CenturyLink Robocalls Blocker—Stopping Robocalls on Your Home Phone
With somewhere between 59 and 65 billion robocalls (depending on the report) made in the States in 2019, it’s becoming clear that this plague is threatening to become one of the most common financial scams in the U.S. Although robocalls can be made for legitimate reasons, a massive number of them are illegal.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and all major telephone service providers in the U.S. are coming up with various tactics and tools to fight back against robocalls. Unfortunately, their efforts seem to be focused, or at least show the best results, on mobile devices.
Home phones are being increasingly targeted as fraudsters realized that protecting your landline from spam is a bit more challenging at the moment. CenturyLink concentrated on developing solutions that will protect your home phone from robocall harassment.
What Are Robocalls?
Robocalls are pre-recorded voice messages delivered via phone calls. Robocallers use automated dialers to reach your number. There is no living person on the other end of the line, so you are essentially “talking” to a machine or a robot.
Since the technology behind robocalls is relatively cheap and available, many businesses, both honest and fraudulent, turned to robocalls to save money and time. The automated dialers can make hundreds or thousands of calls a day. Whoever runs the operation does not have to establish a whole call center, so headcount drops to just a few people.
Internet-based phones enabled the callers to make calls from anywhere in the world without worrying about high bills. Many spam calls are made from foreign countries with inadequate legislation, and since the U.S. has no jurisdiction there, preventing international robocalls is extremely difficult.
Are All Robocalls Unlawful?
The problem with robocalls is that they are not illegal. That’s why it’s impossible to stop robocalls entirely. The content of the message and the intent of the call can be unlawful, though. Sometimes it can be challenging to distinguish legitimate calls from those that are downright scams.
What you should be aware of is that you are not obliged to receive robocalls, even from official institutions. You are free to use robocall blockers from CenturyLink or other resources to block even the robocalls coming from government agencies.
Telemarketing companies must get your written consent to put you on their calling lists. They should also let you know that they use robocalls as a part of their marketing campaigns. You are allowed to remove your number from the list whenever you like.
When it comes to legal robocalls that you may want to take, they usually come from one of the following organizations:
- Pharmacies often make robocalls to let their customers know when a prescription is ready for pickup
- Hospitals and other medical institutions use robocalls as appointment reminders
- Educational institutions use automated messages to announce sudden closures or changes in opening times
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses robocalls to inform the citizens about deadlines or to convey other important messages
- Charities use robocalls for raising funds in the most cost-effective way
- Political parties use automated messages to call people to vote or do surveys
How to Recognize Fraudulent Robocalls
Legitimate robocalls aim to pass information and not extract it, so it is one of the easiest ways to make a distinction between the two. Honest businesses and organizations will also use other communication tools to pass the same message. The IRS, for example, uses emails and snail mail in addition to robocalls.
Robocall scams are getting more elaborate, so recognizing them is a bit tricky. The caller ID can be misleading because of spoofing. This exceptionally popular method imitates local phone numbers, so you would be less likely to ignore the call.
The number appears as your area code number, so you might think that a neighbor or a local business is calling you. Unfortunately, spoofing numbers is relatively easy, so most robocallers use it as a rule.
All robocall frauds intend to take your money, and they all fit into the following pattern:
- They present the information as urgent — it can be a reward you must collect immediately, or a debt you must settle right away
- They ask for sensitive personal details — they can ask for bank account or credit card numbers to be passed over the phone
- They require an instant response — it usually means paying something then and there
- They don’t provide written proof of their claims or offers — you won’t get an email, snail mail, or anything that can be traced or used to verify the deal
Can CenturyLink Block Robocalls?
CenturyLink offers solutions to the robocall pestilence that has been affecting home phones all over the States. While most people have installed various tools and apps to prevent robocallers from harassing them on their cell phones, landlines remain a fertile ground for fraudulent activities of phone scammers.
CenturyLink directed their attention towards landlines and developed several tools that can block harassing calls, spam calls, and robocalls on your home phone. If you have been receiving unwanted calls, you can choose some of the following features to help you reduce them:
- No Solicitation
- Security Screen
- Caller ID with Privacy+
- Anonymous Call Rejection
- Call Rejection
- Digital Home Phone protection (in partnership with Nomorobo)
Before analyzing these features, we should let you know that not all customers are satisfied with CenturyLink services and that there are CenturyLink lawsuits for disingenuous behavior.
