Robocalls are perhaps the most annoying thing since the advent of phone technology. From IRS frauds to sketchy debt relief schemes, you have probably heard them all over the years. And even though you'd think robocalls shouldn't work anymore in this day and age, you'd be surprised to find out that Americans received 58.2 billion robocalls in 2019, which is an increase of 22% from 2018.
What Can You Do About Stopping Robocalls?
Robocalls are indeed a nuisance, but that doesn't mean that you can't do anything to stop the deluge of calls. The thing with robocalls is not just that they are annoying — they are plain dangerous, with Americans and people around the world losing billions of dollars in phone scams every year. As such, it's important to do something about stopping unwanted calls on your phone, and the best solution is to use a call blocker.
Many articles offer lots of tips and tricks to help you fight against robocalls, with advice ranging from avoiding answering calls from unknown numbers to hanging up to robots. While some of this advice does work, we can't guarantee you'll never get another robocall ever again.
But by using a call blocker, you essentially have a protective barrier installed on your phone, which can filter all spam and unwanted calls before they reach you. When you use a call blocking app, you don't have to filter the spam calls yourself, so you get a high level of protection.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Call Blocking App to Stop Spam Calls?
Spam phone callers have developed incredible technologies over the years, which makes it very difficult to stop spam calls on your own. Phone spoofing is one of the most challenging things to overcome because it's a strategy that allows scammers to place calls from phone numbers that will appear as if they are coming from the same area code as you. As such, you won't think twice about answering, as seeing a local number might make you think that your kids' school or your doctor's office may be calling.
We have also noticed that many people are advised to get on the Do Not Call List to stop getting spam calls. The truth is that this doesn't work, because even though the action might reduce the number of legal telemarketing calls, it won't stop the spammers who are bombarding you with calls for scammy reasons. You might opt in on the list if you want to get fewer cold calls from legitimate marketers, but you will definitely not be able to stop spam calls from sketchy individuals who don't actually care that you are on a Do Not Call List.
If you are someone who thinks that it's a good idea to pick up the phone and let the spammers know that they are wasting your time, you might want to rethink your strategy. Not only is that strategy counterproductive when it comes to wasting your own time, but by simply showing the scammers that your number is real, you open the gate for a flood of even more spam calls.
By choosing to use a call blocking app, you can simply enable it with a single tap in the settings menu of your phone and forget about it. The app will work in the background to stop spam numbers from reaching your phone, so you won't even know that the spammers are trying to reach you. You can also block any number by adding it to a blacklist to make sure that you never receive a call from that number again.
Is There a Catch?
While most of the major call blockers on the market offer good results when it comes to actually filtering calls, many of them work by using a feature called Conditional Call Forwarding. This means that the app forwards all calls to a virtual phone number they control in order to be able to determine whether the call should be blocked. Once it establishes that, the app either blocks the call or lets it through to you.
This sounds innocent enough, except for the part that involves forwarding all your calls. Because you are forwarding each and every call to these apps, there is nothing stopping them from tracking who calls you.
Moreover, since you have told your phone provider to forward all of your calls, these apps need to call you over the internet using VOIP in order to connect you to legitimate callers. By allowing these apps to facilitate your calls over VOIP, they can easily record and analyze your calls since they are the ones hosting the call.
You could say, essentially, that your call blocker is spying on you, and if you're someone who enjoys privacy, we think that you won't be too pleased with this feature.
There are huge privacy implications that you need to think about before installing a call-blocking app on your phone. We believe that the amount of information some of them collect is quite shocking. And if that wasn't bad enough, many call blocking apps, even some of the biggest names on the market, make their users opt-in to policies that allow them to share the data they collect with third parties.
So How Can You Protect Your Privacy?
To protect your privacy while still enjoying the benefits of a call blocking app, you should use one that doesn't forward your calls in order to be able to filter them. Our app, RoboGuard, uses the built-in call blocking functionality in iOS, which means that it doesn't forward your calls to a virtual phone number, nor does it record or analyze your calls at any point.
Our app uses one-way data transfer from our database into iOS, but it is up to the operating system to determine whether or not to block incoming calls. RoboGuard gathers no personal information whatsoever from your phone, and the call blocking process is handled completely on your device.
How Is RoboGuard Different?
Our app blocks up to 90% of spam and robocallers and uses spam lists that are updated every day so we can fight the latest spammers that are spawning continuously. RoboGuard also learns and improves over time and allows you to have your own custom blacklist for numbers that you don't want to hear again from. The app blocks neighbor-spoof numbers as well, so you won't be tricked again into picking up the phone when a number that looks local shows up on your screen.
However, the main advantage of using RoboGuard instead of some of the other big names on the market is the fact that your privacy will be completely protected. As we don't use any forwarding system and only rely on iOS' built-in blocking functionality, your data is 100% safe and will never be shared with third parties. In fact, we don't need to receive any personal information whatsoever for the app to work, and the entire call blocking process is handled completely on your device. If you are someone who enjoys their privacy and is not keen on installing apps that are very quick to share your data and even spy on you, RoboGuard is the right solution for you.
Why Can I Not Use the Block Features Already Built in My Phone for This?
To put it simply, even though the majority of mobile phones come equipped with features that allow you to block calls and messages coming from specific numbers, the protection your phone is offering against unwanted calls stops at that. This means that even though you can block specific contacts, it is difficult or impossible to identify unwanted incoming calls from numbers that have never called before.
Thanks to phone spoofing, which spammers use to trick you into thinking a local number very similar to your own is calling, your phone will not be able to block the call, so you might be tricked into answering it. Even if you hang up without engaging the caller, you've only made matters worse because you let them know that there is a real person on the other end of the phone.
Spammers generally call blindly, which means that they don't know if the phone numbers they are calling actually exist. If you let them know that you are a real person with a real phone number, you will be placed on a "try again" list, so the spammers will continue to pester you.
If you're receiving unwanted calls and want to stop seeing them altogether, using a call blocker is the easiest solution. However, you need to keep in mind that some of the call blockers available in the market may be spying on you simply because they use forwarding technology in order to be able to filter your calls and decide which ones should make their way to your phone.
With RoboGuard, you don't have to worry about compromising your privacy because our app handles call blocking completely on your device and doesn't need any information to be transferred to the app in order to determine whether or not to block incoming calls.