How Can I Stop “Unwanted” Calls: Here’s What to Do

Tired of spam calls. How can I stop unwanted calls? Learn how to register for DND, use call blockers, and report unsolicited calls and more.

How Can I Stop Unwanted Calls
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India is a nation known for its rich cultural heritage, bustling cities, and diverse landscapes. However, amidst this vibrancy, many Indians face a common annoyance – unwanted calls. These calls, which can range from telemarketing pitches to scam attempts, can disrupt our daily lives. In this article, we’ll explore some effective strategies to prevent these unwanted calls, ensuring a more peaceful and secure phone experience.


Know Your Enemy:

Before diving into solutions, let’s identify the types of unwanted calls you might encounter:

  • Robocalls: These pre-recorded messages often promote scams, telemarketing, or illegal activities.
  • Spam calls: Similar to robocalls, but with a live person pushing unwanted products or services.
  • Telemarketers: Legitimate businesses trying to sell you something, but their timing might not be ideal.
  • Wrong numbers: Accidental calls meant for someone else.
  • Unknown callers: Calls from unrecognized numbers that might be legitimate or bothersome.
  • Prank Calls: Annoying calls, usually from bored individuals.

Understanding the Problem

Before we dive into the solutions, let’s understand why these unwanted calls occur. There are several reasons:

1. Databases and Lists: Your phone number might be on various databases and lists that companies, telemarketers, and scammers use to make calls.

2. Telemarketing and Lead Generation: Companies often engage in telemarketing to promote their products or services, while lead generation firms collect data and sell it to other businesses.

3. Robocalls: Automated systems can make thousands of calls per minute, often for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.

4. Mobile Apps and Online Forms: Some apps or websites might ask for your phone number and then use it to make unsolicited calls.

5. Lack of Regulation: The regulatory framework in India might not be robust enough to prevent or penalize unsolicited calls effectively.

Solutions to Prevent Unwanted Calls

Now that we know the reasons behind these calls let’s explore some strategies to prevent them.

1. Register with the DND (Do Not Disturb) Registry: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has established the National Do Not Call Registry to curb unsolicited commercial communication. Registering your number with this registry can significantly reduce the number of unwanted calls you receive.


2. Use Call Blocker Apps: Several call blocker apps, like Truecaller and Hiya, can identify and block spam calls. These apps use crowd-sourced data to identify spam numbers, and many of them allow users to report spam numbers as well.

3. Be Mindful of Who You Share Your Number With: Avoid sharing your phone number on public forums, social media platforms, or websites that might misuse it.

4. Report Unsolicited Calls: If you receive a call despite being registered on the DND registry or from a number identified as spam by a call blocker app, report it to the relevant authorities. TRAI has a complaint mechanism where you can report such calls.

5. Avoid Answering Unknown Numbers: If you receive a call from an unknown number, it’s best to let it go to voicemail. If it’s important, the caller will leave a message.

6. Use Call Screening Features: Many smartphones come with call screening features that can automatically identify spam calls and prevent them from ringing your phone.

7. Use a Secondary Number: Consider using a secondary phone number for online transactions or sharing with less trusted sources. This can help keep your primary number safe from unwanted calls.

8. Install the TRAI DND App: TRAI has a dedicated app called “DND Services” that lets you register for the DND registry, check the status of your complaint, and report unsolicited calls directly from your smartphone.

9. Educate Others: Spread awareness about the issue of unwanted calls and how people can protect themselves. The more people are aware, the more likely they are to take preventive measures.

Also Read: How to Stop OTP/SMS Bombing: Tips to Protect Your Mobile Number

Legal and Regulatory Measures

While individual efforts can significantly reduce the number of unwanted calls, regulatory and legal measures are also essential. In India, the TRAI has implemented various regulations to tackle the issue:

1. DND Registry: As mentioned earlier, the DND registry allows individuals to opt-out of receiving unsolicited commercial communication.

2. Unsolicited Commercial Communication Regulations: TRAI has laid down detailed regulations for telemarketers, including registration requirements, consent mechanisms, and penalties for non-compliance.

3. Telecom Consumers Protection Regulations: These regulations focus on protecting consumers from unfair business practices, including deceptive or misleading advertisements.

4. Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulations: These regulations aim to ensure that customers receive only those communication messages that they have opted for.

5. Telecom Unsolicited Commercial Communication Regulations: This regulation sets up a framework for the control of unsolicited commercial communications.

6. Penalties for Non-Compliance: TRAI imposes penalties on entities that violate these regulations, which can range from warnings to hefty fines.


Remember:

  • No single solution is foolproof: Combine different methods for optimal protection.
  • Stay vigilant: Scammers constantly adapt, so staying informed is crucial.
  • Don’t engage with unwanted callers: Don’t press buttons or confirm information. Simply hang up.
  • Be patient. Reducing unwanted calls takes time and effort.

Bonus Tips:

  • Consider call screening services that allow you to answer calls with a virtual assistant who filters out spam before connecting you to the caller.
  • Consider using a separate phone number for businesses or non-essential contacts. This minimizes the exposure of your primary number to potential spam.
  • Be wary of clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown callers.
  • Educate your family and friends about these strategies to help them combat unwanted calls as well.

Conclusion

While unwanted calls can be a nuisance, there are several effective strategies to combat them. By taking proactive steps such as registering with the DND registry, using call blocker apps, and being cautious about sharing your phone number, you can significantly reduce the number of unwanted calls you receive.

Additionally, spreading awareness about the issue and reporting unsolicited calls can contribute to creating a more secure phone environment for all Indians. Finally, the role of regulatory bodies like TRAI is crucial in ensuring that businesses and individuals adhere to the regulations and face consequences for non-compliance.

With a combination of individual efforts, technological solutions, and regulatory measures, we can work towards minimizing the impact of unwanted calls in India. Let’s take steps to protect our privacy and peace of mind in the digital age.

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