BUFFALO, N.Y. -- There are few things I hate as much as robocalls. They're annoying, they're a burden and in many cases, they're illegal.
Unfortunately, for this problem, there's no quick fix. In fact, the FTC is offering $50,000 in cash for any company or individual able to create a solution to block illegal robocalls.
If that doesn't sound desperate (or creative), I certainly don't expect a quick fix in the immediate future. Until a solution arrives, many of you have asked for assistance and here's what I do:
I never answer a call from a number I don't recognize on caller ID and then I follow up on that with an app:
My favorite recent app is "Robocall Lookup Tool."
Right now, this is solely an iPhone app, but it allows you to submit a robocall number to a database and gives the caller an opportunity to screen the numbers from missed calls. The app also predicts whether that strange number on your caller ID is a robocaller. Its probability meter is excellent and this free resource is your best defense at the moment.
My other favorite resource is a free website that does the same thing as the app I just mentioned. "800 Notes" [http://800notes.com/] is not exactly the most beautiful website I've ever seen, but it allows you to find out who's calling you and why. 800notes.com also reports telemarketing calls you receive to the national Do Not Call List, reports fraud and gives you a way to check out a business. Just type in the number of the person/company calling you and you'll be able to cross-check those digits against a massive database. 800Notes.com is also a way to stay on top of phone scams and this community-driven forum is the best one I've used online.
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