Are you frustrated and annoyed by a constant barrage of telemarketing calls from all over the country?
First, if you haven’t already done so, register your landline (Ha ha ha! Yeah, right.) and mobile phone number with the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry. That won’t stop all the spam calls, but it’s a good first step.
AT&T Call Protect… if you’re on AT&T. (Read on if not.)
A couple of months ago, I got an email from AT&T (my cellular carrier) that I could sign up for a free service called AT&T Call Protect. It’s a service that does two magical things… First, it flat out blocks calls from phone numbers that have been reported as spammers in their database. Second, for calls that are likely telemarketers, the incoming caller ID says in all caps, TELEMARKETER as it scrolls the caller ID across the screen.
I still get voicemails that I have to clean up, but I’ve noticed that I am getting fewer spam calls and wasting less time answering calls from numbers I don’t recognize. (The spam calls were getting so bad that I’ve stopped taking calls from numbers I don’t recognize. If someone isn’t in my contact list, they have to leave a message. There are pros and cons to this approach, but it is working well in my opinion.)
AT&T Call Protect Features
- Automatic Fraud Blocking detects and blocks calls from likely fraudsters.
- Suspected Spam Warning identifies telemarketers and other suspected spam calls.
- Personal Block List lets you block unwanted calls by number.
- Enhanced Caller ID† identifies unknown caller details.
So I did some research. T-Mobile has a similar offering. Here’s how to check if this is enabled and turn it off and on if you are a T-Mobile customer.
T-Mobile postpaid customers can also enable Scam ID for themselves beginning April 5 by dialing #ONI# (#664#) and pressing the call button in their phone’s dialer. To turn on Scam Block, customers can dial #ONB# (#662#) or, to turn it off, dial #OFB# (#632#). To check whether Scam Block is on or off, customers can dial #STS# (#787#).
Here’s a page that lists call blocking features offered by Verizon. It wasn’t clear to me whether or not this functionality is a paid service. This article makes me think you might have to pay for it… strange when the other carriers are offering it for free.
Sprint has a premium caller ID feature that costs $2.99/month.
There’s an App for that: Nomorobo
Available for iOS and Android, Nomorobo can block a spam call and send it to voicemail or allow it through and identify it as phone spam. Nomorobo costs $1.99 a month, though you can try it out for a free two-week trial. To learn more, check out PCMag’s review of Nomorobo.
I found this app in my research for this blog post, so I just installed it and started my free trial. If it works well, I may do a follow up story focused on Nomorobo.
Thanks for reading! I hope you found this helpful. Let me know if any of these steps makes your life better… it’s always good to hear that I am making a difference. :)
UPDATE #1: 3/10/19 – I ended up uninstalling Nomorobo… AT&T Call Protect was doing such a good job that only a couple of numbers were flagged by Nomorobo in the 10 days I tested. Not a bad app, but AT&T call protect is free.
UPDATE #2: 3/11/19 – Mic sent me a hilarious YouTube video about Robocalling. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO0iG_P0P6M