Robocalls, those marketing junk calls you get on your phone, are getting worse. The Federal Trade Commission receives 250,000 to 300,000 complaints about unwanted calls each month. Putting your name on the government's Do Not Call list at DoNotCall.gov is one step, but Consumer Reports says it's not very effective.
So how can you stop robocalls? If you get your home phone service from an Internet provider, you may be able to sign up for the call-blocking service NoMoRobo.com.
Anecdotally, Consumer Reports is hearing that NoMoRobo is somewhat effective, but it's not available with all phone services. So you will have to check its website. Consumer Reports is in the midst of testing devices that are supposed to filter junk calls from your home phone.
Robocalls are also a problem on cell phones. On an Android phone you can try a call-blocking app, although you'll also block emergency calls and other calls you might want. iPhones have similar settings.
Nothing so far is 100 percent effective against robocalls. Rogue companies can mask their caller ID and make it appear that they're coming from within your own area code or even your own number.
Robocalls are not just a nuisance. Consumer Reports estimates that phone scams cost Americans 350 million dollars per year. To stop robocalls, the publisher of Consumer Reports is pressuring the big phone companies to provide free tools for their customers. Almost 300-thousand people have already signed a petition. You can join them at EndRoboCalls.org.
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