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Spam calls, begone!

October 2, 2020 • Tech Tips

For some of us, there is no worse sound than the grating noise a ringing phone makes. The younger generations have no use for the actual phone part of a smart phone (talking to people with your actual voice? Is this still a thing?). But no matter how you feel about a ringing phone, one thing is undoubtedly true: no one likes telemarketing calls. That’s why we thought we would share with you some ways to minimize these unwanted calls.

Don’t ever, under any circumstance, answer your phone

Okay, I am mostly joking. But truly – if you are trying to get a hold of anyone under 45, it might be wise to consider other means. Because one of the easiest ways to avoid telemarketing calls is with what I like to call “phone abstinence”. Just…turn off your ringer and pretend that function on your phone doesn’t exist. Problem solved. Or solved-ish.

Get on the National Do Not Call List

I’ve heard many people say they got more calls after they went on the list. But, theoretically, if you aren’t on a business line, this should keep telemarketers (at least the ones working within the law) at bay. Telemarketers in Canada are legally obligated to register with and pay to use the do not call list. You can register your residential, wireless, fax or VoIP line here:

Just a note: this will not keep you from getting calls from political parties. To avoid those, I draw your attention back to suggestion #1. Or you can just put on your big kid pants and get involved in the political process as part of your responsibilities as an adult in a society. But that is totally up to you.

Your Phone may have solutions to spam calls

Each provider (Bell, Telus, Rogers, Virgin, etc.) has options to block anonymous calls, using “intelligent filtering of calls”, or blocks calls from suspected or known spam numbers. If you talk to whoever provides you with the cursed ability to call people with your actual voice (like a monster!), they can talk to you about options. If you have something like Shaw home phone, you can log on to your account and toggle on Spam Call Blocking.

Your actual phone (Apple, Samsung, Google, tin can, what have you) might also have options. You can usually “block this caller” on most phones (in the phone app or caller history). You can also block all unknown callers on Android by going through the phone app’s settings menu.

There are also external apps, like Nomorobo, that block spam calls and robocalls. If you need a free version, Hiya is also well-reviewed.

Have a little fun with spammers and scammers

Sometimes, some of us get great pleasure out of not only answering spam calls but toying with the person making them. Sometimes, that person is Digital Links’ own Derrick Meyer. If you didn’t follow his hilarious CRA scam call saga this June on Twitter, I highly recommend you check it out, starting here:

Avoiding nuisance calls is doable. A few changes in your settings and a quick registry on the Do Not Call list should do it. Or you can join me and millions of other disillusioned phone-balkers, and just shut off your ringer. Or be like Derrick and make them regret ever calling you.

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