How Seniors Can Stop Annoying Robocalls

One of the most annoying trends that has persisted over the last few years is robocalls. You see an unknown number flash, you pick it up expecting it to be something important...but nope, it’s just spam. Getting these calls can be incredibly frustrating and even more so when you realize these spammers specifically target seniors. Although there are some bills in the works to stop these calls in the Senate, that is still going to take some time to come into fruition. So in the meanwhile, how do you stop getting these calls?

The basic steps

The most basic way to stop these calls is to:
  1. Not pick up unknown numbers
  2. Not respond to anyone if you do pick up. This means you do not answer any questions or confirm any information.
Remember, if it’s important, they will leave a voicemail. And if you keep getting calls from the same number and they don’t leave a voicemail, Google the number. Usually, you’re not the only one receiving calls and chances are someone has already flagged them as a spammer. The other step, of course, is to put your number on the Do Not Call list. This is important, even if it seems like a lot of effort, it’s worth it. The FTC provides a detailed guide on how to add cell phones and landlines to do not call lists. You can add your number via phone 1-888-382-1222, or online on the Do Not Call website.

Other steps

Landlines allow you to trigger ‘anonymous call rejections,’ which is another way to block these calls. This is essentially a feature wherein your landline will reject calls who block their caller ID (basically, telemarketers). To use this function, you can try dialing *77 from the landline, or call your provider to see how this can be enabled. There are also free services, the most well-known being Nomorobo that can help block these calls. While it does not work on landlines, it might be worth trying on cell phones. It can detect robocalls based on its own information on blacklisted offending numbers and block these from your phone. While not 100% effective, it is still worth trying. If after taking these steps, you still find yourself on the receiving end of these robocalls, it’s time to take action! Illegal robocalls can be reported to the FTC via or call 888-382-1222. Remember, if you do not report it, they cannot investigate it. The more complaints they receive about numbers, the better they can be about blacklisting repeat offenders, so it is definitely worth complaining. Getting robocalls can be incredibly annoying, but take comfort in the fact that there are laws being passed to help prevent this kind of spam. And while it may take some time for these bills to pass, you can use these tips to help curb some of the robocalls you receive.