Yes, I have a landline. There are several important reasons why but the details are not important to this post. If you have a landline and you work from home, you know that your phone rings all the time with robocallers, scammers, and telemarketers even though we are on the Do Not Call List.
Then there is my cell phone that also rings all day with scammers and telemarketers. As a small business, my cell phone is my business line, and so it is published on my website and Google for business reasons. Therefore anyone can call, and they do. It has gotten so bad that a let every call go to voicemail unless the caller is in my contacts.
I have been on the search for systems that can reduce and or eliminate all these useless calls from both phones that disrupt my day. I think I have found solutions and I wanted to share them with everyone.
Landline: Robocallers & Scammers
Honestly, if I thought I could disconnect the landline, I would. But I pay next to nothing for it through our bundle with our cable company. And it is in fact, needed. But one day after a string of hang up robocalls, I googled and found an app that is supposed to block these calls, and I wanted to share my experience.
Nomorobo: Thank You For Saving My Sanity
OMG, it works! (for the 95% of the time). And it’s FREE for VoIP landlines. Yes, that is the caveat… Your landline has to be from a VoIP (voice of internet protocol) provider that has allowed the service. Lots of them offer it. Here is the list:
Adams Cable Service, AT&T U-verse, BroadVoice/Phone Power, Comcast Xfinity, ECFiber.net, Frontier Communications, Ooma Premier, Optimum, RCN, Service Electric, SELCO, Spectrum (Formerly Time Warner, Spectrum, & Bright House), Sonic, SureWest, Voip.ms, Voipo, Vonage, Wave, & 1-VoIP
How does it work?
First, know that the set up is super simple. You provide an email address, and then they send you a link to use to sign up. It takes just a couple minutes. Once you are set up and confirmed, how does it work?
When your phone rings you need to wait for the second ring before you answer the phone as Nomorobo needs the first ring to detect robocallers. If you only hear one ring and then it stops, you know a robocaller is blocked. If the phone continues ringing, you should answer it.
What happens when a robocaller gets through? Occasionally a robocaller or a telemarketer will slip through. Just like spam, they keep changing their tactics and Nomorobo keeps adapting. If you do get a robocall, you can report it, and they will investigate and add to list when appropriate.
Will this block my doctor’s office, prescription reminders, school closings, weather advisories, etc.? No. The only numbers that are blocked are illegal robocallers.
All I can tell you is that I am getting my sanity back. It is working and the longer I have had it, the fewer robocalls occur. Maybe, I am being taken off the Robocallers Sucker List. God, I hope so.
Check out Nomorobo to save your sanity.
Note: Nomorobo also has an app for mobile phones (that you have to pay for) but it is new and is getting more bad reviews than good. I am sure they will get it figured out, but mobile is an entirely different beast. I have another solution for my cell phone.
Cell Phone: Telemarketers, Robocallers, & Scammers
There are several apps in the App Store as I am sure there are in Google Play. This is what I tried and now use. This app has to also stop telemarketers because as a business line being on the Do Not Call list means nothing. Between credit card processors and SEO companies, I get five or more calls a day. Add in the tax scammers, arrest warrant scammers (that I fell for once on a horrible day that obviously got worse) and the phone is always ringing. I was hoping that a free app would work, but ultimately I am paying a monthly fee.
TruCaller: Did Not Work Well
TruCaller is free. I tried it for several days. It did not catch any calls that I am aware of, and it required a lot of effort moving the calls I got to their blocked caller list. The process was quite cumbersome. I reached out to support and they admitted that they suck with iPhones but work much better with Android. I’m iPhone, so I moved on.
Mr. Number: 80% There
Mr. Number is free. It has worked pretty well so far. It is catching most of the calls. Once you download the app, be sure to go to OPTIONS and set each type of call to “Block”. I did not do that at first., and they kept coming through as alerts which did not quiet my day.
When a telemarketer gets through you will have to block it by adding it to your personal block list within Mr. Number. Not a big deal and easy to do. BUT I recently did that with a credit card processor that kept calling and yet the call still got through. If this continues to happen, I may have to evaluate a paid option with another app.
To get this app go to the App Store or Google Play on your phone to download.
For the first time in years, I now only get a random call on either of my phones that turns out to be a telemarketer, robocaller or scammer and my sanity has finally been restored.
Now back to drinking wine.