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How to end spam phone calls for good

You are sitting down to dinner, in the middle of  a project, or have just finished your work and are relaxing for the day when you start getting the phone calls.  Often, a long pause followed by a voice that you can’t quite tell if it is human or a robot.   You try to respond but the voice keeps going, or maybe responds to your comment.  Robo-calls, and telemarketers today have gotten very high-tech and it can be hard to tell if you are talking to a real person or a computer.  They call you about reducing your debt, timeshares, protection plans, or medical plans.  You tell them over and over again that you aren’t interested, but what can be done that will actually work?  Here are a few tips that can reduce or end those annoying telemarketing calls.

  1. Join the National do not call registry. Legitimate companies will honor this list and scrub your name and phone number from their calling lists.  https://www.donotcall.gov/
  2. Turn on Do not disturb on your phone. This feature allows your saved/allowed contacts to call in, but no-one else.
    1. I-phone – go to Settings -Do Not Disturb. This is where you can turn it on. You can also create a Do Not Disturb schedule and program your allowed calls to either all your saved contacts or just your Favorites list.
    2. Android – Settings – Sound & Notification, then tap Do Not Disturb.
  3. You can block individual phone numbers. This will stop the companies that continue to call you over and over again.
    1. I-phone – Open your Phone app – Recents tab – tap the circular icon on the right side of the number you want to block. Then, on the next page, tap Block this Caller to prevent future incoming calls.
    2. Android – Open recent phone calls/call logs, click on the phone number that you want to block, press and hold on it or press options and block number.
  4. Your phone might already have auto spam blockers built in; you just need to turn them on. Contact your carrier to see if your phone has these protections.
  5. Your phone carrier has tools that will block telemarketing or spam calls for you, but they typically charge a fee between $2.99 to $5.00 a month to activate this service. This might be the best $5 you spend all month!
  6. If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee to your carrier for blocking spam calls, you can search out different apps that can do this for you. These apps typically allow users to add phone numbers to a crowd-sourced list of spammers and telemarketers.  As this list grows, your protection grows.  Here are the most popular spam blocking apps.
    1. Hiya caller ID & block
    2. Truecaller
    3. Nomorobo
  7. Don’t ever reply or press a button to respond to a spam phone call. Telemarketers will put you on a list of live respondents if you give any sort of response to them.  They use tricks like, press 5 if you would like to be removed from this list.  By pressing 5 you will actually stay on their list and get more phone calls because now they know this is an active number.

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