It isn’t your imagination. You really are getting more robocalls than ever before and it’s going to get worse. Here’s how to deal with them:
If you’ve had it up to here with robocalls you’ve probably tried the Do Not Call List, asking to be removed from the call list and you may have tried using a robocall blocking app. None of that seems to be working out very well.
According to a survey by YouMail, a robocall-blocking app, Americans received around 3.4 billion unwanted calls just in the month of April. That’s around 900,000 more than in April of 2017. What’s even worse is that the scammers are using different tactics to get you to pick up the phone. They’ll spoof numbers so it will appear the call is coming from across town or someone you know. There are some recent reports of spam calls coming from the very phone number they’re dialing.
In other words, you get a call and caller ID shows your number.
I’ve tried about a half-dozen of the robocall-blocking apps with just a little success. NoMoRobo is one of the more popular apps and it’s used by some of the big wireless carriers to stop the calls from going to its customers, but NoMoRobo is $2/month.
I tried YouMail for awhile. It not only blocked some numbers from ringing my phone but it also spoofed a message that said my phone number was out of service hoping to trick the robocaller into thinking they were wasting time dialing my phone. A few weeks after installing YouMail however, my voicemail stopped working. I found out later from my Sprint carrier that there had been a problem giving YouMail access to my voicemail account without me paying a monthly fee.
I also used HiYa, a call blocking app that relies on other users to flag robocalls. But now that the scammers are changing their numbers frequently, apps such as these are having difficulty keeping up with those changes. It’s sort of like the game ‘whack-a-mole’, as soon as the app blocks one number, the scammer starts using another one.
Laws are actually being weakened to give robocallers an advantage
Small business owners also worry that if they use an app that blocks calls, they could wind up missing a phone call from a prospective client or customer.
As much of a hassle as it is, the best way to deal with unwanted robocalls is to simply hang up on them. If you answer a robocall try not to say anything immediately. If you do say anything, just say hello. If it is a recorded message the Better Business Bureau suggests you just hang up. Do not press a key or number or ask to be removed from a calling list. This only tells the spammer that they’ve reached a working number. The BBB says that will result in you getting more phone calls from automated dialers.
Do not say “yes”, even if they ask if you can hear them clearly. Last year the BBB reported many people were falling victims of a scam where the company would record someone saying yes and then using that recording to add charges to the victims phone bill.
You can report the unwanted call to the F.C.C and register your number on the federal Do Not Call List, but that rarely makes much of a difference in the amount of calls you receive.
The best answer is to just hang up.