TECH BYTE: How to Deal with Robocalls

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — More and more robocalls are blowing up our phones.

Yes, they’re annoying, and often come in at inconvenient times.

The Better Business Bureau’s Jim Winsett says the situation with robocalls isn’t improving, and probably won’t anytime soon.

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission reported that they made up 48 percent of our phone calls.

“The forecast for this year, for 2019, that it’s not improving, and that it’ll be 52 percent of the calls that are received will be robocalls,” Winsett said.

Winsett says if someone calls you from a number you don’t recognize, don’t answer your phone.

“Or if you do answer a call, and your realize a hesitation, and it’s about to roll over, then simply hang up the phone,” he said.

If the call is from someone important, they can always text, or leave you a voice message.

You can also block the number on your smartphone.

So how can we prevent these annoying calls in the first place?

“We prevent them by, one, reporting them, helping the FTC, the Better Business Bureau, and other organizations that are trying to help manage and eliminate robocalls, report that with the BBB,” he said. “You can report that through the BBB scam tracker program. The FTC has a new program this year called Operation Call It Quits. At FTC.org, one can report robocall activities as well.”

You can also download some smartphone apps to block robocalls, like YouMail and RoboKiller.

Your phone carrier can help, as well.

Winsett says eliminating these calls is going to take some time though.

Lawmakers are just getting started.

“The good thing is there’s congressional activity taking place today, where they’re trying to create laws that when robocompanies are found, and they’re found guilty as well, is that the fines, and perhaps even jail time are significant, and hopefully that will deter robocall activity,” Winsett said.

Winsett says the Better Business Bureau is definitely getting more complaints about robocalls.

He says to report any calls that come in at inconvenient times – like early in the morning, at dinner, or bedtime.

Categories: Local News, Tech Byte, Technology

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