Robocalls have phone owners in a rage | Logged On

Robocalls have phone owners in a rage | Logged On

I’ve been using an app called Mr. Number. It’s a free download for iOS and Android. After I set it up and gave it permissions on my iPhone, it download a central database of fake numbers and started blocking them.

Frustrated by all the junk calls you’re getting? Ready to throw your phone in the river? You’re not the only one. Luckily, tech can come to the rescue.

The junk calls we’re getting now are thanks to a practice called ID spoofing, where automated robocallers are able to hide their actual number and show another number on your phone. They often choose one from your area code so you’ll think it’s a local call. Because these robocallers constantly change the numbers they use, blocking doesn’t have much effect (as you may have noticed).

Before you smash your phone in frustration, there are a few apps you can try to slow the problem. On a friend’s advice, I’ve been using an app called Mr. Number. It’s a free download for iOS and Android. After I set it up and gave it permissions on my iPhone, it download a central database of fake numbers and started blocking them. It also occasionally notifies me when a call might be spam.

It’s not perfect, but I think it’s cutting down on the problem. While I haven’t kept count, I feel like I’m getting fewer junk calls than before. They do slip through once in a while, and sometimes the app misidentifies legitimate calls (a recent automated call from PSE&G was labeled as spam), but in general I think it’s helping.

Similar apps like Nomorobo, RoboKiller, and Truecaller serve the same purpose. Many offer paid upgrade plans for better protection. I wouldn’t pay.

The scourge of robocalls has reached the FCC (which gets hundreds of thousands of complaints about the problem every month), prompting commissioner Ajit Pai to demand wireless carriers come up with an industry-wide solution by next year. He wants to see a validation system created that allows only legitimate calls to go through. That would be a blessing, but until it happens I’ll stick with Mr. Number.

Follow TROY DREIER at http://twitter.com/TDreier or e-mail him at loggedon@mac.com.

Robocalls have phone owners in a rage | Logged On

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