I never want my articles to be about complaining. However, I think I am not alone when I say I am sick and tired of being called 5-9 times a day from someone trying to either sell me something or telling me I owe the IRS money and to send the so called outstanding debit via gift cards. I have registered all my phone numbers on the Do Not Call List. That doesn’t seem to make a difference with the amount of calls that I am getting. Did you know that in 2017 Florida ranked #2 in the U.S. for complaints to the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry? The #1 state was California, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal. So, yes we Floridians are feeling the intrusion of these unwanted calls.
Just this past Wednesday, I was called by a computer and told that I was in trouble with the law, another caller told me that I had an issue with my energy field and finally one computer told me that I could get cheap medical insurance (yeah right). At this point, I just don’t answer my phone unless I really know who is calling me.
As a small business owner, I can get calls from all over the world from legitimate people wanting help with their real estate needs. The only problem is, when I pick up the phone, it’s “Jimmy” calling from a foreign country in a call center wanting to verify my social security number. So, not only are these calls trying my patience, they are costing me money. Sometimes people that want to buy real estate will not leave a message. They just move on to the next agent that answers his or her phone.
Is there any way to eliminate or even minimize these intrusive, disruptive calls? I took to Facebook to find out. I asked my friends if they are using any software to either identify these spam callers or block them altogether. The answer is yes!! Several of my friends on Facebook didn’t know there was an app for that and were glad my question was posted.
So, I thought I would share with you what my friends recommend. Here is a list of the top 4 apps my friends use for filtering, blocking and identifying spam, robo, telemarketing calls and texts. Although these apps may not be perfect, they are far better than having nothing.
Some of the apps do charge a fee to use them, however a few dollars a month is worth my sanity, and patience. Most of these apps are available for iPhone or Android.
Hiya: This app identifies and blocks spam as well as text messages. It also allows you to research a phone number. There is a free version as well as a premium subscription. The difference between the two is the paid version accesses more databases to identify spammers as well allowing you to look up more callers every month. The paid version runs around $15 per year.
Truecaller: There is a free and paid version. The paid version costs $18 per year. Truecaller blocks spam, identifies callers and also blocks text messages. You can also record calls.
RoboKiller: This is the app that I recently installed. Robokiller will block, identify and even answer spam callers. The answer Bots will actually engage the spam caller and keep them on the phone for a few seconds. This app won the FTC’s anti-robocall competition. It does work! Within the past 2 days, Robokiller has blocked 9 spam calls and 2 text messages for me. I have the paid version, which costs $24 a year.
Your Cell Carrier: Most cell phone carriers such as Verizon and AT&T offer their customers the option for a call blocker service. Depending on your provider, it may not be free. Check their monthly fees, they can actually be higher than paying for a third party app.
Although the Do Not Call Registry is in place, the governmental agency is so overwhelmed with complaints, they cannot possibly handle everything that comes in. Not only are spam calls annoying, they can be fraudulent and negatively impact your credit.
I did install a call blocker on my phone and will be putting it on my mother’s phone as well. Remember, senior citizens and young adults are constantly being preyed on via the phone to obtain private information that will be used against them.
Photos from Shutterstock