Don't Expect an End to Robocalls


Don’t Expect an End to Robocalls

A new pact will reduce but not eliminate incessant phone calls.

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An agreement reached between state attorneys general and the major telecommunications companies to thwart robocalls is good news for anyone who has a phone. But don’t expect those ubiquitous calls from people claiming to be from the IRS or wanting to sell you low-cost health insurance to disappear.

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Under the agreement, telecom companies will provide customers with free call-blocking tools and help attorneys general prosecute robocall offenders. But the pact is voluntary, there is no deadline, and it doesn’t include many small telecom providers. “Any bad guy with a computer can make a boatload of calls,” says Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail, an app that helps block robocalls. “This will help shut them down, but it will not be instantaneous.”

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In the interim, consider adopting a belt-and-suspenders approach to deter unwelcome callers. Start by signing up for services your provider has already rolled out. In addition to those tools, consider downloading a third-party app, such as YouMail or RoboKiller. These apps reject calls from dodgy numbers.

Quilici predicts that over time, the new call-blocking tools, combined with efforts to prosecute offenders, “should make the problem become more of a nuisance as opposed to the catastrophe it is now.

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