TrapCall.com is one of many software solutions that claim to reduce your spam calls: www.trapcall.com/blog/how-to-stop-spam-calls. The entire article is geared toward getting you to buy into their software product by giving you a pretense of information about how to stop spoofed robocalls. The software is a TRAP itself!
It is mostly a misnomer to call it random or “cold” calling. In today’s information age, huge lists of phone numbers targeting certain markets are collected. Only the very first call is “cold”, a call you may have dismissed as unknown or innocently answered and hung up.
Let’s look at how random calling works:
- A number is chosen from a list, and an automated dialer or call-monkey [a person who acts essentially like a robot] makes the call. With each call, the call status is recorded into a database for the next call-monkey or dialer to read. These possible scenarios happen:
- If the call comes back disconnected, database is updated, and the number is not dialed again for a time. This is not helpful to an individual at all, since it came back disconnected, it is not your active number anyway. Or,
- If the call is answered, either by you or by a voicemail, then again database updates number to be active, and the game is on. The number will be called again and again attempting to connect with a real person. Or,
- You personally answer and hear some sort of recording, for which you stay on the line until an actual person picks up and you are then able to ask them what company they represent. You demand to be removed, you go to your favorite spam call website and register the phone number, and then you post a complaint to the federal trade commission website. NONE OF THIS WORKS! KEEP READING TO FIND OUT WHY!
- With each call, new information about the called number is collected, and if you happen to be the one that actually answers the call in person, you will continue to get oodles of calls, no matter how many times you say “remove my number from your list.” Why? First of all, these people do not follow the law in the first place. But even if they were to remove your number from THEIR list, there is nothing that has prevented previous sharing of your number, and the newly collected information that your number is “active”, to the next group of call-monkeys.
WHY BLOCKING PHONE NUMBERS DOES NOT WORK
It is futile to block a specific phone number because most spam calls are not coming from fixed phone numbers anyway. There is a large pool of available phone numbers that can be randomly selected by these spam callers to make their phone call. They call, they get a status on your phone–disconnected, voicemail, or answered–and hangup. Then later they proceed to call on a different randomly chosen phone number. Even if you block the first number, and the second number, in as little as a week later, both of those blocked numbers might now be legitimate numbers newly assigned to a your neighbors newly purchased cell phone! Blocking numbers is a BAD IDEA.
First of all, B. A. Computer Services is NOT selling any call block software. This article was written out of sheer hatred of getting the calls on our business lines. Secondly, these solutions are not fully tested, and do not handle every situation. Thirdly, B. A. Computer Services has never been engaged in cold-calling or using automatic dialers. We despise them altogether. Nevertheless, we CAN SAY the following methods have definitely reduced the number of calls that actually disturb us with a ringing telephone.
- Do NOT block phone numbers. In fact, we recommend you remove all blocked numbers, especially those in your local calling area code, from your blocked number list. Most numbers themselves are NOT permanently owned by the spam callers and therefore cannot be deemed to be “bad” numbers intrinsically. In a few days or months one or more of those blocked numbers will be a legitimate business or consumer, could even be your own phone number for a newly purchased phone.
- Log the number. Most cell phones save the number automatically, but as a human it is difficult to remember which number is which. The simplest method for meaningful logging is to add the number to your contacts with a tag of, “Potential Spam”, or similar descriptive name. Other valuable information can also be added to the contact’s notes so that over time you can identify the actual source of the caller.
- If your phone company offers a call spam guard, we suggest you use it. Most of these spam guards are based on probability that a call from a particular number is legitimate or not. Probability is like reporting the weather — 50% chance of rain and 50% probability of unwanted call — are both approximates, and leaves 50% possibility that the call is legitimately your doctor, lawyer, or other important caller using a phone number you didn’t expect them to use. This again is where logging all calls comes in handy. Add ALL calls to your contacts. (If desired, you can label it Z-Potential Spam, so it drops to the bottom of your contact list!)
- Put very important callers in your Starred or ICE groups. Most cell phones now have the ability to tag certain contacts with one or more tags, and your phone can be set to ring only if one of the tagged contacts are calling you. This works great for personal phones where you have a very limited number of people with whom you regularly communicate. This does not work at all for business numbers where you want to be able to receive calls from potential customers.
- A solution that works for business numbers, is to incorporate your phone number into an automatic answering service that reads off a brief menu or requires the person to press a digit on their phone pad to continue. A great many of the robot callers will instantly hangup when a call menu is encountered. Unfortunately, a small percentage of potential customers may also hangup before you are able to connect with them.
Call blocking by the number alone not only does not work in the long run, it can be a bad idea overall. There are better methods of preventing unwanted calls from ringing your phone. None of the methods are going to block 100% of the time. Some calls are legitimate businesses in your community that you actually may want to receive calls from periodically.
B. A. Computer Services is able to help you establish your In-Case-of-Emergency (ICE) or Starred call list and functionality so that only known contacts ring your phone, and all others will have to leave a message. B.A. C.S. also offers automated call assistant solutions for businesses who need to keep their number available but resistant to unwanted calls.