If you are like me, you get unwanted calls: most are robocall generated. Because I work with authors globally, I answer the phone. If it’s a robocall, I hang up and immediately block the number on my phone. I’ve learned, and I bet you have too, that the Do Not Call national lists don’t work—the robocallers have figured out how to get around them. Sometimes hiding calls within a bank of regional area calls to fool you.
If I get an “unknown caller” or “no caller ID,” I no longer answer the call … knowing that a few in my circle get blocked. When they ask why I don’t pick up, I tell them: either become visible for me to respond or leave a voice mail. I’ll get back.
If a number comes in with the dreaded 887 or some form of it, I’m in my own “robo” response. It’s called delete.
But, have you noticed … many of the robocalls come in via a local area code number? That’s because the spammers and robocallers have figured out ways to “clone” similar numbers to fool you. Sigh.
I can’t tell you how many times Jennifer from credit card services has called to reduce my rate or John from either the police or firefighters call for contributions. Sometimes, I’m feisty and I wait for a live person and make up some outrageous story. From I work with the IRS and would like to have the charity number to see how you rank OR This is agent Smith with the IRS, employee # 78239567. How can I help you? That’s a quick hang up. And Jennifer—she’ll get a I’m so happy you called. You want to give me credit?—thank you, thank you … this bankruptcy has been awful—no one will help me. Another quick hang up.
Okay, most likely, don’t have the time to be feisty—it’s just fun occasionally.
So, what can you do to bring sanity into controller these cretins? Start with:
- Getting tools or apps that will compare incoming calls with a database of known spammers and suspicious callers.
- Using technology that can ID where an incoming call is generated from or if it’s a spammer or spoofer.
- Calling your carrier and ask what they recommend that is compatible with their system. ATT is my carrier and I have an app that blocks dozens of calls a day.
- Blocking phone numbers—most smartphones can “block” phone numbers. I have an iPhone—on mine, I open the number that called, scroll down and click on the block caller … meaning no more calls can come in from that specific number.
Start with your carrier …
All the majors have connections with tools. Some are free—some have a fee.
- T-Mobile’s Call Verified is free for subscribers.
- Sprint has Premium Caller ID for $2.99 a month.
- AT&T has Call Protect for $3.99 a month plus a free level that offers spam and scam protection. AT&T ahas partnered with Comcast to verify calls as legitimate between the two services.
- Verizon’s Call Filter app has a new free version coupled with a free trial attached to it. Yup, Verizon is attempting to rope you for it’s upgraded version that costs money. Decline it and stick with the free option.
Discover Tools on Your Smartphone
iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and Google have tools built in that are waiting for you to use. Some phone models must use a third-party app or one of the carrier tools that are available. Google “smart blocking for _________” (your type of phone). How cool is it when the caller receives a “this number has been disconnected” when it’s called (the auto-response)?
iPhones can block a number—make sure you check your settings. Daily, I do this when one comes in. Otherwise, you need a third-party app to expand the blocking. Ask your carrier which is best.
Samsung Galaxy phones have a built-in function called Smart Call.
Google has a feature called Call Screen, which warns you if a suspected spam call comes in.
Most have free versions with modestly priced upgrades. Two of the most popular are:
- Nomorobo– a free service blocking calls, including some of the political, which could be beneficial with the robocalls that are tied into elections.
- RoboKiller– okay, if you want a little revenge, this might be for you. Robokiller is a robot answer service that can keep a spammer on the line, wasting its time, not yours.
It’s a start. If you ignore pests, they multiply. Your choice … you choose.
Dr. Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and author of 36 multi-award books. She’s guided over 1,000 authors in creating their books, earned in excess of $3,000,000 in speaking fees based on her books and gathered over $2,000,000 in onsite book sales at her speaking gigs. Her latest book, How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech flips a difficult topic into a simple and easily comprehensible plan. If you want to get into speaking, this is the guide that will be the game-changer to success.
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