(NEWSCHANNEL 3) – In June, a federal judge ordered Dish Network to pay a $280 million fine, for making millions of illegal robocalls to numbers on the national do-not-call registry.
The problem has gotten worse, and now consumers are being bombarded by these calls straight to their cellphones.
Consumer Reports explains what you can do now to stop those irritating calls.
Carol Berkow receives a lot of robocalls to her mobile phone.
“I get about five or six robocalls per week–the area codes are from all over the country. I have a baby and I’m always concerned it could be something about the baby,” she said.
According to a recent Consumer Reports survey, at least 62-percent of AT&T, CenturyLink, and Verizon customers reported receiving six or more robocalls per week. And now, consumers are getting even more of these aggravating messages.
“We’re hearing about ringless voicemail–where calls are directly deposited into consumers’ voice mail boxes without the phone ever ringing. They can fill up your voicemail inbox and block important messages–which is why we believe it’s important that consumers have protections from them,” said Consumer Reports Money Editor Margot Gilman.
For calls that aren’t bypassing the ring, phone carriers are now offering different tools to help.
AT&T has a free app for its customers that automatically blocks scam calls for iPhones 6 and higher, and Androids that can use AT&T HD Voice. T-Mobile offers free scam call-blocking, and Sprint and Verizon have apps that display the caller’s name on your incoming screen for callers who are not already in your Contacts List.
Verizon has also made it easier to sign up with the popular robocall blocker, Nomorobo.
Consumer Reports recommends that consumers closely evaluate what kind of information they’re willing to disclose to prevent robocalls–so look at the terms and conditions when signing up.
“Every time it happens I kind of yell into the phone “unsubscribe!” And that of course doesn’t work. It’s frustrating that I don’t have any recourse to deal with these calls or to make them stop,” Berkow said.
Another way consumers can fight back–report robocalls to the FTC.