New Ways to Protect Yourself from Robocall Fraud

As the spammy calls increase, so do your options.

If you’ve been interrupted midtext by an obnoxious robocall, you’re not alone.

Americans received 3.4 billion robocalls in April [2018], or about 10.4 calls per person affected.

And because the U.S. Court of Appeals recently overturned the Federal Communications Commission’s definition of an “auto-dialer,” advocates warn we may end up with more robocallers than ever.

Many robocalls are illegal, according to Federal Trade Commission guidelines. More so, many people are on the National Do Not Call Registry and still receive them daily.

In 2016, Americans lost an estimated $9.5 billion in robocall scams.

[The Penny Hoarder has] covered ways to save your sanity from robocalls by not answering the phone, blocking spammy numbers and trolling back, but as the calls increase, so do your options.

1. Talk to Your Phone Company

Last year, the FCC enabled phone companies to block robocalls from numbers that can’t make outgoing calls, invalid numbers, unallocated numbers or those not assigned to a provider.

Many carriers provide free or relatively inexpensive services to alert you of potentially fraudulent calls.

Verizon has Caller Name ID, Sprint offers Premium Caller ID, AT&T has two security apps, and T-Mobile has Scam Block and other call protection services.

2. Let Your Phone Do the Work

Some phones have brand-specific apps that alert you to potentially fraudulent calls.

Samsung offers a Smart Call app that tells you if the incoming number is a known robocaller or possibly spam.

Google has a phone app that will turn the screen bright red for spam callers and sends the calls directly to voicemail. It should be available worldwide on Pixel, Android and Nexus devices. Google 1, Spam 0.

3. Report Robocallers

First and foremost, you can file a complaint with the FTC online or by calling 888-382-1222. Or you can report robocallers to the FCC online or call 888-225-5322.

The Better Business Bureau also has a Scam Tracker service where you can find and report scam calls and businesses.

Additionally, you can forward any spam text messages to 7726 (or SPAM). Your wireless service provider will then report the spam number.

Full story at The Penny Hoarder