Cellular Phone Robocalls, telemarketing and annoying calls and scams
This article refers mainly to cellular phones in the United States. Some of this information may pertain to traditional landlines and Voice over IP services in the United States but my main focus is on unwanted calls to cellular telephone.
Spammers and scammers can purchased VoIP lines very inexpensively ...
"... complicated mix of greed, technological advancement and laws that don't always discourage salespeople or scammers from calling. While the Do Not Call registry certainly keeps some consumers from getting pestered, the fact is that many telemarketers decide violating the law is worth the risk. Others are located overseas, where it's harder for the U.S. government to track them down and prosecute them."
How to report it
Federal Trade Commision (FTC) - Visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-phone-scams
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - Visit https://www.ic3.gov (more regarding the fraud behind such calls not the calls tmeselves)
Ways to combat or block robo and spam calls or text
- Although I personally think this is useless since robocalls usually loop through phone numbers anyway ignoring such lists you are encouraged to visit http://donotcall.gov and also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Do_Not_Call_Registry
- Block the (displayed) number on the cell phone itself (smartphones) if the caller-id or number reported is not spoofed. Many times it is. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caller_ID_spoofing. Android Google Phone apps will wanr of possible spam calls - see http://www.androidpolice.com/2016/07/25/googles-phone-app-now-shows-a-warning-about-spam-callers-and-makes-it-easy-to-block-and-report-them-apk-download/
- Call screening software on your smartphone (know any?) https://www.truecaller.com, http://www.privacystar.com/ or https://www.nomorobo.com/? - See also http://www.phonearena.com/news/Voicemail-to-text-spam-calls-detection-new-API-for-third-party-VoIP-apps-coming-to-iOS-10_id82152
- Your telecom provider (AT&T, Sprint and Verizon) block the number on their end. Even though this is now legal historically telecom's are very unlikely to do this without a court order. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a rule giving telecommunication companies more leeway to block robocalls. Before this ruling, the FCC has always required phone companies to complete all calls, much in the same way the postal service is required to deliver all your mail, even the junk.
- Forward your incoming to a VoIP service that will block the call or forward your cell phone or a smartphone voice application. Google Voice has already said they will not perform blocking although the rest can be done through this service. Or launch your own VoiP service to do this perhaps with Asterisk. With VoIP incoming has its own set of problems, see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VoIP_spam and http://www.voipbl.org/
Legislation and calls to action