We’ve all experienced it, we’re enjoying a meal or time with friends, the phone rings, you interrupt a conversation to answer the call and it’s a telemarketer, or “Microsoft” calling about a virus when you own a Mac…
Here are a few handy tips we’ve found for reducing unwanted calls, regardless of a mobile or landline phone.
Your Home Phone
- The first thing to do is register your phone number on the Do Not Call register. It is an initiative by the Australian Government to reduce the calls you’ll receive from telemarketers. Here
- Use a phone with Call Blocking features. We’ve seen various handsets with this feature, this one from Panasonic allows you to block a phone number after you’ve decided it is a nuisance call. Here
- Meet Telstra Guardian. This is also a replacement handset with a large block button but it works in a different way. The call comes in, if it isn’t on the contact list the phone will ask the caller to identify themselves, usually a spammer will hang up by this point and your phone wont even ring. If the caller does mention “Geoff from Toys R Us” then when your phone rings you will be prompted with “would you like to take this call from Geoff from Toys R Us?”, you then select to answer or block. A really simple and sophisticated way of handling spam callers. Available as a corded and cordless option here
Your Mobile Phone
- Many people may have heard about the do not call register above, but thought it was just for landline numbers, register your mobile phone too! Here
- Whether your phone operates on Android, iOS or… whatever else, they’ll usually have a method to block a caller you’ve received a call from. For iOS click the ‘i’ symbol next to the unwanted number, scroll down and tap Block this Caller, then confirm your decision. For Android select the number you want to block, then hit More or the 3-dot menu icon in the upper-right corner and choose Add to reject list. For every other operating system, consult Google.
- Be warned before the call comes in. If you own a smart phone, let it do something smart for you! Apps like Truecaller can be downloaded for free. This app will house a database of phone numbers that have been reported and collected over time. If a call from any of these numbers come in, you will see it on the incoming call screen to save you from even answering the call. A real time saver and it is regularly updated! Get it now, here
- For not necessarily spam callers, you may want to know a business that is calling you before you answer. The Whitepages app operates in the same way that Truecaller does however it can identify the business calling you while also being an app for finding phone numbers when you need it. For iOS here and Android here
Lastly, if you’ve received a call from an odd number with a strange country code or area code, especially if you don’t know anyone in that country… do not call back! And of course if you’ve answered the call, here is the Jerry Seinfeld way of handling the call
Living in Sydney his entire life, Geoff has always had a close eye on technology. Through school and immediately after, tech held his focus. Attending University later in life, Geoff began his IT career immediately after leaving high school and has been in the industry ever since. In his spare time he launched a YouTube channel focused on consumer tech that had millions of views. This led to work on community radio talking tech every week and has now stepped him into the studios of 2GB / 4BC every Saturday helping people with tech problems and reviewing the latest gadgets.
When Geoff is looking away from the screen he can be found holding a glass of red wine, spending time with friends and/or watching the Formula 1.