Hello, this is Rachel at Cardholder Services calling,
Leave me alone.
Rachel isn't real but she's hard to stop.
She's a robocall.
A pre-recorded, unsolicited sales calls.
It's not only irritating, it's illegal.
But you're not helpless.
There are some steps you can take to block these pests.
If you get a robo sales call, you need to hang up right away.
Don't press numbers, don't ask to speak to a person.
It will only lead to more robocalls.
If you engage, it encourages them to try you again Some programmers have created software to fight back but it only works for certain types of phone lines.
The most effective robo call blocker out now is called NoMoRobo.
It's free and endorsed by the Federal Trade Commission.
This is for landlines that work on an internet connection.
When you sign up, incoming calls ring on your phone and also on NoMoRobo servers.
If the number matches a known robo-caller the servers will grab it to hang up and end the call.
Your phone stops after one ring.
It's blocked more 33 million robo-calls to date.
RoboKiller is similar to NomoRobo.
But it's for your smart phone.
It screens your calls and stops the robo-call numbers from going through.
The apps also records the call if you want to review it later.
It still in beta test.
Youmail is an app that tackles robocall a little differently.
It's essentially a voice mail service.
If it recognizes a known robocall number and you let it go to voicemail, it's gonna play the disconnected tone.
You know the one.
We're sorry, you have reached a number that has been disconnected, or is no longer in service.
And you can also set that tone to play for any phone number, like someone you never want to talk to.
But remember, not all robocalls are illegal.
Just sales calls.
These services will still let you get the calls about your prescription that's ready for pickup, or alerts from your child's school.
There's no cure for automated calls from charities, or surveys, or political campaigns.
Unfortunately they can still bother you.
And the National Do Not Call Registry, sorry, it's not a shield against any unwanted calls.
That's only to stop real live humans calling you to sell stuff, and shady companies will ignore it anyway.
You can help the government hunt down illegal sales calls by reporting your experiences.
The more details you give, the more they can find patterns and track down violators, making answering your phone a lot less scary.
Oh, it's you.