Companies use automatic dialers to save time and money. Calls made with automatic dialing systems, known as “robocalls” can be annoying. People find it hard to stop them. Tech companies, phone carriers and the Federal Communications Commission are trying to find a solution to the growing problem. One expert referred to robocalls as a “whack a mole” problem.
A Growing Problem
A report published by First Orion shows there has been an explosion in robocalls over the last year. According to the report, the calls skyrocketed from “3.7 percent of total calls in 2017 to 29.2 percent in 2018.” Experts predict the use of automatic dialing systems will jump to 44.6 percent in 2019. In 2018, robocallers placed 26.3 billion calls. The FCC gives big fines to companies violating the law but the companies don’t seem to be as affected as the government would like.
Making it Stop
First, you should register with the National Do Not Call Registry. The system was created for people to opt out of calls from telemarketers. It won’t help with scam robocalls or companies that ignore the law. Still, signing up may prevent some calls and can provide proof against companies that violate the law. The rise in the use of VoIP numbers also makes it harder to get the calls to stop.
Caller ID Apps
The second thing that will help is a caller id app for iPhone. The app will help you to identify and trace numbers that call. There are apps that will also help you to block robocalls. You can block all calls except those from people on your contacts list. Most phones have settings that will allow you to block unknown or unwanted calls and blacklist the numbers. For example, smartphones from Samsung offer a native feature called Smart Call. It automatically screens incoming calls, and flags suspicious numbers.
Google uses a similar feature with its Android smartphones like Pixel and Android One. The app warns the user if an incoming call is a suspected spam or robocall.
Blocking Individual Phone Numbers
It might not be effective to block every phone call, but it can help with the persistent ones. Here’s how:
iPhone – Open your Phone app, go to the Recents tab, and then select the information icon by the number you want to block. Follow the prompts.
Android – Open your Phone app, go to the Recents tab, use a long press on the number and then choose “Block/report spam.” (The process may be different depending on the type of phone you have.)
Do Not Disturb
Most people are connected to their phones throughout the day. If the calls are too troublesome, use the Do Not Disturb feature. It will stop the calls, yet callers can still leave a voicemail or send a text.
Until phone carriers find a way to stop automatic calls, which is unlikely, the tech industry will continue to make apps to fight against them. Do your research and then choose the app that is right for you.