If you have a phone and a pulse you probably already know and despise calls from robocallers, telemarketers, scammers and spammers. Nuisance calls distract us from our families and friends, interrupt our work, and, in the worst cases, try to steal our money and our peace of mind. Spam Filters and other call blocking technologies can be helpful, but finding a complete solution that will actually stop the majority of nuisance calls is difficult. Fortunately, TrapCall’s new spam protection features just took a big bite out of the more than 2.3 billion spam calls made each month in the United States, and it’s about to get even better.
Who Are These Spam Callers?
Stopping spam calls starts with understanding who is making them and who is making money off of them.
Nuisance calls basically fall into two large categories:
Robocalls – automated telephone calls that deliver a recorded message
Telemarketing Calls – Live direct marketing calls in which a salesperson solicits prospective customers to buy products or services
And they are further subcategorized as:
Legal vs. illegal — According to the FCC, “All non-emergency robocalls, both telemarketing and informational, require a consumer’s permission to be made to a wireless phone.” However, when it comes to telemarketing, the FTC explains, “Calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities and telephone surveyors are permitted.”
Spammers — Spam refers to any nuisance call made to your phone. While most all of us agree that the vast majority of these calls are annoying, not all of them are illegal, dangerous, or even designed to scam you out of money. Surveys, for example, may interrupt your dinner, but they may not be intrinsically harmful.
Scammers — These are the dangerous nuisance calls. People trying to steal your identity or extract money from you are considered scammers. The most well known scams include: the IRS phone scam: where callers pretend to be IRS agents and scare consumers into wiring them money to avoid criminal prosecution, and Phony Tech Support and Credit scams, where the caller pretends to be from “Cardmember Services” or “Microsoft Support” and warns you of either a problem with your computer or credit card account that only they can fix when you give them your personal information.
Legal calls are more likely annoying than dangerous, but scam calls are particular nefarious. They often target the elderly and poor with fake sweepstakes, scare tactics, and other methods of harassment that can cheat people out of their wealth and reputations. It is best not to answer any of these calls, but it is also smart to employ technology to protect yourself.
So Why Don’t the Phone Companies Stop Nuisance Calls?
There are three basic reasons why phone companies have not done much to provide good spam filtering solutions to customers:
- It is not an easy problem to solve. The phone network is a complex web of carriers and solutions providers. Without cooperation, it is difficult to stop these calls; especially from calls originating overseas.
- Money. Placing phone calls is inexpensive for telemarketers and robocallers; they can make millions of illegal calls at little cost and with almost no risk. Unfortunately, phone companies make money when they connect these calls to your phone. Unless their competitors are offering a better solution to stop nuisance calls, carriers have little incentive to invest money into preventing these calls.
- Regulations. Telecommunications is highly regulated by the government to create competition and fairness, but this also slows down innovation and reduces the risks carriers are willing to take.
New laws and new cooperation between the government, telecom companies, and third party providers are hoping to improve the telemarketing and robocall situation, but it’s unlikely to happen any time soon.
How Can TrapCall Help?
TrapCall’s new spam protection feature will stop more than 85% of known nuisance calls, and it’s an included feature with all subscription plans. There is essentially no set up, but you must have the TrapCall app installed on your phone. If you already have a TrapCall account, just make sure you have allowed TrapCall access to your contacts. If you are new to TrapCall, install the free app, purchase a subscription and allow TrapCall access to your contacts as you complete the signup and activation process.
Not only will you take the first big step in stopping spam calls, you will have TrapCall’s patented blocked call unmasking service working for you around the clock.
How TrapCall’s Spam Protection Works:
TrapCall’s spam protection maintains a single contact in your phone’s address book named “Flagged as Spam”. If you get a call from a number on TrapCall’s list of known spammers this contact will be shown when the call is received. Your screen will appear red with a “Flagged as Spam” warning message, and you will know instantly that the call is most certainly from a known spammer. From there, you can decide whether to answer or to decline the call. You can also block future calls from these spam numbers.
What’s really powerful though is that more than 35% of scam and spam callers use blocked caller ID to trick users into answering their calls. On iPhone that means the words “No Caller ID” appear when the phone rings and on Android the screen will either show, “Restricted,” “Private,” “Unknown,” or “Blocked” as the call rings.
Fortunately, with TrapCall you can unmask that number to reveal the real number behind that blocked caller ID. If it is a known spammer, the TrapCall “Flagged as Spam” contact will be activated following the unmasking. So in real-time, you can unmask the blocked call and reveal it as spam. This makes TrapCall far more effective than other spam protection systems.
The Next Big Step in Stopping Spam Calls
TrapCall’s plans have expanded to bring the power of spam protection services into a live caller ID option for Premium and Ultimate subscribers. This means you will be able to use TrapCall’s live ringback feature to stop an even larger list of known spammers, telemarketers, robocallers, and scammers in real-time, providing protection from over 1 million nuisance callers.
Most people use TrapCall because it is the only fast, effective, and reasonably priced solution to the problem of harassment from blocked/No Caller ID/Unknown calls, but this new Spam protection feature means that TrapCall is much more powerful than protection from just blocked calls.
It is a solution to all harassing phone calls whether they are blocked calls from people you know, robocallers, telemarketers, or scammers.