Consumer Report: there are potential solutions to constant automated spam calls

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORT–You may not have noticed, but in 2020 there were actually fewer robocalls than in the previous two years. That’s according to the blocking and tracking service YouMail.

Improved blocking technology increased enforcement, and the coronavirus pandemic were responsible for this drop. Still, Anne Bettinger says she’s actively fighting them every day.

“It makes me angry that people feel like they can set up a computer and intrude on my life,” Bettinger said. 

To make it stop, Anne decided to get an app called Nomorobo, which claims to block robocalls for two dollars a month. Other call-blocking apps include Hiya, Mr. Number, and Robokiller. But Consumer Reports says the anti-robocall tools provided by your mobile carrier might be an even better option.

“For the most part, consumers don’t have to do anything to get these services to work. Calls that are legit will be allowed to ring. And calls that aren’t will either be blocked or show up with an alert,” said Octavio Blanco, Consumer Reports Editor.

CR says you can also try a more drastic step: set up your phone to allow calls only from people on your contact list. For iPhones with iOS 13 or later — go to settings, phone, then scroll down, tap Silence Unknown Callers, and turn on the feature.

For Android, tap the phone icon usually found at the bottom of your home screen. Then at the top right corner of the screen tap the three dots, settings, blocked numbers. Then enable “block calls from unidentified callers” by tapping the toggle switch on the right.

“With this option you’ll have to update your contacts list often to avoid missing important calls,” Blanco said. 

As for Bettinger, she’ll keep fighting robocalls as long as they keep coming in.

“As a senior citizen on a fixed income, I don’t need this,” said Bettinger.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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