The Do Not Call list recently turned 10 years old, but you'd never know it.
Even if you are on the Do Not Call list, many of us are still getting robocalls about lowering your credit card rates, so-called free cruises, and medical alert systems that you qualify for.
Have you ever received a call on your cell phone that started with a foghorn blowing, followed by the words
"this is your captain speaking?" There's no option for telling the captain where to put his horn.
Time Magazine calls it "cell phone spam," and says more than 4 billion of these calls went out to cell phones last year.
Apps to block scammers
But there is good news: several apps will help you block them.
"Privacy Star" for Android, that lets you easily block specific numbers, and has a reverse lookup feature to track down cell spammers. It is free at Google Play (http://www.privacystar.com/).
Time says two other good apps are
"Mr Number" (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mrnumber.blocker) and
"Calls Blacklist," (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vladlee.easyblacklist), both free for Androids.
They can send unknown callers straight to your voicemail.
Doesn't That Stink?
But from the
"doesn't that stink" file: Time Magazine says you cannot block specific numbers on Apple devices yet. Doesn't that stink? (You can download some of these apps on iTunes, but they do not have the call blocking feature).
But there is some good news: You can download a silent ringtone app from iTunes, so your phone wont ring if the caller is unknown.
A true blocking feature is coming this fall, with Apple's iOs7, Time says.
What about the Do-Not-Call list?
Just in case you were wondering, your number never expires on the Do-Not-Call list, so there is no need to renew it.
But each year more and more scammers and marketers are ripping up the list, and calling people on it. So don't expect the unwanted calls to stop.
As always, don't waste your money
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.