Don’t be Afraid to Just…Block Calls – Part 2


In our last article on spam calls, we highlighted the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) blog on How to Stop Unwanted Calls. Now that you’ve learned about call blocking, call screening and spoofing, here are some tips as you take a deeper dive.

Some DO’s and DON’Ts:

  • Do learn the terminology! (i.e., call blocking, screening, labeling, spoofing, etc.)
  • Do learn what type of phone you have, i.e., VoIP landline, traditional landline, smart or dumb mobile phone. Options for blocking and screening vary by the type of phone and your carrier. Some are free and some have an associated fee.
  • Do consider upgrading to a “smart” phone so you can use mobile apps to help block and screen calls. Smart phones have blocking features built into the phone.
  • Do check with your telephone carrier to see what call blocking, caller ID/labeling and/or screening services it offers. Some block potential scam calls, some flag suspicious calls and some screen, label or filter calls.
  • Do check with trusted resources like your local area agency on aging, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division or the Better Business Bureau if you want to know more about the caller’s proposal or offer. They can help you ferret out likely scams.
  • Do report scam calls to the FTC or 1-877-FTC-HELP.
  • Do list your number on the state and local Do Not Call Registry.
  • Do install a call blocking device if your carrier does not offer any service you like or can afford.

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Don’t be Afraid to Just…Block Calls


Why do I keep getting robocalls? I’m receiving even MORE spam calls during the pandemic! I’m on the Do Not Call List (state and federal) —why doesn’t that help?

We frequently hear these frustrations from older adults and their families when they call to report a healthcare or consumer fraud scam. We tell them to “SCREEN ALL CALLS – don’t pick up any call unless you’re sure it’s from someone you know”.

But, we also realize that older adults often live alone and look forward to calls from friends and family. Older adults also are more likely to be waiting for return calls from medical professionals. Some older adults are still working in positions that require you to answer unknown callers. Some folks with dementia answer all calls. Further, the telephone has been a lifeline and safe way to stay connected for those stuck at home during the pandemic.

So, what’s the answer? It can be complicated.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shared this blog on How to Stop Unwanted Calls. Here are some of things you can learn about blocking or screening calls by reading the blog:

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