How to stop getting spam calls on your smartphone

How to stop getting spam calls on your smartphone
Source: Pixabay

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Major carriers are stepping up and offering protection plans against spam, scam and robocalls coming through on your smartphone, but how effective are these plans, and are they even worth it?

Barb Allen says she gets bogus phone calls all the time.

"Oh my gosh, I probably get three or four every single day," said Allen.

Mostly in the form of robocalls.

According to the most recent industry numbers, consumers average nearly 1.7-billion mobile robocalls a month.

"Cell phone carriers do have programs built into their own systems," said cyber security expert Morey Haber.

Haber says you might have to download an app.

Some carriers will automatically block calls. Others provide an advanced caller ID. Some alert you to calls likely to be spam.

Some of these services are free, but others charge a monthly fee. It may depend on the service offered and your wireless plan.

Allen says she tried a free trial for spam alert from her carrier, but she didn't believe the fee was worth it.

"Well, I was hoping that it would identify the calls a little bit better, and then I would know, 'Don't answer that potential spam', but I found it wasn't all that reliable," said Allen.

Before you decide, Haber says check the privacy policy to see what, if any, information the carrier is collecting or sharing, read reviews and research limitations on the service.

Allen says for now, she's using the settings that came with her actual phone - as calls come in, she's manually blocking them from calling again - but she isn't ruling out trying a carrier app again.

"If I thought it was very valuable and that they would block 80 percent of the calls, I would feel it would be valued to go ahead and pay extra for that," said Allen.

You can also report harassing spam calls to the Federal Communications Commission by going to its online site:

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