Tired of getting robocalls? Here's how to put a stop to them

Florida had over 400,000 robocall complaints last year alone

By Lauren Verno - Consumer investigative reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Tired of getting bombarded with annoying robocalls? You’re not alone. In fact, Florida ranked second in the nation for robocall complaints last year.

That's according to Social Catfish, which found that California led the way with 747,829 complaints, trailed by Florida with 427,404, Texas with 402,316, New York with 348,651 and Illinois with 252,935.

The website also categorized the calls -- scam calls made up 43 percent of them, followed by alerts and reminders with 34 percent, payment reminders with 19 percent and telemarketing with 13 percent.

BY THE NUMBERS: View an interactive map of robocall complaints

While the Federal Trade Commission does recommend signing up for the Do Not Call registry, the service is designed to stop sales calls from legitimate companies that follow the rules.

RELATED: FCC proposes new rules to block robocalls | Can anything be done to stop robocalls? | What you can do right now to stop robocalls

Unfortunately, scammers don't care if you're on the list and they can use the internet to make calls from anywhere in the world. But whether it's a landline or cellphone, there are steps you can take:

  • Speak with your carrier or phone service provider about call-blocking services.
  • Find a blocking app that works for your cellphone. Some are free and some carry a fee.
  • Don't overlook your phone's Do Not Disturb mode, which sends calls straight to voicemail.
  • Do not answer calls from unknown numbers or numbers you don't recognize.

Tom Stephens, president of the Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida, said one way of avoiding unwanted calls is letting incoming calls go to your answering machine.

"If they talk and it’s somebody you want to talk to, you can pick up the phone. If not, let them leave a message and delete," Stephens said.

Stephens said if you do answer and later realize it’s a robocall, hang up.  If you press any numbers on the dial during an unwanted call, you might get even more calls.

There's some bad news for iPhone users. YouMail, the maker of a free call-blocking app, reports that iPhone users get 29 percent more robocalls than people who use Android phones.

To register your number with the Do Not Call registry, visit DoNotCall.gov. To file a complaint about unwanted calls, visit the Federal Communications Commssion's website or dial 888-225-5322.

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