It’s 5:30pm and you’re running late for an appointment. You grab your wallet, cell phone, keys, jacket and practically fall out of the house. As you lock the front door you hear the house phone ring. “Do I get it?”, “No one important calls the house line.”, “But what if it’s important?”. You then find yourself dropping everything and running back in to get the call.
You pick up and say “Hello”. A faint voice responds “Hi there. Can you hear me?” (with some audible fumbling). You say “Yes, who is this?”. The voice then says “Oops! (giggle) Sorry my headset wasn’t plugged in. This is Becky and you have been selected to take advantage of a special rate…”. You then realize that you’ve been speaking to a recording or robocall with cleverly placed pauses intended to make you think you’re talking to a real person. What’s worse is that you fell for it. Again. “I HATE YOU BECKY!”
Fortunately, I’ve found a two-pronged approach to help eliminate, or at least drastically reduce, these unwanted calls to both your home and mobile phones.
First you should register your phone number(s) with the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry. The easiest way to register is by calling 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you would like to register. You can also register online at donotcall.gov and receive an email confirmation. After registering it can take up to 31 days for your number to be removed.
Note: For the next step, you will need to know your login for your home phone company’s website (eg. Optimum.net, Verizon.com, Vonage.com, etc.) and be able to access your calling features such as call forwarding.
Next, visit Nomorobo.com (clever) and complete the FREE registration process. You will then have to log in to your phone company’s website and add the Nomorobo toll-free number to your “Find Me” calling feature. This allows every incoming call to ring on your home phone and on Nomorobo’s system simultaneously. If Nomorobo senses a robocall, it will intercept the call and all you will hear is half a ring which indicates an intercepted robocall. “Take THAT Becky!” Only reported, illegal robocallers are blocked so automated calls from your doctor’s office, pharmacy, school closings, weather advisories and emergencies are still allowed to call you.
If you are among the growing number of people that are even getting robocalls on your mobile phone, Nomorobo has a solution for that too. You will have to download the Nomorobo app to your mobile phone and shell out a nominal fee of $24 per year. You can then choose if you want robocalls to be flagged as “Robocaller” or have them blocked and sent to voicemail.
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