(CNN) – Don’t pick up… It’s likely spam.
Nearly half of the calls made to U.S. cell phones this year will be spam. That’s according to a recent study cited by the FCC. So, what can you do right now, to stop them?
The first step is to register with the federal “Do not call list.” Next, use apps and spam filters on your smartphone to keep unwanted calls under control.
AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile each offer their own free call blocking service. They also offer additional services at a price.
Verizon’s “Call filter app” auto-blocks calls from known fraudsters. It costs $2.99 per month, and it shows you warning banners for suspicious calls and has a spam reporting tool.
AT&T’s Call Protect also has similar features and add-ons. It does cost a little more at $3.99.
T-Mobile has an app that offers a premium caller ID service at $4 a month. Over at Sprint, their robocall blocking service costs $2.99 per line.
And when it comes to landlines, you can sign up for a free service called “Nomo-Robo” which works with Comcast’s X-finity, Verizon Fios and AT&T U-Verse customers.
It won’t solve everything but it’s a start.
Not all robocalls are fake or illegal. Pharmacies and utility companies, for example, use the technique to reach customers.