We’ve talked a lot about phone scams, but a reader wants to know if there’s a way to put a stop to them: “Over the past week I have been inundated with scam type calls. They are definitely increasing. How about some suggestions on how to stop them? The FCC seems powerless and very inefficient. The don’t call list is unable to stop them apparently as well.”
The Do Not Call list won’t help because only legitimate businesses have anything to gain by following the law. People who don’t mind lying about being from Microsoft don’t care if you want them to call.
It’s hard for the FTC to do anything about most of these places because the calls come from outside the country where they have no power. Even the scams coming from within the U.S. are hard to track because they can frequently change phone numbers and locations. By the time officials can figure out where these crooks are operating, they’ve likely moved on.
Many people turn to service like NoMoreRobo to filter out unwanted calls. The service if free on Voip landlines and $4.99 if you want it on your mobile phone. This service intercepts calls and screens them for illegal robocalls. If they detect a scammy automated call, they hang up. Your phone rings once to let you know a call has been intercepted. Head on over to their website to watch a video that explains how it works.
They use a database of illegal robocallers that they’ve put together with their own research, user reports, and reports from the Federal Trade Commission. Legitimate automated calls such as school closing and doctor’s appointment reminders are still permitted through.
Getting set up is pretty easy. Just scroll to the bottom of the website and click Sign up now! at the bottom of the page.
Then enter information about the carrier and the type of connection you have.
Nomorobo is currently supported on these VoIP carriers: AT&T U-Verse, Astound Broadband, BroadVoice/PhonePower, Cablevision/Optimum, Comcast, Frontier, Sonic, SureWest, Time Warner, Ooma Premier, Verizon FiOS, Voipo, VoIP.ms, Vonage, 1-Voip, and Wave Broadband.
But if you submit your carrier, you’ll be notified if the service becomes available. Of course, not all scam calls are robocalls and some of these crooks can still get through.
The best way to avoid being a target is to never take any of them up on their offers. Once you’ve bitten that hook, they will target you again and again and sell your name to other scammers as a potential target.
Remember, if someone calls you and says they are Microsoft or any other tech company and they’ve detected a virus or a problem with your computer, it is always a scam.