Telemarketing to mobile phones has always been a controversial topic. In fact, just this last September, a proposed bill (H.R. 3035) was presented to Congress that would allow automated calls to cell phones, sending alerts via text or calls to cell phones with important messages like food or drug recall, data breach and appointment cancellation. This bill also meant that everyone’s cell phone number could be opened up to telemarketers and advertisers who have always found crafty ways to infiltrate consumers’ cell phones.
While the proposed bill was squashed last week, consumers should know that this does not save them from telemarketing calls to their cell phones. The good news is that there are a few steps that can be taken to help them avoid these unwanted calls in the future. For example, WhitePages recommends that consumers do the following:
- Register Your Cell Phone Number on the Do Not Call List: While many people remember to register their land-line number to the DNC list, many don’t realize that they can also register their mobile phone number. Registrations become effective within 31 days of signing up and do not expire.
- Activate the “Block Messages” Setting on Your Cell Phone: Most major carriers including AT&T and Verizon allow you to manually set your handset so that it receives no messages from the Internet which is the origin of the vast majority of call spam. This can usually be done by logging into your account and choosing the “Block Messages” option.
- Install Anti-Spam Software/Apps on Your Cell Phone: Malware is not only a threat online, but also on mobile devices, especially Android phones. Lookout Security Virus and Antivirus Free are two apps that consumers can download for free to block malware, spyware, and Trojans.
- Identify Incoming Calls & Texts: There are many apps available across most mobile platforms that are specifically designed to help consumers identify unwanted calls and in some cases, avoid them in the future. WhitePages has a Caller ID app for Android and a Reverse Phone Lookup app for iOS. Reverse phone lookups can also be conducted on WhitePages’ website.