For retirees, getting unwanted phone calls has become a part of everyday life. Most of these calls are just an annoyance, but occasionally it can be a scam with potential to steal significant moneys or even the identity of the target. The good news is there are simple things that can be done to protect you or a loved one from these scams.
Do Not call registry
You can register your phone number on the national do not call registry https://www.donotcall.gov/ but scammers will ignore this. This will only protect you from legitimate companies bothering you.
Call blocking and Call labeling
Contact your cell phone company and ask if they offer a spam call blocking or call labeling service. This can block or label likely spam calls. For example, T-mobile has a free spam block by dialing #662# then hit send.
Download a Spam call blocking app
One of the surest ways to block spam calls is by downloading an app to your phone for just that. These apps will use call data or reports from other users, the FTC, and other sources to predict which calls are illegal or likely scams. Some of these apps are free and some charge. Check reviews and app ratings to find which one you prefer.
Built in phone features
If you get spam calls from the same number repeatedly, you can select the number and block it from ever being able to call you again. There are also Do Not Disturb features on your phone that will send calls straight to voicemail during certain hours.
Block calls on a landline
You can purchase a call blocking device, typically a small box, which you connect to your phone line and will have a database of spam numbers it will automatically block from your phone. Most of these devices are between $30 and $100 on amazon. Some have a button that you simply click when you want to block a number.
Much of the content from this article was from the Federal Trade commission’s website on blocking unwanted phone calls: https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-block-unwanted-calls#what%20are%20blocking%20and%20labeling
This video from the Federal Trade commission can give you additional guidance on how to block spam:
Most of these options are simple enough to accomplish on your own, but you may want to seek the help of an expert like one of your grandchildren.
Robert Krepps, NMLS #255191, at HighTechLending Inc. HighTechLending Inc, NMLS # 7147, is an Equal Housing Lender. Licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act.