October 19, 2017

How to Stop Robocalls on Your Cell Phone

How to Stop Robocalls on Your Cell Phone

It’s not hard to understand why robocalls were the number one complaint to the Federal Trade Commission in 2017.  A grand total 7,157,370 complaints were made against robocallers and telemarketers.

Despite this, the robocall epidemic is getting worse. 4.5 billion robocalls were made in June 2018. That’s nearly 18 robocalls for every person!

Luckily, there are solutions to help you fight back against the surge of intrusive, annoying spam calls. In this post, we will cover everything you need to know to effectively stop robocalls on your cell phone.

Why do you receive robocalls?

Though it’s more likely your phone number was dialed at random, there are a few ways your phone number(s) can become a target of robocalls. A good way to check if your phone numbers are publicly available is to search for them in Google or other search engines. You may find that your mobile or landline phone number is associated with social media profiles that are accessible to the public and easily scraped by call list collection companies.

Technology has made it easy to find ways to scrape your personal information on the internet and public databases to find mobile and landline numbers and sell them to both legal and illegal spam callers. This is typically more a prominent issue for individuals who have their phone numbers listed publicly, such as real estate agents and small business owners.

how to stop robocalls on cell phone

Legal businesses also sell “call lists”. These lists typically contain phone numbers of legitimate leads scraped through social media websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and are cross-referenced with the Do Not Call List. Organizations that partake in cold calling or telemarketing can purchase these lists or generate their own, but must comply with FCC or FTC rules and regulations. If they do not comply, they can face hefty fines and bad PR.

In other instances, there is no method to the madness: your phone number is dialed at random. This is typically the strategy of illegal robocallers, who do not care who they’re targeting as long as someone answers the phone. Using auto-dialing technology, robocalls can be placed in immense volume within a matter of seconds. In fact, there are 2,700 robocalls placed to U.S. phone numbers per second!

In these circumstances, the first robocall is designed only to identify if there is a person at the end of the line. If you answer, press any dial key, or request to be removed from the list, you’re only helping the scammer in their elaborate scam. If the scammer is unsuccessful in stealing from you over the phone but does identify that you’re a real person, you’ve only made matters worse for yourself. Robocalls will keep flooding your phone. For this reason, it is important to avoid answering or engaging with unfamiliar calls as frequently as possible.

Caller ID spoofing is the #1 reason for your robocall problem

Caller ID spoofing is arguably the biggest challenge in fighting robocalls, and is primarily to blame for the growing spam call issue worldwide. Illegal robocallers utilize caller ID spoofing because it is incredibly difficult to trace and makes them increasingly confident they can commit phone crimes without getting caught.

Caller ID spoofing, otherwise known as phone spoofing, is the practice of placing a call from a phone number other than the phone number you are calling from. By spoofing your phone number, nearly anyone can call you from any phone number—even your own! This tactic allows spam callers to be more strategic in their methods to get you on the phone. Spoofing functionality allows spam callers to place calls from phone numbers that appear to be in your same area code, to make recipients believe they are receiving a call from their doctor’s office, mechanic, or school.

The economics of caller ID spoofed robocalls also make phone scamming an attractive market. All that truly needed to scam unsuspecting victims from their hard earned money is a telephone and an auto-dialing service—the barriers to entry are quite low. It is also speculated that it costs a robocaller $0.01 per minute to place a spoofed call, which is pretty cheap when you consider the potential reward of millions of dollars fraudulently collected by these crooks!

What laws will help protect you from unwanted robocalls?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was created and is monitored by the FTC and FCC to place restrictions on robocalls and pre-recorded messages made by telemarketers, businesses, debt collectors, and political campaigns. TCPA regulations restrict the practices of telemarketers and debt collectors and their use of automated dialing and pre-recorded voice messages in the form of opt-in consent with regard to:

  • Cell phones
  • Residential phone lines
  • Text messages
  • Unsolicited faxes

Under the TCPA, telemarketers and debt collectors using an auto dialer are also forbidden from other practices, including calling the consumer before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. The caller must additionally, during any call, provide his or her name, the name of the business entity on whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address at which the person or entity can be reached.

What is considered a violation of robocall regulations?

Any robocalls made to phone numbers on the “Do Not Call Registry” are considered a violation. The Do Not Call Registry is a national list of phone numbers of consumers that do not wish to be called by telemarketers. The TCPA prohibits any solicitations calls to those consumers whose telephone numbers are registered on the Do Not Call List. Consumers can place both their cell phone and residential lines on the Do Not Call registry.

