Robocalls. Oh, do I hate them. You know what I am talking about — they come in from unidentifiable phone numbers, usually from someone trying to sell you something you don’t want, whether it is some kind of insurance scam, credit cards, pain creams, you name it.

And that’s if you’re lucky to get a human being. I usually get the ones where you pick up the phone, and suddenly you hear the phone dialing another number. Eventually, either a person on the other end picks up or you get a pre-recorded message and voice prompting.

Also: Google, Apple, AT&T, and others join robocall ‘strike force’

It’s enough to drive you crazy, especially if you get multiple of these things a day.

Even if you have your numbers subscribed to state and federal “Do Not Call” lists, it doesn’t help, they still call you.

Playing whack-a-mole

Various anti-spam tools for mobile devices have been devised such as Robokiller, Nomorobo, and Truecaller, which attempt to remedy the situation by using crowdsourcing to create number blacklists and call forwarding so that spam calls are intercepted or dumped into voicemail.


I envision Anti-spam Central Command like NORAD or US Cyber Command. (Image: ZDNet)

The apps are great in theory. The problem is it’s like playing whack-a-mole, where as soon as you report one number, a new one comes to harass you, often spoofing completely legitimate numbers. And the reporting process is not really user-friendly…

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