Hello? It’s Me, Robocaller. Here Are 3 Tips to Combat the Machines

By Paul Riegler on 9 May 2018
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The ingenuity of the presumed humans behind robocalls oftentimes seems boundless, a fact that is small comfort to the humans whose mobile phones and legacy (landline) instruments are flooded by call after call.

Just to review, in case you’ve been on an extended Martian holiday, a robocall is a phone call placed by computer to deliver either a human being or a sometimes interactive pre-recorded message. They are typically associated with a variety of scams as well as with political and telemarketing telephone campaigns.

The problem of robocalls is getting worse by an order of magnitude. Congress is working on new legislation to address the problem although many such calls originate overseas, where the U.S. government has no authority. Federal regulators have allowed mobile operators to block some robocalls at the request of customers.

The Federal Trade Commission held a contest – back in 2015 – inviting developers to submit entries to the Robocalls: Humanity Strikes Back contest and awarded the best entry, RoboKiller (see tip number one below) a prize of $25,000.

Still, the flood of calls continues. Here are three tips on how you can stem the tide.

1.) There’s an app for that. Several developers have apps that will intercept calls from suspected robocallers. While some will merely deliver a message that your number is not in service, one, RoboKiller, turns the tables on the robocalls with its own bots that fool the live person into thinking he is talking to the called party, albeit with hilarious results.

2.) Ask your mobile operator. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have multiple tools to combat the problem. Call customer service and enquire.

3.) Register. List your mobile and landline phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. The registry is helpful to reduce calls originating in the United States but has limited reach beyond its borders.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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