Robo Calls - protect yourself

This came from the Pima Council on Aging March newsleter

Gail’s  note:  call your county recorder and have your phone number REMOVED from your voter registration.

Protect Yourself

Your first step to limiting at least some unwanted calls is to make sure your phone number is registered with the National Do Not Call Registry (see

 or call 888-382-1222). This, however, will not stop telemarketing scams or illegal robocalls.

If you have a caller ID, you can simply refuse to answer the phone unless you recognize the number. If you do answer and you recognize that it is a robocall then just hang-up the phone. Sometimes the call will ask you to press one to speak with a live operator, to complain about the call or to remove your number from the list. Do not press any numbers. If you respond by pressing any number at all, you are letting the autodialer know it has reached a live number. This will result in more robocalls.

You should also consider contacting your phone service provider. Ask them if they can block the number and whether they charge for that service. This might help for a period of time, however, telemarketers change caller ID information often. So, if your service provider charges to block numbers then it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will change.

Another call blocking option you should check into is Nomorobo. This is a free service and works only for people who have an Internet-based VoIP phone service. Anyone with phone service from Comcast and Time Warner Cable can use it too. Nomorobo uses a "simultaneous ring" service that detects and blocks robocalls on a black list of known offender numbers. It isn't 100% foolproof, but it is an extra layer of protection. To sign up or to see if Nomorobo works with your phone service provider visit


It's also important that you report illegal robocalls you receive to the FTC at

 or call 888-382-1222.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Showand author of "The Savvy Senior" book. The articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.