Mid-Missourians find creative ways to fight unceasing robocalls

1 year 3 months 4 days ago Monday, February 18 2019 Feb 18, 2019 Monday, February 18, 2019 4:16:00 PM CST February 18, 2019 in News
By: David Estrada, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLE COUNTY - From not answering their cell phones, to trying multiple apps and buying equipment for their landline, phone users in mid-Missouri are doing whatever it takes to fight robocalls. 

In December, KOMU 8 News reported that records from the Missouri Attorney General's Office show Missourians requested 40,403 telephone numbers be added to the state "No-Call" list, between Sept. 20, 2017 and Sept. 20, 2018.

Charles Jackson signed up for the Missouri No-Call list 14 years ago but he said he continues to get robocalls. 

"I get probably five or six calls a week, not a lot," he said. "Sometimes from that same number, I'd get several calls from that same number and if I don't answer for three or four days, or a week, then they'd stop calling."

About three years ago, Jackson decided to not answer calls from unknown numbers on his cell phone and just let them go straight into voicemail, which he said has helped to fight unwanted calls. 

"I was just getting a bunch of calls, and then because of that it's even reduced even more because of that," he said.

Callers who go straight into Jackson's voicemail hear the following recording:

"Due to the large number of telemarketing calls, I do not answer numbers I do not recognize. Please leave your name and number and I will get back with you as soon as I can, sorry for the inconvenience. Have a blessed day!"

Jackson said sometimes people who leave him messages react with humor to his voicemail. 

"Sometimes, they'd leave little messages like, they understand what it's taking place, or they'd make some little funny comment about," he said. "They’d make comments like, well I'm leaving my name and number because I want to make sure you call me back."

Michael Phillips has also been fighting with robocalls, both on his cell phone and on his home phone. 

"They've been going on for quite some time, over the past several years," he said. "I really got perturbed this past November when somebody tried to fraudulently use my I.D. for poor purposes."

One of the first things he did was contact his phone service provider, magicJack.

"My phone company has something called 'call screenings,'" he said. "I can go into, right online and change it, turn it on and off as I please. Right now is on, I have no problem with the people trying to give me a call, no robocalls, no telemarketers."

He even bought a box to connect to his landline that blocks a certain number of robocalls.

Phillips said he continues to do research on how to stop robocalls because he is tired of getting unwanted calls. 

"I don't want that anymore, I don't want that anymore in my life," he said. 

For his cell phone, Phillips has tried six different apps that promise to stop or reduce the number of robocalls. 

"If other people are using the robos against you, use the robos for you," he said. "Why not take advantage of what's available out there right now?"

Some of the apps he has tried include Mr. Number; Calls Blacklist - Call Blocker; SMS blocker, call blocker; and RoboStop.

Most recently, Phillips installed RoboKiller, a paid app which even answers spam calls and play a recorded conversation to fool the caller. 

"If you have caller ID, you see the number that's on there, you don't have to answer that, but you can use technology for you, have the bot talk to the bot, it's a waste of their time," he said. 

Jackson retired from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He said not answering unknown numbers might not be an option for some people, especially those who need their phone in their job. 

"If they're in a business getting calls, they are getting calls all the time from numbers that they are not familiar with," he said. "It hampers them to be getting these robocalls, so they have to answer every call."

Jackson said, because of his work with the community, sometimes he has to answer calls from numbers he doesn't recognize. 

"Every once in a while I'd be involved in some type or project or something, on a committee, and I have people calling me, and so you just go ahead and answer the call and then sometimes it’s a robocall or a telemarketer," he said. 

However, Jackson said he doesn't plan on giving up his method to robocalls. 

"I'm going to continue to use the process that I use now," he said. 

Phillips also calls lawmakers to support consumers, on the legal side, in the fight against robocalls. 

"We're doing our part as the consumer, we just expect our state representatives to do the same, fight for us," he said. 

Both phone users encourage other people to not give up on getting rid of robocallers. 

Jackson said, "If you are not in a business where you have to answer the call, turn the volume down, let it go to voicemail and then when you start listening to it you can just delete it and move on but don't get frustrated."

Phillips said, "Technology is evolving, it's evolving everyday. We as a consumer, we need to take advantage of that and use that ourselves for our own protection."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Clothing donations to the Salvation Army are increasing during the pandemic. During the past few months, many... More >>
3 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 4:17:00 PM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - There have been zero traffic or water crashes this weekend for the 13 counties in Central Missouri, according... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 2:32:00 PM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic didn't stop people from packing the central Missouri vacation hot spot of the... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 12:58:59 PM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
PETTIS COUNTY — A Sedalia man is dead following a single-vehicle rollover accident. Richard Talbert, 26, was driving north... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 10:08:51 AM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
AP —Are some workouts, like yoga or spinning classes, less safe than others? Should I wear a mask? Do I... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:54:12 AM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, May 24 2020 May 24, 2020 Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:35:55 AM CDT May 24, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY — A man has been charged in an April 2019 shooting death in Kansas City based on DNA... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 7:23:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
LEE'S SUMMIT — About 1,000 contract employees of a federal agency have received notice that their jobs face elimination in... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 6:47:47 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD — A Springfield hairstylist served 84 clients over eight days while experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, and now a coworker... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 5:41:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Three cars were involved in a crash on I-70 eastbound Saturday afternoon. The crash around 3:30 p.m.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 5:00:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One local teenager with a disability is out of work after learning his employment training program for the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 4:25:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
ST LOUIS - The University of Missouri- St. Louis will waive all online course fees through the fall semester, according... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 3:26:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
ROCKAWAY BEACH - Deputies confirmed a man is dead after a drowning incident on Friday night, according to a Missouri... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 2:55:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. You can find... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 2:40:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One of the biggest travel weekends of the year looks a little different in times of COVID-19. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, May 23 2020 May 23, 2020 Saturday, May 23, 2020 12:39:00 PM CDT May 23, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS — Missouri’s unemployment rate more than doubled last month due to the shutdown caused by the coronavirus, state... More >>
1 day ago Friday, May 22 2020 May 22, 2020 Friday, May 22, 2020 10:48:00 PM CDT May 22, 2020 in News
FULTON – Jess Carneal works about 40 hours a week at Brooklyn Pizza in Fulton. But when he’s not working,... More >>
2 days ago Friday, May 22 2020 May 22, 2020 Friday, May 22, 2020 6:36:00 PM CDT May 22, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 73°
8pm 75°
9pm 73°
10pm 71°
11pm 70°