We’ve told you how to stop junk calls on your cell phone, but you may be having the same problem with your landline — don’t you hate that?
Telemarketers, scammers and the like continue to look for ways to scheme us out of money over the phone. If you have a landline, you could be getting inundated with junk calls.
How to stop robocalls on your landline
Table of contents: Stopping junk calls on landlines
- Do Not Call List
- Clark’s take: How to avoid junk calls on your landline
- Third-party services
- Final thought
We’re going to give you some concrete ways to stop junk calls on your landline so that your house phone can be restored to a state of normalcy.
Unlike cell phone customers, people who faithfully use landlines can’t rely on T-Mobile, AT&T and other wireless carriers to come up with high-tech ways to combat robocalls.
That means you’re left to your own (or some device manufacturer’s) devices. But as you’ll see, many of the latter work just fine.
One thing to note is that many of the robo-killer options at the disposal of landline users employ voIP (voice over internet protocol) technology. That means that your home phone service is provided by your internet or cable provider.
If you don’t use VoIP phone service — maybe you have an older phone — your options are somewhat limited. Let’s take a look at them.
Do Not Call list
Perhaps the easiest way to stop nuisance calls on your landline is to register your phone number on the national Do Not Call list.
The way it works is that legitimate telemarketers consult the Do Not Call List so that they don’t call your phone.
The key here is to make sure you’re calling from the phone that you wish to put on the list. There is no cost associated with this. Here are three easy steps to do it:
- Call 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY)
- Press 1 and go through the prompts
- Note: If you’ve already put your number on the list, there’s no need to re-register.
Clark’s take: How to avoid junk calls on your landline
Money expert Clark Howard says he’s got one ironclad way of handling potential phone scams.
“[Recently], I had a phone call come in that said it was from Bank of America,” Clark said on a recent podcast.
“I don’t do business with Bank of America, so I knew it was a pretexting call, a fake call. But what if I was a customer of BOA and I see that come up on caller ID, I might be more apt to answer it, right?”
“Consider following my rule,” Clark continues. “It’s a simple rule: If I don’t recognize the number as being from someone I know, I do not answer the call.”
Call blockers: Third-party services
There are a number of third-party services that can severely limit the amount of junk calls that get through to a landline.
For landline phones, many robocall blockers require hardware to be connected to your device. While no service is perfect, the following ones have the best ratings:
|Nomorobo||Free||Nomorobo is free for landlines, although there is a paid app version. The way the service works is when a number calls your phone those digits are checked against a list of known solicitors.|
|DigiTone Proseries Blocker||$69.95||Many customers are bullish on the Digitone because it can stop robocalls from ringing even one time.|
|RoboCallWall||$149.99||RoboCallWall works with your home Wi-Fi and automatically blocks calls unless you manually set up exemptions.|
|Ooma Home Phone Premier||$99.99||Ooma has five categories of call blocking to customize settings based on your preferences.|
|CPR Call Blocker V5000||$89.98||The CPR Call Blocker V5000 is a best seller on Amazon. This one also automatically blocks junk calls.|
There are other services out there, including YouMail, which is free for landlines (read our review). But with any of these services, keep in mind that sometimes people who really need to reach you may get caught in your anti-robocall net.
That means emergency services, your children’s school, the electric company or any other public offices may not be able to reach you as quickly as they should.
Here’s the bottom line: We all have to get a bit more vigilant in how we use the phone. Some wise steps include:
- If a recording asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, there’s a good chance that’s a way to get you to opt in to them calling you again. Just hang up.
- Get a mysterious call? Don’t respond to any questions, especially with “yes.” You could be being recorded against your bill for nefarious purposes.
Robocalls, junk calls and the scam known as spoofing have all caught the attention of federal authorities. If you believe you have received an illegal call, file a complaint with the FCC.
If you think that a telemarketer has called your phone despite your number being on the Do Not Call LIst, report them here.