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How to stop the unstoppable robocall

How to stop the unstoppable robocall. (MGN)

Don’t you just hate getting Robocalls? They can be constant, even when you’re already on the do not call registry.

So much so, that a judge just ordered Dish Network to pay $280 Million for making millions of illegal robocalls to numbers on the Do-Not-Call Registry.

But even with that type of penalty, the calls keep coming.

So, we looked into some way to stop those irritating calls.


GROWING PROBLEM

Carol Berkow is frustrated by robocalls. “Some of them promise offers of a vacation and a complimentary stay. I get about 5 or 6 robocalls a week from area codes all over the country. But I have a baby, and I’m always concerned it could be something about the baby,” she said.

According to a recent Consumer Reports survey, 62 percent of AT&T, Centurylink and Verizon customers reported receiving 6 or more robocalls per week!

And, those are the ones they can spot.

Margo Gilman, Money Editor for Consumer Reports said, “Sometime these calls can go directly into your voicemail box without your phone ever ringing. They can fill up your inbox and block important messages, which is why we believe it’s important that consumers have protections from them.”


IN DEVELOPMENT

So, how do you stop scammers and telemarketers who can constantly fake their phone number?

Arizona State University researchers Adam Doupe and Raymond Tu decided to use a similar security concept from the internet called, “The Green Pad Lock.”

Doupe said, “The green lock icon gives some assurances that you are talking to who you think you are.”

At first callers would have to apply for verification from an outside server.

Then, people with the app would see the calls marked as verified.

Doupe said, “If anybody else spoofs it, they don’t have that cryptographic signature. So, that’s going to fail. So, we’ll either say, ‘Hey, we don’t know this caller ID is legitimate or not,’ or we can say, ‘Somebody is actively trying to spoof it.”

Eventually, they hope to get carriers to build the system into the phone network so no app would be required.

Doupe said, “Maybe not in a year, but maybe in 5 years this is the standard.”


CURRENT OPTIONS

Right now, cell phone carriers have some options available.

-AT&T has a free app that automatically blocks scam calls for iPhone 6 and higher and Androids that can use AT&T HD Voice.

-T-Mobile offers free scam call blocking.

-Sprint and Verizon have apps that display the caller’s name on your incoming screen for callers who are not already in your contacts list.

-Verizon also makes it easy to sign up with the popular robocall blocker, “Nomorobo.”

Another way consumers can fight back is to report robocalls to the F-T-C. Just write down the number and submit it.

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