…and why telecoms should be required by law to provide the NoMoRobo call blocker
Did you see this amazing story? Police in India busted a ring of 61 crooks who were in the business of calling Americans, impersonating IRS agents, and threatening the marks with arrest if they didn’t pony up “late” taxes. This scam has been around for awhile, and it’s had enough press that you’d think most people would be wise to it. But no: apparently it’s true that there’s one born every day. According to Homeland Security, this merry bunch collected $3 million from feckless phone customers.
In Mumbai, $3 million goes a mighty long way…
These crooks called me at least three times that I know of before I installed the CRP V5000 call blocker that I ordered up from Amazon. Since then, they haven’t been able to get through long enough to choke out even a few words of their pitch.
US telecoms refuse to install NoMoRobo
A powerful, effective system developed over the past couple of years is called NoMoRobo. This is the only call blocking program approved by the Federal Trade Commission, which awarded its makers a prize and urged all US phone companies to make it available to customers.
Telecoms responded by failing to do so. In my parts, Cox will make it available to business customers but refuses to extend the same courtesy to home customers. This, despite figures showing that in 2016 alone, American consumers were bombarded by 2.4 billion robocalls per month! Obviously, they wish not to cut off a flow of cash from these scammers — there really is no other rational explanation.
NoMoRobo is now available for cell phones, including the iPhone, at a nominal monthly cost. To get it on a land line, you’ll need to switch to VoIP, dropping your regular telecom provider. Ooma is one service that offers NoMoRobo. To do this, you’ll need some tech proficiency — not a lot, apparently, but still, some degree of DIY is involved. Most people are pleased with NoMoRobo, which blocks nuisance calls effectively enough to make any extra cost or hassle worthwhile.
So how else can you defend yourself against robocall scammers?
There are other options. For your landline, the CRP V5000 (which comes with 5,000 pre-programmed blocked numbers) is only one of nine highly rated in-line call blockers available on Amazon.
I remain very pleased with the device, BTW. The company’s customer service can’t be beat. And though it’s a little inconvenient to ride herd on the spoofed calls and the out-of-area calls to be sure you don’t accidentally block a legitimate call, it sure as hell improves on upwards of a half-dozen nuisance calls a day.
For your smartphone, here are ten recommended call blockers that run on Android. As of late 2016, we were told a number of new apps for the iPhone were forthcoming; more recently, the Mr. Number call blocker & reverse lookup has racked up 4½ stars at the Apple store.
The only way to defeat these crooks and pests is to take their market away from them. The most effective way to do that, of course, is to force telecom companies to provide a proven technology, NoMoRobo. In the absence of government rules to enforce that, though, about the best you can do is install your own call blocker. Given the risk of fraud, to say nothing of the constant invasion of privacy and interruption of your daily life, you should get one of these systems now. Not later.