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Updated: 9:21 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 | Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013

Free ways to stop spam calls

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Do you get calls from solicitors on your cellphone? Some free apps will let you block those pesky numbers.

Unfortunately, the Do Not Call list is not working like it once did. So annoying telemarketers are now calling cellphones in big numbers. The best estimate is that 100 billion robocalls are being placed annually in the U.S. alone. Some are coming from the same numbers again and again!

In the Android world, one of the best free number blocking apps is PrivacyStar, according to Techlicious/Time magazine. Visit the Google Play store and download it for free. "The free version of the app comes with ads and only gives you real-time caller IDs and reverse call lookups for one week," Techlicious notes. "If you want to keep those features, you'll have to ante up for a paid subscription, which is $2.99 a month. By doing so you also lose the ads."

Or you can try Mr. Number, another free option. After I posted this story to Facebook, several users wrote in saying they've also had luck with other free options like Call Blocker and Phone Warrior.

For iPhone users, this kind of blocking is going to be a feature built into the next iOS.

I know it's a game of cat and mouse because the spammers keep changing phone numbers and many of these calls come from overseas anyway. But this is one step ahead for the cat and one step back for the mouse!

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