Help me stop being terrorized by spam phone calls.
October 24, 2016 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Nearly every weekday morning I'm woken up by a phone call from the same scammer entity, it's a canned pre-recorded message trying to get me to lock in my loans or something or other. It always shows up in my caller ID as some all caps name like GETCASH, PBCASHPRO, PBPROMOTIONS, etc. They're using completely different phone numbers each time, with different area codes. I can and do block the number each time but it doesn't make a difference. What, if anything, can I do to prevent this? It feels like a daily onslaught and it seriously does wake me up, since I go to bed and start work later than most people do. I'm just so sick of it. Help!
posted by naju to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
(P.S. I can't use "do not disturb" on my phone because I might get other phone calls that are important)
posted by naju at 11:33 AM on October 24, 2016

If you know who might be calling with important information, you can set the "Do Not Disturb" to exclude certain numbers, that is, Do Not Disturb is on for all except a set of numbers you choose. I do this but exclude my husband, my mother, etc. That way no one can call me before 7 am except my immediate family.
posted by chainsofreedom at 11:35 AM on October 24, 2016 [7 favorites]

What kind of phone do you have? Many Android phones have a way to block calls from numbers not in your contacts, which should do the trick. Google your phone model and "block calls from unknown numbers" and see if there's such a setting on your phone.
posted by kindall at 11:38 AM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Bouncing off what kindall said, you can do the same with iPhones running iOS 10.1 (which just came out today.) I like the app Hiya for blocking spam calls.
posted by SansPoint at 11:40 AM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Hiya seems really promising.

(I'm on Android, btw - Samsung S7 Edge)
posted by naju at 11:43 AM on October 24, 2016

I've been super happy with Nomorobo for my VoIP line and it looks like they're getting ready to roll out the ability to block spam calls on mobile as well.
posted by zsazsa at 11:46 AM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Awesome. I just installed Hiya, and all of the spam calls I've gotten recently are now automatically marked "scam or fraud" or "suspected spam". This might've just solved my problem!
posted by naju at 11:48 AM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

TrueCaller will also do some spamchecking on inbound calls.
posted by deezil at 12:02 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Here's a YouTube video showing how to block unknown callers on the S7, no app required.
posted by kindall at 12:12 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

naju Great! I didn't know there was an Android version of Hiya, but glad there is, and glad it works for you.
posted by SansPoint at 12:39 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

In addition to blocking solutions, if it's the same scammer entity over and over there are a few things you can do:

1.) Make sure your phone number is in the Do Not Call registry.
2.) Answer one of the calls, listen to the entirety of the message, and if they are following FCC rules, they need to provide an opt-out mechanism.
3a.) If they don't provide an opt-out mechanism, report them.
3b.) If they do, do what they ask to be opted out (it should just be hitting an appropriate key combo).
4.) If, after being asked to be removed, you still get calls (you can check your blocker app's logs), report them.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:47 PM on October 24, 2016 [5 favorites]

I'd like Hiya better if it just kept those calls marked as spam from ringing through.
posted by OkTwigs at 11:06 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

It seems to be blocking them. This morning I got a notification that it had blocked a call from a telemarketer. No ringing or anything. Worked as expected! (I had to fiddle with some options in settings to block all spam etc.)
posted by naju at 2:05 PM on October 25, 2016 [4 favorites]

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