Mike Timmermann, Clark.com
Are you sick and tired of annoying robocalls blowing up your phone? Whenever we post a story about robocalls on our Facebookpage, we hear from readers who say they’re being inundated with these calls daily.
Hiya and YouMail are two free spam-blocking apps that folks tell us are very helpful, but there are other solutions…
How to stop robocalls for good with a free Google Voice number
Facebook user Adam Newton wrote on Clark’s Facebook page that he implemented a simple strategy that has reduced the number of robocalls he receives to one or two a week at the most.
Here are the steps that Adam followed to address his robocall problem without downloading any smartphone app:
- Step 1: First, Adam set up a free Google Voice phone number that acts as his home phone. He gives this number to banks, utility companies and places he orders from.
- Step 2: Adam provides family and friends with his cell phone number and nobody else. He suggests that if you have a home phone, only give that number to people you personally know.
- Step 3: Finally, Adam only answers calls to his cell phone from numbers that he recognizes. If the issue is important enough, they’ll leave a message or send a text for him to call back.
To eliminate the robocalls, Adam made a few easy tweaks in Google Voice’s settings. For starters, he made it so that the Google Voice number acts as a voicemail only by turning on the “Do not disturb” feature.
With that setting change, calls to his Google Voice number never ring an actual phone and go straight to voicemail.
Adam says that Google will send him an email whenever he receives a new voicemail, which typically includes a transcription of the message that was left by the caller.
When he’s expecting a call from someone through Google Voice, he turns “Do not disturb” off temporarily to let it go through.
“Screen calls” is another Google Voice feature to use when you allow calls to ring to your cell phone. Once activated, Google will ask callers to say their name and then repeat it back to you when you pick up.
Team Clark tried out Adam’s robocall-blocking hack and it looks promising after a few days of testing. Maybe you could try it yourself?
We’ve put together a guide with the best free and pay services to block robocalls, but there’s a low-tech solution that works every time: Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize — period!