1. Robocalls to Residential Phone Lines

The Commission’s laws and regulations prohibit pre-recorded messages for calls made to residential telephone lines. This law applies only to solicitations from telemarketers/sellers with whom the consumer does not have an “established business relationship.” If the consumer has done business with a telemarketer/seller within the last 18 months, or made inquiry within the last three months, then it is presumed under the TCPA that the consumer has an established business relationship with that telemarketer/seller.

2. Robocalls to Mobile Phones without Prior Consent

The TCPA prohibits the use of robocalls or spam text messages to both personal and professional cell phones. A robocaller violates the law every time they make an automated robocall or text message to a consumer’s cell phone without consent. The only circumstance that does not violate the TCPA is if the consumer previously gave the robocaller permission to call. In cases where consent has been previously given, the consumer can revoke that consent by notifying the telemarketer or debt collector to stop calling the cell phone. Source: Nolo

Why haven’t government rules & regulations stopped robocalls?

The laws and regulations designed to manage telephone communication in the United States are flawed in one major way: they do not take into account illegal spam callers. The Commission has a two-pronged challenge when battling the annoying robocalls plaguing your phone lines:

  • Illegal phone scammers hide in the shadows. Illegal robocalls are never going to abide by government rules and regulations when they place scam calls to your phones. Further, the Do Not Call List was only created to reduce legal businesses from harassing consumers, not illegal spammers looking to steal your money.
  • Caller ID spoofing is very difficult to track. The phone network is a very complicated system made up of many carriers and providers. Because caller ID spoofing is nearly untraceable without advanced audio-fingerprinting technology, it’s difficult to truly identify the identity of the caller. Unfortunately, the FCC and FTC simply do not have access to the level of technology needed to support the fight against robocalls. Instead, they recommend downloading a robocall blocker app to combat phone spoofing.  

How to stop robocalls on your cell phone

The best way to stop robocalls on your cell phone is to download a robocall blocker app. This is because apps to block robocalls were specifically designed to stop robocalls at the source, especially illegal ones!

The FTC states that call blocker apps can give you the ability to:

  • Prescreen your calls before your phone rings
  • Block certain types of calls, including calls that others have flagged as fraudulent or unwanted calls
  • Block anonymous calls that show up as “Unknown” callers

Not only do robocall blocker apps let you determine what calls you believe to be spam (spam calls can come from people you know, too!), they create a nationally sourced database of prominent phone scammers and phone criminals right on your smartphone. If every single mobile phone owner used a robocall blocker app such as RoboKiller, you’d know exactly who was a spam caller every single time the phone rang. Spam and robocallers wouldn’t stand a chance!

The major benefits of downloading a robocall blocker app

Using a robocall blocker app to manage your robocall problem is invaluable because it puts the power in your hands. Call blocker apps give you your relationship with your smartphone back because you are in control of what you determine to be spam calls. Using personal blacklist functionality, you can determine the phone numbers of which you no longer want to hear from. Here's a short list of the major benefits of using a robocall blocker app:

  1. You save time, money, and protect your personal identity
  2. You give phone scammers and robocallers the revenge they deserve
  3. You decide what calls you think are spam
  4. You don’t have to change your phone number (or throw your phone out the window)

Using a robocall blocker app to block spam and robocalls on your smartphone, actually does make an impact in the fight against robocalls. Apps such as RoboKiller allow you to fight fire with fire or in this case, robocalls with robocalls. RoboKiller’s Answer Bots are designed specifically to fight spam callers and telemarketers for you by keeping them on the phone for hours! Each month, RoboKiller wastes 10,000 hours of spammers time—draining their funds and preventing them from scamming other victims.

RoboKiller is the #1 app to take the fight to robocallers and scammers

We highly recommend signing up for RoboKiller as the best solution to stop robocalls for good. RoboKiller is the only robocall blocker app that allows you to take the fight to robocallers and scammers. Beyond offering the most effective spam call protection, real-time caller identification, and block/allow list functionality, RoboKiller also allows you to get revenge on spam callers using our hilarious Answer Bots.

RoboKiller is an easy investment to ensure your privacy and personal information is protected from annoying spam calls. Join the fight to stop spammers for good, all while enjoying a spam call free smartphone!  

Click here to get started with a free trial of RoboKiller!

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