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How to Block Unwanted Scam Calls

By Scam Awareness | January 6, 2017

It's January and that means tax season is right around the corner! The closer it gets to April, the more robocalls you can expect from IRS scammers hoping to make some quick cash. Thankfully, the FTC has put together a list of ways on how to block robocalls and other unwanted scam calls.

  • Mobile Apps: This first option to block unwanted calls involves downloading one of several free or low cost mobile apps to your phone. These call blocking applications allow you to create blacklists of numbers that are blocked from calling your phone. Some mobile apps also let you set general parameters, such as blocking all calls from callers not in your phone's contacts list. Many of these apps also have their own blacklists of pre-blocked callers from known numbers that received high numbers of complaints. To learn more about mobile apps, read the FTC's guide.
  • Mobile Phone Features: Many mobile phones have the ability to block unwanted calls. These built-in capabilities can block calls from specific numbers and allow you to identify unwanted incoming calls to block in the future. You can also use these features to establish "do not disturb" hours when incoming calls are automatically declined.
  • Cloud-Based Services: Cloud services can also block calls for phone services provided by a cable company or other online services. Cloud-based services utilize data from many users to create comprehensive blacklists. These services allow users to choose what happens to unwanted calls. Some cloud-based services are free while others charge a monthly fee to use the service.
  • Call-Blocking Devices: You can also install devices that block unwanted calls onto your home phone line. These devices use existing blacklist databases to screen calls or will require you to create whitelists or blacklists that only allow calls from specific approved numbers. These devices may not work with all phones and cost money to purchase.
  • Carrier Services: Many phone service carriers offer services to block unwanted calls. However, there is usually a limit on the number of callers you can block and you must identify which callers to blacklist. Providers may also allow you to block calls from unknown numbers. Unfortunately, some scammers may still get through by changing their numbers and provider fake caller id information.

Stay safe!  

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