When you’re settling down for dinner or watching your favourite TV show, an interruption like a phone call can be quite a nuisance. It is even more of a problem when it is a scammer or telemarketer who’s now entered your life without an invitation.
Here are a few handy tips we’ve found for reducing unwanted calls, regardless of whether it is coming through on a mobile or landline phone.
Your home phone
- The first thing to do is register your phone number on the Do Not Call register. It is an initiative by the Australian Government to reduce the calls you’ll receive from telemarketers.
- Use a phone with Call Blocking features. We’ve seen various handsets with this feature, one from Panasonic allows you to block a phone number after you’ve decided it is a nuisance call.
- Meet Telstra Guardian. This is also a replacement handset with a large block button but it works in a different way. The call comes in if it isn’t on the contact list the phone will ask the caller to identify themselves, usually, a spammer will hang up by this point and your phone won’t even ring. If the caller does mention “Geoff from Toys R Us” then when your phone rings you will be prompted with “would you like to take this call from Geoff from Toys R Us?”, you then select to answer or block. A really simple and sophisticated way of handling spam callers. Available as a corded and cordless option.
Your mobile phone
- Many people may have heard about the do not call register above, but thought it was just for landline numbers, register your mobile phone too!
- If you own a smartphone, they’ll usually have a method to block a caller you’ve received a call from. On an iPhone tap the ‘i’ symbol next to the unwanted number, scroll down and tap Block this Caller, then confirm your decision. For Android devices select the number you want to block, then hit More or the 3-dot menu icon in the upper-right corner and choose ‘Add to reject’ list.
- Be warned before the call comes in. If you own a smartphone, let it do something smart for you! Apps like Truecaller can be downloaded for free. This app will house a database of phone numbers that have been reported and collected over time. If a call from any of these numbers come in, you will see it on the incoming call screen to save you from even answering the call. A real time saver and it is regularly updated!
- For not necessarily spam callers, you may want to know a business that is calling you before you answer. The Whitepages app operates in the same way that Truecaller does, however, it can identify the business calling you while also being an app for finding phone numbers when you need it.
Lastly, if you’ve received a call from an odd number with a strange country code or area code, especially if you don’t know anyone in that country … do not call back!