Ever get a mysterious hang-up call? Most of us are hit by unwanted calls every day. There are close to twenty-seven billion, yeah I said billion, robocalls made to phones in the U.S. every year. Studies show about half of all phone calls are robocalls.
Most are scams, though some are political or charitable solicitations. But what about those mysterious hang-up calls? The ones where they hang up right after you answer. Every. Single. Time. Why call just to hang up? Is someone trying to harass you? The real reason is pretty surprising. Hanging up on you earns money for the guys on the other end.
Let’s look at why.
These pests use caller ID to earn money for bothering you. Yep, the very system designed to fight the problem. The phone company pays a small fee to the database storing the phone number every time a number is displayed on a caller ID system.
The company the call originates from also receives a fraction of a cent in fees as well. Doesn’t sound like much, until you stack up calling the hundreds of millions of households with landlines in the US several times a day.
Signed up for the Do Not Call Registry? It doesn’t matter. These crooks don’t care. They are also generally out of the country and out of reach of the Federal Trade Commission.
But there are ways to stop robocalls on both land lines and your cell phone.
Nomorobo is a free service for landlines that blocks almost all robocalls. This includes traditional landlines and landlines through your cable company. It blocks calls using a simultaneous ring. Your call goes to two phones at the same time. Nomorobo picks up the call and the phone stops ringing. The company uses software to screen the calls. Legitimate calls are sent on to your home phone. Most robocalls get hung up on without you ever hearing the ring.
The service is free for you to use at home. Businesses and other organizations like EMS services pay for the service to keep their lines from being clogged by robocalls.
It’s not available with every phone service. Here’s how to find out if you’re eligible.
How To Sign Up
To sign up for Nomorobo, head to their website: http://www.nomorobo.com/
When you first get there, there an informational video that explains how the site works.
Click the Get Started button. Choose between a smartphone or landline. Landlines are free, there’s a fee for smartphones. But I’ll show you later on in the article why you might not need this service for your smartphone.
If your phone is with your cable company, pick Internet Landline. If you still use a regular old phone line, choose Traditional Phone.
Type in your phone number to find out if the service is available.
Or check the list of providers.
Nomorobo will send you an e-mail if your carrier supports the service. To register, just follow the steps provided.
Nomorobo offers a paid service for smartphones but the good news is that you probably don’t need it. Check the call settings on your smartphone.
Most phones and carriers offer features that allow you to block or silence calls from sketchy sources. Since they vary from phone to phone, you’ll probably have to check the online help section for your particular phone and phone carrier.
Just make sure you have all call protection options turned on.