Lately, thousands of individuals and companies have shared a common sentiment that the number of robocalls seems to be on the rise. Unfortunately, those sentiments appear to be well-founded in fact. A study conducted by YouMail, Inc. determined that Americans – both as individuals and as companies – received approximately 30.5 billion robocalls in 2016, a shocking 19.2% increase from just the year before.
Robocalls are a hassle. They interrupt your day, they’re annoying and more specifically for companies or small business owners, they can backlog important calls from your customers or potential clients. The good news is there are some things you can do to avoid robocalls. Below are some tips to avoid those pesky robocalls.
1. Basic Precautions
Applying a little common sense before picking up the phone can really help you scale back the number of robocalls you deal with. Simply don’t answer calls from unidentified or unfamiliar numbers. If you mistakenly pick up a call that’s coming from a spam caller, your best bet is to simply hang up and don’t respond to any prompts on the other end. Some robocalls will direct you to verbally respond or press a button to be “removed” from the call list, but really, they are just looking for individuals to respond. This indicates an active line, and instead of being removed from a call list, you’re more likely to receive more calls in the future.
2. Look to Your Phone Provider
Many major telephone providers offer technology solutions to help filter out unwanted robocalls. For example, Verizon offers both a free and a pay per month Call Filter Service to its customer to help block incoming robocalls. Similarly, AT&T has created their “analytics-based blocking program,” which evaluates call patterns and scammer activity to help verify the authenticity of an incoming call. Most major telephone providers offer some sort of filtering service. The best way to find out what’s available in your network is to contact your provider.
3. Third Party Apps
In the event that your telephone provider does not offer any internal solutions for filtering out spam callers, there are a couple third party apps that can be downloaded on your phone that are simply another means to the same end. YouMail and Hiya are excellent options for mobile phone carriers and provide robocall blocking services for free. Nomorobo provides the same filtering service for VoiP (voice over internet protocol) landlines. You can also use Nomorobo for your mobile phone, but you’ll be required to pay a nominal monthly fee.
The best option for a larger business taking dozens of calls a day from unrecognized numbers is to hire an answering service. An answering service will not only know exactly how to handle an incoming robocall, but also will shield you from having to deal with those pesky calls at all. Furthermore, you can be confident you’ll never miss a call from a customer by mistake due to screening unfamiliar numbers.
Robocalls are terribly irritating and aggravating but, with these tips, you can limit the number of spam calls you receive.