Hackernoon logoTired of Spammers: 3 ways to Know a Scam is Calling and Protect yourself by@emmy-stewart

Tired of Spammers: 3 ways to Know a Scam is Calling and Protect yourself

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@emmy-stewartEmmy Stewart

A tech freak and Android Lover

Your mobile is ringing non-stop, and you sprint over at a super-human speed to attend the call, thinking that perhaps 'Grandma is not well!', only you're listening to the bots talking on the other end. Well, sometimes it gets worse, especially if you worry about your family's safety or a work emergency. What if it is a call from the school? Are the kids alright? What if a project is stuck? Maybe my team needs me? We all have been there and felt the exact same blend of anger and relief flood you over simultaneously. So how do you know if you're getting the right call?

Ways to know whether or not a scammer is calling

The good news is there are ways to get ‘around’ the spam calls and not have to answer them if you do not wish to. And how do we do that? Let us take a look at the three prime ways to know a scam is calling:
1. Block them Altogether
This is a tedious method, where you actually need to set aside and block the Spammers manually, one after another. Hard work? But totally worth it. Here is how you do it.
For iOS: Click on the PHONE APP, go to the RECENTS, now tap on the ‘blue information’ icon visible on the right of the number in question. 
For Android: Go to RECENT at the PHONE APP, now simply long-press the number that has been bothering you and click on BLOCK. There are also a few Android models that allow the user to REPORT the number along with the BLOCK option.
2. Pay your way to protection
As funny as it might sound, this is in fact a great option to get rid of spammers altogether. These are ‘security apps’ provided by your telecom operator designed to block your spammers in exchange for a fee. Well, the good news is that there are also a few great ‘security apps’ that are absolutely free and for the same purpose. For different operators you get different Call protect apps. For example, AT&T have their call protection app with name “AT&T Call Protect.” So, how do you go about this? It is quite simple. 
Firstly, you need to download one of these app on to your phone. 
Secondly, these apps do not BLOCK suspects right away but offers you the option to block the suspected number fished out by the app. These numbers are usually displayed as ‘SUSPECTED SPAMS’ and the user needs to click on the BLOCK option that is shown next to it.
However, the user needs to bear in mind that this option can be availed only if you are a postpaid customer. Many apps do offer a monthly trial followed by a few bucks monthly subscription fee. There are a few limitations to the free Call Protect services like these don’t work on ‘unknown callers,’ and the Pre-paid customers cannot use it altogether.
The Call protect apps that come with a certain fee are a little bit more convenient. These software are designed to identify the spam callers or any number, not on your contacts. It also recognizes the robocalls and spammers and suggests a ‘threat level’ to the user to be able to better judge for themselves if the number needs to be blocked or not.
The spam database keeps on updating so chances are your spammer will end up in the list as well. However, like all things great, these apps also has its own set of disadvantages:
  • It does not block ANY contacts altogether
  • Many of these apps are designed only to ‘suggest’ you not answer a certain number
  • The phone will continue to ring whether the call is spam or not. The App does not and cannot stop the ‘phone’ to not respond in the first place.
3. Bring-on the THIRD PARTY 
Well, if nothing else works, you need to get the tough guys to do the job for you. These are the all-cool third-party services that are designed to block the spams all together. The best part about these apps is that they can prevent the Robocall from ever ringing your phone in the first place. However, these third-party services come with a fee; nothing you cannot afford for a little bit of ‘sweet privacy.’
They work in a simple manner, i.e., by continually updating their list with the spammers, the scammers, and the Robocallers. This ‘database’ is utilized simultaneously to further block the irritating calls from getting through to you in the future.
You can also use free phone number lookup and web calls with some third party websites. The working is quite a fun one, where the website runs a ‘match test’ of a specific incoming call through the existing list of scammers, and once a ‘match is found,’ the number is blocked. Simple!
Final Words
This is quite convenient as you need not have to make a run for your phone because guess what? It won’t ring in the first place at all if spam has been identified. The best part about the third-party services is that they also offer you a free trial. This allows you to better judge for yourself if the app works well for you.

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