Alarmed by ubiquitous robocalls that hound people for money, the Federal Trade Commission this week advised consumers to report fraudulent calls and to consider getting blocking apps for mobile phones.
Robocall-blocking apps provide options to prescreen calls before the phone rings, to block certain types of calls that others have flagged as unwanted or fraudulent and to fend off anonymous calls that show up as “unknown.” Some apps also have a reverse-lookup function that helps detect fake caller-ID information.
“Which app works for you might depend on your phone’s operating system,” FTC consumer education specialist Alesha Hernandez advised in an article on the agency’s website. “Before you consider downloading any app, think about the call protection that you need and do your research.”
She referred consumers to the CTIA, a trade association that has a comprehensive list of call-blocking apps.
“If your mobile number isn’t already on the National Do Not Call Registry, it’s also a good idea to add it,” Hernandez wrote. “If you continue to get sales calls, at least you’ll know the callers don’t respect the law.
“If you continue to get illegal robocalls or other unwanted calls, report them to the FTC. Your complaints not only help us target scammers but also help telecommunications carriers and other industry partners that are working on call-blocking solutions.”