According to Robokiller, over 5.3 billion robocalls were made in April 2019 alone. That’s a staggering 22 calls for every person in the United States. Robocalls and unchecked telemarketers are a true epidemic that affects everyone with a phone, it doesn’t matter if it’s a landline or mobile anymore. Besides being annoying, there are several phone scams making the rounds all the time. Recently, I was called urging me to make a payment on a credit card from a bank I don’t even have. There are so many scams out there, that it’s hard to keep track and there’s a new one being invented every day.
The latest phone scam
There is a new scam where people receive several calls from other countries that ring just once. What the scammers are trying to do is to get you to call back and stick you with charges in your phone bill. Carlos Calderón from Despierta America showed me his phone with several calls from Lithuania and Sierra Leone and he doesn’t even know anybody there. The automated nature of these robocalls makes it a numbers game for the bad guys. E-mail providers have gotten smarter about spam prevention so scammers find an old but still effective way to reach people in high volumes, likes phones, to make them fall for the trap.
Solutions to Stop Robocalls and Telemarketers
Let’s face it, the Do Not Call List maintained by the government is pretty ineffective. When the government was shut down last time, it was a free for all and besides, it only works for telemarketers based in the U.S. which, in a globally connected world, it’s just a very small fraction of the countries that can easily access internet-connected phone systems to cheaply reach people in the U.S.
Today I went on Despierta America to talk about this issue and provide some useful solutions that definitely help to significantly cut the volume of robocalls on your mobile phone. There are a few apps that you can install that can help with this problem but one stands over all of them because of the clever way it uses not only to block the robocallers and telemarketers but also tries to waste their time by using pre-recorded bots. How does it work?
I programmed Carlos’ number as a spammer on the app and chose one of the automated bots to respond. There are many cool and funny bots but my favorite was a Sofia Vergara impersonator. Listen to the recording, it’s pretty funny. The point of this app is to waste the time of the telemarketers. I know, it’s a little cruel but the reality is that they are trying to waste yours.
Here is a quick list of the Apps and Resources we mentioned on the show
- True Caller
- Do Not Call List
- Apps from your Phone Provider such as Verizon Call Filter, AT&T Call Protect, My Sprint app and the T-Mobile Name ID
The block lists on phones are no longer enough, we need help from these apps on our phones, just as we need to have an anti-spam system in our e-mails. The reality is that there is a cost to most of them but your time is way more valuable, that’s without taking the annoyance factor into account.
Let me know if you use any of them and what you think.