Robo calls are those automated telemarketing calls, which in the past, offered to lower your credit card interest rate. However, recently Tri-State residents are receiving calls offering a free home security system valued at $1500.00. One number being used is 812-434-3516, making it appear that the caller is somewhere local. It’s unclear as to who is behind these calls, and it’s also unclear as to the true purpose of the call.
Some recipients of these calls try to speak with someone by pressing the appropriate number, but no one is there. The problem is that if you press any number, you’ve let the caller know that they’ve reached a working number, and in turn, your number could be used to contact other people. This is known as spoofing.
If you’ve received such a call, simply hang up, then contact the FTC at (877) 382-4357, and in Indiana, also call the attorney general’s office at (800) 382-5516 to report these calls.
The Indiana attorney general’s office has compiled a list of services that consumers could use to block unwanted calls. The Federal Communications Commission, FCC, has stated that such blocking services, if requested by consumers of their telephone providers, are legal.
Here are some of those services and they work:
What you need: VoIP telephone service (internet-based telephone service like Vonage,
Comcast, MagicJack, etc.) and wireless internet access.
How it works: NoMoRobo uses a Caller-ID blacklist to block known spam callers.
What it costs: There is no charge for non-business users.
How to get it: Visit NoMoRobo.com
Potential downside: Phone rings once when a blacklisted number calls, then the call is dropped.
Call Blocker by the Kedlin Company
What you need: An Android smart phone
How it works: Uses a Caller-ID blacklist to block known spam callers.
What it costs: Basic version is free; premium version costs $2.99 per month.
How to get it: Go to Google App Store and download or visit www.Everycall.us
Potential downside: Cost; Does not work for iPhones.
“Block This Caller” for iPhones
What you need: iPhone, iOS 7 and above.
How it works: Click on “Phone” and “Recents,” Then click the little“i” symbol next
to the unwanted call and scroll down to click “Block this Caller.” Future calls from that number will go directly to voicemail.
What it costs: This feature is included on all iPhones, iOS 7 and above.
Potential downside: Does not stop the caller; it just sends the call to voicemail.
Does not work for anonymous or blocked calls.
“Call Rejection” for Android Phones
What you need: Wireless phone with Android Operating System
How it works: Feature is controlled through your phone settings, and varies among phone manufacturers and models. Allows you to send a call directly to voicemail without your phone ringing
by either rejecting all calls from a number or rejecting private, unknown, or anonymous numbers.
What it costs: Available on Android wireless phones
Potential downside: Doesn’t stop the caller; it just sends the call to voicemail.
Anonymous Call Blocking for AT&T Landline
What you need: AT&T traditional landline phone with Caller ID feature
How it works: When a company/individual places a call to you with a blocked, unknown or anonymous call they will hear a message advising that the number does not accept incoming calls from blocked numbers. The message tells the caller to hang up and unblock the number to complete the call. Your phone never rings unless they call back from an unblocked number.
What it costs: $10 per month.
Potential downside: Cost; only applies to blocked or no Caller ID calls.
Call Blocking Gadgets or Devices
Examples: Digitone Call Blocker Plus, Pro Call Blocker Version 2.2, CPR Call Blocker V202
Where to find them: Devices are available for purchase online. Always be cautious when dealing with unknown sellers; look at customer reviews and return policies.
What you need: Most work with landlines, VoIP, DSL and digital voice services. Some may require professional installation.
How they work: Most are programmable using your phone to load numbers you want to block. Blocked calls are disconnected after Caller ID is received.
Cost range: $40 to $110
Potential downside: Cost; Mixed consumer reviews. Some report hardware issues and difficulty contacting customer service. Some report the devices are difficult to program or don’t work well with US phone system.
Blocking calls via MySprint Account
What you need: Sprint wireless phone and plan
How it works: Block up to 50 unwanted callers by adding the numbers to your rejection list. Blocked numbers can include landlines, toll free numbers and 900 numbers. This list can be edited by
accessing your account online through “ MySprint” . Once a number is added or deleted from the list it could take up to 15 minutes to go into effect.
What it costs: No cost with Sprint wireless plan.
Potential downside: Only blocks up to 50 numbers.
Verizon Wireless Family Base / Usage Controls
What you need: Verizon wireless phone and Verizon Family Base/Usage Controls plan
How it works: Block up to 20 contacts; block calls and messages from domestic and international numbers; block restricted, unavailable or private numbers; restrict calls during a certain time of day.
What it costs: $5 per month
Potential downside: Cost; Limited to 20 contacts.
MyVerizon–Call and Message Blocking
What you need: Verizon wireless phone and MyVerizon-Call and Message Blocking plan
How it works: Block up to 5 contacts, block calls and text messages
What it costs: No additional cost with applicable Verizon Wireless plan
Potential downside: All blocks expire after 90 days.
“Never Allowed” via T-Mobile
What you need: T-Mobile wireless phone and plan
How it works: Block up to 10 numbers
What it costs: No additional cost with applicable T-Mobile plan
Potential downside: International numbers cannot be added.
Various Call Blocking Options via CenturyLink
What you need: CenturyLink service plans
How it works: Blocks a limited amount of numbers, depending upon option selected.
Contact carrier for complete list of options.
What it costs: No additional cost with applicable CenturyLink plan
Potential downside: Number of blocked phone numbers may be limited based on which option you select.
This document is for information purposes only. The Indiana Attorney General does not endorse any product or service. Research available options and choose one that best meets your needs. Revised
Your BBB also, as part of its policy, does not endorse, recommend, approve or disapprove of any product, service, or company.
For more information on this or other topics, you may visit bbb.org/evansville where you can Start With Trust®.