Tech Tip: Block Spam & Robocalls!
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Tech Tip: Block Spam & Robocalls!

We’re calling about your car’s warranty.
Hi, this is Kate from your credit card company!
This is Joe from home security services.

Everyone’s getting these calls, and there’s no end in sight. The phone companies seem powerless to stop robocalls. Even the Federal Communications Commission can’t do anything about them.

While you can sign up for the Do Not Call list, and the FCC has rules in place requiring telemarketers to get consent and provide an opt-out mechanism, only the “good guys” are playing by the rules. Scammers who want to steal your money just ignore them, and it makes them very, very hard to track.

The first thing to know is that just like spam email, you should never respond. Nothing good can come of it.

Make the Robocalls Stop!

But how do you prevent the calls in the first place? There’s no bulletproof solution. However, the major phone companies have all released apps to help you block suspected spam calls on iPhones and Android phones.

AT&T customers should install the company’s Call Protect app.

Verizon customers can use Verizon’s Call Filter.

Sprint/T-Mobile customers get Sprint’s Call Screener.

What about privacy?

There are other third-party apps out there, but I recommend at least starting with the cell phone company’s apps. While all the apps require access to your incoming phone calls and the numbers they’re coming from, your cell phone provider already knows who’s calling you – you’re not giving away any extra information. The same isn’t true for third-party services.