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Tips on how to avoid being duped by robocalls now and endlessly

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Nothing is more disturbing than answering your phone only to be greeted by an automatic recording informing you that there’s a warrant out on your arrest and that you simply owe the federal government hundreds of dollars in back taxes. 

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This message just isn’t actually from the federal government. It’s just one among the various illegal robocalls aiming to steal your money or personal information like your social security number. Even worse, these despicable scammers goal older Americans and people more at risk of their con game.

Nothing is more disturbing than answering your phone only to be greeted by an automatic recording informing you that there’s a warrant out on your arrest and that you simply owe the federal government hundreds of dollars in back taxes. 
(Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images, File)

The excellent news is robocalls are on the decline, primarily helped by the FCC taking a very important step in fighting robocalls by requiring phone providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN. What’s that, you ask?  

STIR/SHAKEN is an industry-standard caller ID authentication technology, which is a set of technical standards and protocols that allow for the authentication and verification of caller ID information for calls carried over Web Protocol, or IP, networks.

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While this proved largely effective, seeing many individuals receive calls labeled as “SPAM” or “SCAM LIKELY,” scammers appear to be working their way around several voice service providers using analog as an alternative of digital technology.

Suggestions to guard your privacy and avoid being scammed over the phone

Most carriers now have a way of identifying robocalls by identifying them as

Most carriers now have a way of identifying robocalls by identifying them as “Spam Risk” or the like.
(iStock, File)

Don’t recognize the number – Don’t pick up

Easy as this sounds, that is the simplest way of avoiding a potentially dangerous call. Most carriers now have a way of identifying robocalls by identifying them as “Spam Risk” or the like. One other way they fight to get you is through the use of your local area code, sometimes even the primary three digits of your or a member of the family’s phone number, to entice you to reply. Making it all of the more necessary so that you can take an additional careful take a look at the number in your screen.

Block numbers in your phone settings

One other way around that is by blocking unknown phone numbers in your phone settings.

For iPhone users: To silence unknown callers:

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Phone
  • Tap Silence Unknown Callers
  • Then toggle to show it on – it should turn green
  • If a 911 call is placed, this feature is disabled for twenty-four hours in order that emergency calls to you possibly can ring through.

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For Android users: To silence unknown callers:

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Block numbers
  • Activate the Block Unknown Callers feature.

*Settings may vary depending in your Android phone’s manufacturer.

One thing that is essential to recollect do you have to use this feature is that it not only blocks potential SPAM callers, but it surely also blocks any unknown phone number you will have never called or texted.  So it is advisable to think twice about enabling this in case you’re expecting a call from someone from whom you have not received a call or text.

One thing that is important to remember should you use this feature is that it not only blocks potential SPAM callers, but it also blocks any unknown phone number you have never called or texted. 

One thing that is essential to recollect do you have to use this feature is that it not only blocks potential SPAM callers, but it surely also blocks any unknown phone number you will have never called or texted. 
(Kurt Knutsson)

Manually block numbers from spam robocalls

Should an unknown number have called you and never left a voice message, it’s greater than likely it was a robocall. While other robocalls go on to voicemail with a threatening or enticing message, urging those truly vulnerable to act fast. Either way, you possibly can manually block these numbers on an iPhone by:

  • Tapping the unknown number
  • Scroll down in your screen and tap “Block This Caller”
  • Tap “Block Contact”.

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Use your wireless carrier’s free spam and robocall-blocking service

Several wireless carriers provide their very own free robocall scanning and blocking services. Amongst them:

  • AT&T Call Protect – available for iPhones and Androids, lets customers manually block unwanted calls and labels suspected robocalls as a “spam risk,” in addition to making efforts to stop unwanted calls from reaching you.
  • Sprint/T-Mobile – Scam Shield– an app that labels all potentially dangerous calls as “Scam likely” and opens free controls for several anti-scam protections, including Scam ID, Scam Block, and Caller ID. Moreover, the app also provides you with a second phone number to be used as an alternative of your private one, ideal for online shopping and helping you avoid calls from scammers in addition to telemarketers.
  • Verizon Call Filter app – helps protect you from unwanted calls and helps you to resolve who can reach you. Call Filter also detects spam and blocks high-risk spam calls by forwarding them to voicemail.

Third-party spam-blocking apps

Several third-party apps will help protect you from scam artists. Amongst our most advisable include:

  • RoboKiller is an app that claims to cut back 99% of unwanted calls or texts. The app just isn’t free for iPhone and Android users. Nevertheless, it comes with a 7-day free trial, which could be price testing before investing.
  • Call Control is an app currently only available to Android users; the app helps you filter out unwanted callers by manually adding them to a blacklist.
  • Nomorobo For those of you who still have a landline, due to a package deal along with your web providers, this app help prevent robocalls from reaching you each at home and on the go. Currently free for VolP landlines, the essential mobile package currently starts at $1.99 a month.

A voice provider blocked from the whole U.S. phone network

In a somewhat unprecedented move, the FCC effectively blocked Global UC from the whole U.S. phone network. Global UC provides low-cost, international calling services to over 200 businesses internationally. Nevertheless, in an order released on Nov. 22, FCC reported that Global UC has did not comply with several regulations to manage robocalls within the U.S. Consequently, by failing to implement caller ID verification technology or giving the FCC explanations on its current attempts to fight robocalls. Global UC has, intentionally or not, allowed robocall scammers to make calls through their system and has profited from them. 

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As well as, the order went on to say that while Global UC certified that that they had implemented the above-mentioned STIR/SHAKEN technology, the document they provided only featured an outline of STIR/SHAKEN, and included no actual details about how they intended to make use of it, or any robocall mitigation plan. 

Consequently, Global UC is not any longer a part of the Robocalls Mitigation database, and other carriers at the moment are forbidden to just accept traffic from them.

A notable first for the FCC

After several notable threats to phone service providers for failure to comply, that is the primary time the federal government has formally blocked a voice provider, marking a hopeful sign of bringing spam robocalls to an end. With the order stopping providers from accepting phone traffic from Global UC, the move may very well be hugely detrimental to their business, as they depend on sending calls to other networks to show a profit.

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR PRIVACY SETTINGS ON YOUR ANDROID DEVICES

Have you ever had success combating robocallers? Comment below.

For more of my Privacy suggestions, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by clicking the “Free newsletter” link at the highest of my website.

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Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson is an award-winning tech journalist who has a deep love of technology, gear and gadgets that make life higher together with his contributions for Fox News & FOX Business starting mornings on “FOX & Friends.” Got a tech query? Get Kurt’s CyberGuy Newsletter, share your voice, a story idea or comment at CyberGuy.com.

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