Best Way To Block Robocalls (For Now)

August 28, 2018

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Scammers have upped their game in 2018 with an estimated 4 billion robocalls made just last month (July 2018). Beyond the annoyance of a scam artist wasting your time, many people still fall victim as these robocalls get more realistic with each passing day. Telephone companies and cellular providers have been working to curtail robocalls with a new system called, "Shaken and Stirred," with is an authentication system that sniffs out incoming calls to ensure that they are legitimate. It works by verifying that a call being made is identified accurately when it reaches your carrier and before it gets to your phone. Scammers rely on spoofing, which uses a bogus name or phone number appear on your caller ID screen, fooling you into answering. The bad news is Shaken and Stirred is still being developed and tweaked for the real world. But not to worry, you have some defenses available and ones not only you should employ for peace of mind, but activate on your parents or children’s phones too as the elderly are most likely to fall prey to scammers. First, register your phones on the Do not Call Registry by visiting donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.  Once you register your number, you remain on the list indefinitely until the number is disconnected, reassigned or you ask for it to be removed from the list. However you may authorize third parties to contact you if you sign a new contract (such as a credit card or rewards program). All cellular phone carriers offer services that alert you of potential scammers. Many versions are free, but for a few dollars more per month you can get a more robust version that can block the robocalls from ringing on your phone. These service are 86% to 93% effective. Add an additional layer of protection by download adding a call-blocking app such as Hiya, Mr. Number, RoboKiller, and YouMail. While these service may charge a small monthly fee, if may be worth it to prevent a scammers from milking hundreds or thousands of dollars from unsuspecting callers. 

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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