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Robocalls: How can we get rid of them?

Late last month, the federal trade commission announced a new effort to crackdown on robocalls.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — We all get them and sometimes, it happens more than once a day. Robo and spam calls are popping up on our devices using countless phone numbers.

"I think it's mostly picked up just from people realizing that they can get away with it," Grand Rapids Tech President Justin Ayers said.

Ayers is very familiar with robocallers.

"Somebody's going to try to talk you into something whether its health insurance or extended car warranty or you know it's Microsoft or HP and they're trying to get your credit card number," Ayers said.

You've probably tried to block a number, only to see another number pop up on your screen. These callers can easily jump to a new number, instantly.

"There was about 26 billion robocalls in 2018," Ayers said.

There's legislation pending to help stop these pesky robocallers. 

The Senate already passed the bill called 'Traced Act,' and it's now making its way through the House.

"Basically it just verifies that it's coming from a legit source," Ayers said.

Comcast and AT&T are developing a program called Shaken/Stir.

"Eventually they're going to be requiring all of these companies to use this or a similar to that Shaken/Stir method, the authentication from call originator and call receiver to prevent this in the future," Ayers said.

In the mean time there are some things you can do.

"If something's important, typically they'll leave you a voicemail wait for the voicemail to come through - if it's legit, call them back," Ayers said.

Each carrier has their own app to block robocalls, just search your app store. 

"It'll actually tell you 'hey, this is a suspected robot call,'" Ayers said.

Ayers is hopeful the House and then ultimately the President will sign the Traced Act.

"The end is near I think," Ayers said. "I think we're going to see a lot of progress by the end of the year."

You can also register your phone number www.donotcall.gov, which will help prevent telemarketers from spamming your phone in the United States, but it won't prevent the illegal calls coming in from out of the country. 

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