Paul is wondering if he can get a machine that could filter out robocalls. Leo says that Google Voice is the best digital option. He would have to use a different number though, or pay a small $10 to $20 fee to have his current number ported over to it. The benefit, though, is that he will get a bunch of new features including call screening, forwarding and more.
Brad's mother has been getting calls from "Microsoft" saying that her computer may be hacked. Is that legit? Leo says it's a scam. They use a robot dialer to randomly call numbers out of the phone book and will try and get victims to install something or give them remote access to the computer. Once they have that, the game is up. Microsoft will NEVER call you.
Using a technique called "neighbor spoofing," a Florida man is being accused of making over 96 million robo calls selling time shares in violation of FCC Do Not Call laws. The FCC has suggested a fine is in the offing, but there's no word on if the perp is going to be arrested or if the robocalls have stopped.
Rick wants to know if there's a call blocker for a landline phone. 95% of the calls he gets are Robocalls. He uses Ooma and they want $120 a year to block calls, so he wants to know if there's a good hardware based option. Leo says that most of the services he sees are generally White listers.
The FTC filed complaints against two separate robocall groups. Many of the calls, according to the FTC, were to numbers on the "Do Not Call" registry. These robocall groups were calling hundreds of millions of people in 2012 and 2013 selling home security systems or generating leads for home security installation companies. They were also doing auto warranties.
Chris also wants to know why a call will ring once and then go directly to voicemail. Leo says that's an odd one and he has this happen too. Is it something the telemarketers have figured out? It could be carrier specific. Chris can sign up with the DoNotCall registry but that won't stop telemarketers from outside the country. Another option is to use Google Voice for everything, then he can program Voice to forward telemarketer calls directly to voicemail or reject them altogether.
Dan has been getting a ton of telemarketing and robocalls lately. Is there a service that will filter them out so he doesn't have to deal with it? Leo says that Google Voice has great call screening and blocking utilities -- and it's free. Leo also says there's a new service called the Jolly Roger Telephone Company that has fun with telemarketers on your behalf.
Other options for screening calls include:
Bruce has been getting a lot of robo calls lately on his cell phone. Leo says that's because a lot of them are coming from overseas now and they don't pay attention to the National Do Not Call registry. It's against the law to robocall cellphones. But since they're out of the country, they don't think they are bound by it. It's only going to get worse. Leo says that if he doesn't recognize the number, he just ignores it.