But, you now have more ways than ever to fight back.
Scammers moving to cell phones
Since so many people have dumped their land line, the shady marketers making those credit card and “free vacation” calls are now targeting our private cell phones.
In addition, the rise of VOIP (internet based) phone calls mean they can make millions of calls a day at no charge, where 10 years ago they would have to pay for each outgoing call.
Add to that the overseas scammers pretending to be FBI or IRS agents threatening us with arrest, and every call you answer now is a potential hassle.
Kim Jones says phony IRS agents, sheriff’s deputies, timeshare hawkers, and credit consolidators ring her iPhone every day.
“I can show you my call log, where the same number comes through 2 or 3 times a day,” the frustrated woman said. “But I’ve reported it, and I still keep getting this call.”
Billions of calls
It’s sometimes called cell phone spam, and the Federal Trade Commission estimates computerized robocallers made 4 billion of them last year.
Worse, many now spoof their number, making it appear the IRS, the White House, or even one of your neighbors is calling.
But the good news is that several apps will now block them.
Blocking apps with the highest ratings at the iTunes store or Google Play include:
- Privacy Star
- Mr Number
- Calls Blacklist
- True Caller
- AT&T Robocall Blocker (for AT&T smartphone customers)
If you have just an old-style landline, Amazon sells several Caller ID units that also claim to block marketing calls.
Most popular blocker
The most popular is NoMoRobo which works on internet-based landline phones as well as iPhones and Androids (unfortunately not for old-fashioned copper land lines)
Its founder recently testified before Congress, claiming the 10-year-old Do Not Call list no longer works, as it stops only legitimate companies, such as banks and insurance companies from calling
The $5 a month NoMoRobo service compares your incoming call with a list of millions of robo-callers and sends questionable calls to your voicemail, where most scammers will not leave a message.