Consumer Reports: How to cut down on annoying robocalls

Robocalls are still a problem. They are on the decline but we still received nearly 46 billion of them last year.

Even with improved blocking technology and increased enforcement, robocalls are something Anne Bettinger said she actively fights with every day.

"It makes me angry that people feel like they can set up a computer and intrude on my life," she said.

To make it stop, Bettinger decided to get an app called Nomorobo, which claims to block robocalls for two dollars a month.



Other call-blocking apps include Hiya, Mr. Number, and Robokiller.

But Consumer Reports said the anti-robocall tools provided by your mobile carrier might be an even better option.

"For the most part, consumers don't have to do anything to get these services to work. Calls that are legit will be allowed to ring. And calls that aren't will either be blocked or show up with an alert," said Consumer Reports Editor Octavio Blanco.

CR said you can also try a more drastic step: set up your phone to allow calls only from people on your contact list.

For iPhones with iOS 13 or later go to settings, phone, and then scroll down, tap Silence Unknown Callers, and turn on the feature.

For Android tap the phone icon usually found at the bottom of your home screen. Then at the top right corner of the screen, tap the three dots, settings, and blocked numbers. Then enable "block calls from unidentified callers" by tapping the toggle switch on the right.

"With this option you'll have to update your contacts list often to avoid missing important calls," said Blanco.

As for Bettinger, she will keep fighting robocalls as long as they keep coming in.

"As a senior citizen on a fixed income, I don't need this," she said.

Depending on your phone and carrier, Consumer Reports said you might have to manually activate the call-blocking services.
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