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Robocalls: What Are They And What To Do To Stop Receiving Them?

Robocalls and other unsolicited calls are a nuisance. Who else agrees? 

Imagine you being in the middle of a date when your phone immediately rings. 

Thinking of it as something urgent, you pick up the phone, only to find out that it is a telemarketer over the line trying to persuade you to upgrade your current Internet service subscription plan. 

Dismayed, you immediately hang up because not only have you received countless calls already from the same number and company a couple of times now, but you even specifically asked many times to not call again, yet here they are, ringing you up while you are in the middle of a social engagement. 

You are not alone, though. According to a USA Today report, last 2019, Americans were targeted with 58.5 billion robocalls, an increase of 22% from the figures recorded from the year prior. 

They vary from prerecorded messages to telemarketers calling you to attempt to sell you a product or help you further your current subscription plan or service. 

What is a robocall? 

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a robocall is any call that is prerecorded instead of a live person talking to you. 

Robocalls that attempt to sell you something is most probably illegal and would scam you of your money. 

According to the authorities, there are a few types of robocalls that are legal and permitted by the law. They are the following:

Informational calls:

These are calls that may come from different sources with different purposes in mind.

If you booked an appointment and receive a robocall reminding you of that, it is legal.

If your booked travel got canceled and you receive a robocall about it, it is also legal.

As long the message is not attempting to sell you something, it is completely legal. 

Political calls:

These calls include robocalls that you might receive when a local election is coming up, and a local candidate is trying to reach out to you. 

Debt collection calls: 

These calls are completely legal, but when a robocall is trying to sell you a service to reduce your debt, authorities warn that this is a red flag for scams. 

Charity calls: 

If you have previously donated to a charitable organization or a non-profit, non-governmental organization, they might send over robocalls to inform you of an upcoming charity and fundraising. 

Healthcare provider calls: 

Some calls from your healthcare provider are permissible according to current law.

This includes calls reminding you of a prescription refill, etc. If the call is trying to sell you a healthcare product or package, it is illegal, and it might end up being a scam. 

Any calls that do not fall into the categories mentioned above are illegal robocalls. 

Government agencies, such as the FTC, are given the mandate to crack down on these illegal calls.

Officials are working together to share valuable information and resources to double down their efforts to identify and sanction erring individuals and companies responsible for illegal robocalls. 

With the changing times, government agents have adopted the use of a technology-based multilateral approach in dealing with the issues of robocalls. 

What You Can Do To Prevent Receiving Robocalls

Robocalls can be a little annoying at first, but when they start to pester you for a sustained prolonged period, it can be a downright burden. 

Robocalls can disturb you at any time of the day, may it be while you are in the middle of an important company meeting or you are just chilling at your home late at night. 

They might even ring you up while you are in the middle of an emergency! Robocalls will not consider your schedule when they strike; this is why they are considered a problem. 

We here at Consider The Consumer have compiled a helpful list of tips that you can follow to take over control of these illegal and troublesome robocalls once and for all. 

Listed below, they are easy to use and follow, that even the most non-technologically inclined individual can make use of them without any hardships at all.

Check your phone for robocall blocking features: 

Most everyday smartphones contain features that help you identify and block robocalls from ever reaching your number again.

Features may vary from the make and operating system (OS) of your phone, but they all usually let you filter the calls that will be permitted to your number to only those that are on your contacts to recording their messages to you so that you can review them at a later time. 

Contact your mobile carrier for their anti-robocall programs:

Most large phone carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have anti-robocall features built-in in their system in order to prevent robocalls from reaching your number.

These services come for free at their very basic features, but if you want to enjoy enhanced protection from robocalls being offered by your carrier, do not hesitate to reach out to them to learn more about it. 

Download third-party mobile applications:

As robocalls have grown to be big trouble, many companies have decided to cash in on this opportunity to set up services that offer clients to end their robocall issues.

Authorities caution people to be wary of these companies and the apps that they offer.

They suggest that one should read through all of the Terms and Conditions before agreeing to use their services. 

Report robocalls to the authorities: 

The FTC suggests that once you receive a robocall, take note of the number on your caller ID as well as the contact details stated in the call’s message, then hang up.

You can head on over to the site to report the incident.

Authorities will use the information contained in your report to track down where the robocall came from and, quite possibly, hold them accountable for their illegal acts. 

Editor’s Note on Robocalls – What Are They And What To Do To Stop Receiving Them:

This feature aims to give you a primer of the basic knowledge that you need to know about robocalls, what types of calls are legal, and how to stem the number of robocalls reaching your cell. 

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