This Is the Best Way to Fight Robocallers

You'd think 21st-century technology would have solved spam phone calls by now, but if anything, robocallers seem to be getting worse and worse. They've evolved too — some recordings even pause and laugh, as though an awkward person is really at the other end of a line. Whether you receive automated calls from an unknown number once a month or several times a day, you're probably weirded out and frustrated by it. It might feel like you're helpless against the onslaught, but you have tools to keep the calls at bay.

The first thing to recognize is that today's robocallers assume you're more likely to pick up a local number. That's why so many spambots show up on your phone display with the same first six digits as your own. In this case, your best option is to ignore or decline the call. If you do pick up, it is likely that this will lead to more calls. Don't panic — you can block problem numbers on any device. The volume should drop off the less you respond to calls.

If things get truly unmanageable, however, you do have a few more options. One is to put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry. It will not stop spammers, but you can file complaints to the Federal Trade Commission if telemarketers target you while you're on the list. You can also pay for spam-blocker apps for your phone, like RoboKiller and Truecaller. Finally, your carrier should have options available to customers for blocking robocalls. Get in touch with your provider and see how they can help filter out annoying and time-wasting interruptions.