Can These Devices Spare You From Robocalls?

A handful of devices promise to free you from the scourge of robocalls. And one option is free.

If you’re willing to spend money to rid your phone of robocalls, you can now pick from a handful of devices. And one other option is free.

Consumer Reports recently put five robocall blockers to the test and released the results today.

One device is free and was dubbed “a winner,” but currently only works with voice over IP (VoIP) phones, which use an Internet connection rather than the traditional landline connection.

The other devices work with both VoIP and landline phones but range in price from $45 to $110, with only the most expensive option dubbed a “buy.”

Nomorobo, the free option, grew out of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s 2012 Robocall Challenge, which offered a $50,000 cash prize for the best technical solution to robocalls, Consumer Reports explains.

Like most of these devices, Nomorobo features a “whitelist” and a “blacklist.” The whitelist contains numbers that you manually designate as safe. The “blacklist” contains thousands of preloaded spam numbers that the device automatically blocks.

Consumer Reports results were as follows:

Nomorobo

  • Price: Free
  • Features: Blacklist, whitelist
  • Summary: “A winner”

CPR Call Blocker Protect

  • Price: $45 (on Amazon, where Consumer Reports purchased all tested blockers)
  • Features: Whitelist
  • Summary: “Bummer”

HQTelecom.com Landline Call Blocker

  • Price: $59
  • Features: Blacklist
  • Summary: “Mixed”

Sentry Dual Mode Call Blocker (now replaced by Sentry 2)

  • Price: $59
  • Features: Blacklist, whitelist
  • Summary: “Mixed”

Digitone Call Blocker Plus

  • Price: $110
  • Features: Blacklist, whitelist
  • Summary: “Buy”

To learn more about these devices, click here.

Regardless of whether you try a robocall blocker, however, don’t press any buttons the next time a robocall gets through to you. Just hang up, Consumer Reports advises.

Lois C. Greisman, associate director at the FTC, tells the magazine that, for example, pressing 1 to indicate that you don’t want to receive further calls only confirms for scammers that they reached a human being when they dialed your number:

“And consequently, you may receive more calls.”

Have you had any luck blocking or decreasing the number of robocalls you receive? Let us know what worked for you and what didn’t. Share your story in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Stacy Johnson

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