the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, If automated telephone calls have been blowing up your phone, you’re not alone. Recent data released by the United States Federal Trade Commission revealed the robocall business is booming, with complaints skyrocketing in 2017.
Four and a half million people filed complaints with the FTC about robocalls over the course of the year—more than one million more than the 3.4 million people who filed such complaints in 2016.
New data from the Federal Trade Commission show that New Jersey residents on the FTC’s Do Not Call list made more complaints, per capita, than any other state about robocalls last year. All told, state residents filed 321,393 complaints, which works out to about 3,600 people out of every 100,000. The next-highest state, Delaware, had 2,900 complaints per 100,000 residents.
Nationally, complaints rose 32% last year, to 4.5 million, and that followed a 60% increase in 2016 and a 22% increase in 2015.
The FTC cites several factors for the increase. Calls can be made cheaply over the Internet from anywhere in the world, and technology makes it easy for someone who does not want to follow the law against calling someone on the Do Not Call list to “spoof” the source of the call.
The former mayor Paul Arosohn used to drive residents crazy with his over use of robocalls.
For blocking the unwanted robocalls , sign up for a third-party app that can help prevent the calls from coming through. A favorite of consumers—and the FTC—is Nomorobo , an app that won the FTC’s Robocall Challenge.
Nomorobo operates by using a feature called “simultaneous ring.” When enabled, simultaneous ring will ring on more than one number at the same time. Nomorobo becomes the first number and uses the simultaneous ring feature to screen the call before it rings on the user’s device.
If the app determines the call is legitimate, it will allow it to move forward. If it’s an illegal robocall, Nomorobo will block it. The user’s phone will still ring once but will stop immediately after, letting them know that Nomorobo stopped the call.
Nomorobo is available for free for personal use on landlines. It is also available for Android and iPhone, though not for free. The mobile version of Nomorobo costs $1.99 per month per device, which may well be worth it if the phone is ringing off the hook with fake calls.