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Is it just me, or do spam calls and robocalls become worse during the holiday season?

The amount of robocalls has indeed been steadily increasing; so much so that government agencies and tech companies are starting to take notice. While the government recently passed the “Stopping Bad Robocalls Act“, carriers and phone manufacturers are also on the move. The recent implementation of what they’re calling SHAKEN/STIR technology has only just begun to detect and stop spam calls. This new tech might take some time to really make a difference, but there is plenty you can do in the mean time (for FREE) to keep your sanity with this problem.

Cnet just published an article about this topic, and I highly recommend reading it if you’ve been frustrated by robocalls and other call spam. But, before you click on through and read the lengthy article on their site, here are the important takeaways from the article…

First, the FCC Staples

This is what the FCC says you should do to reduce robocalls:

  • Don’t answer calls from blocked or unknown numbers or numbers you don’t recognize (even if it’s a local number).
  • If you do answer a robocall, never respond to any question that can be answered with a “Yes”.
  • If you answer a call and you hear “Hello, can you hear me”, or are asked to press a number to be connected, just hang up. Responding to any of this confirms your number is real, which leads to more robocalls.

Too Much Text Spam?

Calls are not the only way we get bombarded. Spammy text messages are just as annoying. Many smartphones now have an integrated blocking feature which allows you to block the sender, but you can also text the offending messages to 7726 (SPAM). This alerts your carrier, and they can look into it and perhaps put a stop to it.

Look To Your Provider For Help

While I did mention “FREE” methods of blocking robocalls, this is one area where some of the options are addons from your provider. Some are free; some aren’t.

  • AT&T: [Not Free] Look into their Call Protect app, which will cost you $3.99/Mo.
  • Verizon: [Free] Verizon provides and enables their call filtering app automatically for postpaid plans on most Android phones, and the app for iOS devices is available in the App Store.
  • T-Mobile: [Free] T-Mobile provides Scam ID which includes Scam Block, but you need to manually activate the Scam Block feature.
  • Sprint: [Not Free] Sprint’s Premium Caller ID is a feature that is built into only certain phones they provide (it’s not an app), and will cost you $3.00/Mo.

Third Party Apps

There are plenty of third party apps you can find in your device’s app store for combating robocallers, which I won’t go into detail on here, but I highly recommend hopping on over to Cnet to read the full article. There’s plenty more great information in the article.

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