call Registry if you have not done so already. Many people will respect your wishes. Not everyone will. If taking this action does not help, then you might consider the following.
- Use “Anonymous Call Rejection” Feature on a Landline: Many phone companies offer this feature, which allows customers to screen out callers who have blocked their caller ID information. Usually, you can press *77 to activate this feature, but you should call your phone service provider for specific information.
- Get Nomorobo: This free service does not work on landlines or wireless service. It is specifically for Internet-based VoIP phone services. Nomorobo will screen out callers whose numbers appear on a blacklist of known bad numbers.
- Robocall-Blocking Devices: You can purchase one of these devices for under around $100. These devices plug into your phone line, and you can set up a whitelist of numbers you wish to receive calls from and a blacklist with numbers you don’t. You can manually input numbers you would accept calls from as well.
- Ignore Calls from Numbers You Don’t Recognize: This is the easiest solution. You can simply decide not to pick up the phone if you don’t recognize the number and wait to see if they leave a message. You might miss a call you would have otherwise taken if you go this route, however. In addition, do not press any numbers. This tells the telemarketers they have reached a live human being, and they will probably keep calling.
- Call Screening Apps for Cellphones: If you want to screen phone calls and spam texts on your cell, you might consider getting one of the many apps available for this purpose.
If you are getting illegal robo phone calls — for instance — when you are on the DNC Registry, then you should call the FTC to complain. If, on the other hand, your loved one is being targeted for financial exploitation, the elder law attorneys at our firm may be able to help. Some examples of financial exploitation include fraudulent offers to get money, stealing money through trickery, unsuitable investments, and coercion. Signs include sudden changes to bank accounts and other assets.
If you know or believe that your loved one is a victim of financial exploitation, contact our elder law and litigation attorneys at BRMM for a free consultation today at (248) 641-7070 or fill out the online form.