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Data Reveals that Spam-Blocking Apps Downloads Have Soared

Global SensorTower data has shown that spam-blocking apps’ daily usage is much higher than ever, suggesting that robocalls and robotexts are increasing.

Robocalls are out of control despite the best efforts of the FFC and attorney generals across the country. Recently, Spam-blocking apps have had a surge in downloads in the United States, and daily usage is much higher than ever, suggesting that robocalls and robotexts are increasing. Among them, RealCall has quickly become one of the most popular mobile security apps, despite being relatively new to the market, according to new data from Sensor Tower and its digital ad spend tracking platform Pathmatics

It is well-documented that robocalls and robotexts bring society enormously catastrophic high losses. In 2021, robocallers bombarded Americans more than 50 billion times, with around 60% of those calls being spam and scams. The report from the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) reveals that 60 million Americans lost money to scam calls in 2021, with a total loss of just under $30 billion. The median loss for most people was $1,800, and for consumers over 80 years old, the median loss was $3,000.

Facing the rampant robocalls and robotexts, how do ordinary people protect themselves from the latest robocalls? Carriers, voice service providers, and third-party blocking & analytics companies are improving their call blocking and labeling services and using new data to detect robocalls better. They provide users with more possibilities and options to avoid being annoyed by endless robocalls and robotexts. Here are some useful call-blocking tools and resources.

Use Third-Party Robocall Blocking Apps for Extra Protection

Consumers can sign up with a third-party service or download a third-party app to block suspected unwanted calls for their home phone or cell phone. Most spam-blocking apps are effective for robocalls and robotexts. These companies have come up with some sophisticated ways to automate the process.

  • RealCall

RealCall is a third-party spam-blocking app. It can automatically detect and blocks spam calls on phones. It uses a database of known scammers, continuous iteration of blocking rules, and customer feedback to identify new bad actors so that it helps stay ahead of spammers before answering unknown calls with advanced blocking technologies. Explain its working logic simply: every number reached to you would run through its call filter’s database, and if there is a match, its spam protection engine automatically blocks the spam calls. Some people would worry about whether legitimate numbers will be blocked. Because of the real-time updated database, the system allowlist, and custom block rules, calls from legitimate companies, schools, hospitals, and government agencies would not be blocked.

With RealCall, Users can also use Answer Bots, a collection of pre-recorded audio messages designed to fight back against any calls identified as spam based on a robot answering service. Besides that, Reverse Phone Lookup provided by RealCall is a fast and reliable service that allows you to search any phone number and instantly find out to whom this number is registered, such as the owner’s name, address, email address, title, company, and number’s risk reporting, etc.

  • RoboCall Blocker

Robocall Blocker is dedicated to filtering and eliminating unwanted calls for users, especially robocalls, spam calls, and telemarketing calls. Robocall Blocker is a choice to end phone spam for good.

RoboCall Blocker is not different from RealCall, Robokiller, or Truecaller. They all have free and paid versions and work the same way. To ordinary people, using spam-blocking apps is for safety. However, Truecaller, the Swedish company, has used India’s lack of a comprehensive legal framework surrounding data protection to advance its business. Do not ignore your data protection if you use a third-party spam-blocking app. Choosing an app that is reliable and easy to use is essential. If it can be free, it is undoubtedly the best way out.

Get Carriers’Built-in Spam-Blocking Service

The following built-in services will be your gospel if you are an AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile customer. These Carriers’ built-in spam-blocking services are free and immensely useful. Of course, if you want higher quality service, you can upgrade your corresponding subscription according to your service provider.

  • AT&T Call Protect

AT&T Call Protect is a free network-based service that gives eligible AT&T wireless customers with HD Voice more control over unwanted calls on their smartphones. This solution harnesses the power of the AT&T network to give customers automatic fraud blocking and suspected spam call warnings. AT&T wireless customers can upgrade to AT&T Call Protect Plus (In-app purchase) with Caller ID, Custom Call Controls, and Reverse Number Lookup.

  • Verizon Call Filter

Verizon’s free Call Filter app helps Verizon Wireless customers avoid unwanted spam and robocalls. It lets you screen and blocks spam calls automatically based on risk level. Furthermore, you can search Verizon’s spam database to see if a number has already been identified as spam. Upgrade to Call Filter Plus for enhanced protection with Caller Name ID, personal block lists, spam lookup feature, and more.

  • T-Mobile Scam Shield

Scam Shield also provides the features like Scam block, Scam reporting, CallerID, etc. You can easily manage anti-scam features in the free Scam Shield app and take even more control when you upgrade to premium features.

Here are some vital tips if you don’t want to cost money.

Don’t Respond to Junk Robocalls and Robotexts

If you get a cold call or message trying to sell something, ignore it. Most robocalls and robotexts are usually illegal.

Take robotexts as an example. The Federal Communications Commission warned Americans of the rising threat of attacks by smishing or robotexts (as the FCC calls them). The US Communications Watchdog’s Robocall Response Team said, “The FCC tracks formal consumer complaints about unwanted text messages, which have risen steadily in recent years from approximately 5,700 in 2019, 14,000 in 2020, 15,300 in 2021, and 8,500 through June 30, 2022.” Robotexts have proliferated and become particularly problematic because the fraudsters combine a series of phishing skills with psychological tricks. Take pig butchering as an example. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, it is a combination of love traps and cryptocurrency fraud that has frightened Americans in recent years, which caused Americans $429 million in losses in 2021.

Add your phone number to FTC’s Do Not Call List. 

Nobody wants to receive unsolicited phone calls. There is something you can do to stop getting them, and that is to add your phone number to FTC’s Do Not Call List. You should call 1-888-382-1222 using the phone you want to register for the Do Not Call list. It’s best to register your home phone and cell phone number. File a complaint with the FTC if you continue to receive spam calls 31 days after registering your phone number.

Remove Yourself from People Search Sites

People search websites are a goldmine for anyone looking to scam you, such as Spokeo, FastPeopleSearch, PeekYou, LocatePeople, and MyLife. These sites aggregate information on you and create a profile online. Since anyone can access the information, chances are high that robocallers will use the information against you.

“Even seemingly innocuous information can be leveraged by scammers to gain more sensitive information,” says Dimitri Shelest, CEO and Founder at OneRep, a platform that helps people remove personal information from the web. “Many scammers use programs to scrape together as many numbers from these sites as they can and then attack them with robocalls,” Shelest says.

To prevent robocalls, proactively removing yourself from people’s search sites is one of the most effective actions.