Free Programs That Let You Fight Robocalls

The Federal Trade Commission says that if you answer a phone call and you’re talking to a computer instead of a human being, you’ve received a "robocall." While some can be useful for things like severe weather alerts, appointment reminders, or community updates, most robocalls involve sales pitches, political messages, and scams. The Traced Act of 2020 toughened punishments against illegal robocalls and requires phone companies to check to see if a call is genuine. Unfortunately, that hasn’t eliminated robocalls altogether. Whether you have a smartphone or a landline, there are apps you can use that won’t cost you a dime. For landlines, Nomorobo uses a simultaneous ring feature. When your phone rings, it also rings the Nomorobo service at the same time. If the service picks up the call and identifies it as a robocaller, Nomorobo hangs up the call for you. Subscribers should wait until the phone rings twice before answering. If you hear only one ring, that means Nomorobo intercepted the call and hung up because the phone number was in their database. Nomorobo is free for landlines, but if you're looking to protect your smartphone, there's also an app that's free. Should I Answer is a free app that uses a unique database of spam and telemarketing numbers. Whenever an unknown call comes, the app looks into this database. If it finds out the caller has been reported as spam, it warns you — or it can block the call before the caller even reaches you. So, if you want a free service that works like a charm, head over to Google Play and download the app.