No Solicitation—CenturyLink Robocall Blocking Service
As the name implies, the No Solicitation feature is designed to protect users from solicitation calls. It works like a call-screening and blocking service, and is easy to install on your home phone.
If you opt for No Solicitation, your calls will be screened from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Each caller will first hear a recorded message prompting them to press 1 to continue with the call. This feature works exceptionally well when it comes to robocalls because the machine will not be able to follow the instructions.
In the case of spam calls made by real people, No Solicitation is not as effective. If you are struggling with robocalls, don’t hesitate to activate this feature on your home phone, and check how it works for you.
No Solicitation comes with a privilege list, which allows specific numbers to skip the recorded message and get directly through. If a particular number calls you five times within seven days and successfully completes the instructions, it will automatically be added to the privilege list.
Security Screen—Robocall Blocker CenturyLink
Security Screen functions like a non-stop screening service that aims to filter all suspicious or unknown phone numbers before they get through to you. This feature asks the callers to provide their phone number before the call is connected. All callers that fail to do so won’t be able to reach you.
CenturyLink’s Security Screen applies to all callers calling from:
- Long-distance numbers
- Toll-free numbers
- Blocked numbers
- Unidentified numbers
Each of these callers will be instructed to enter a phone number with 10 digits that can be verified. All honest callers will be able to comply, so you could expect fewer spam calls coming your way.
Caller ID with Privacy+ from CenturyLink
Caller ID with Privacy+ is designed to block all calls coming from numbers with deactivated Caller ID. The callers must record their name, and the message will be sent to you for approval. You can decide whether or not to take the call.
This feature works best for telemarketing calls and robocalls. Telemarketers are usually reluctant to disclose their names, while machines are not able to respond to this request. The downside is that the process of reaching you is a bit tiresome and time-consuming.
CenturyLink Anonymous Call Rejection
Anonymous Call Rejection is meant to block all numbers that appear as private or anonymous. This means that the caller ID was blocked on them or that they simply lack enough information for identification.
The callers using such numbers will be asked to:
- Hang up
- Pick up the telephone again
- Press *87
- Redial your number
This will identify their number, and it will appear on your screen. Robocalls and a significant number of other spam calls will be stopped with Anonymous Call Rejection. The problem is that the feature will not work if the number comes with a flag:
- Out of area
- Not provided
Spoofed numbers will also pass Anonymous Call Rejection screening.
CenturyLink Call Rejection
Call Rejection uses a blacklist that you create to stop unwanted calls. You should create a list of numbers you wish to avoid, and Call Rejection will block all calls coming from these numbers. Here’s how it works:
- You list the unwanted numbers
- All callers calling from them will hear a message saying that you are not available for calls
- Numbers can be local and long-distance though certain restrictions apply for the latter
The problem with this feature is that it blocks only the numbers that you provide without a screening of new or unknown numbers. It won’t work well for robocalls because they change the numbers frequently, and it would be impossible to add them to your blacklist.
CenturyLink Robocall Blocking on Digital Home Phones
Century link teamed up with Nomorobo to offer a tool that can be used for blocking calls if you are using a digital home phone. Internet-based phones use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), and they are becoming quite common in many households all over the States.
In case you are not sure what kind of a landline you have, check with your carrier. If you are using a digital home phone, CenturyLink and Nomorobo app may be the right solution for blocking unwanted calls.
The process is as follows:
- Sign up on Nomorobo
- Choose the Landlines option
- Select Internet landline
- Enter your phone number or choose CenturyLink Digital Home Phone from the list of carriers
- Finish setup with the instructions Nomorobo will send in an email
Check out the table below for an overview of CenturyLink services.
|Service||Available for||Designed for|
|Caller ID with Privacy+||Landlines|
|Anonymous Call Rejection||Landlines||Calls with hidden IDs|
|Call Rejection||Landlines||Familiar numbers you wish to avoid|
|CenturyLink/Nomorobo Tool||Digital home phones|
How to Block Robocalls on Your Mobile Phone?
CenturyLink can help with unwanted calls on your home phone, but it won’t work on your mobile phone. The FCC guide to robocalls instructs telephone service providers in the U.S. to add spam-call blockers to all the numbers automatically. If you are still getting robocalls on your cell, contact your carrier to activate the service.
All major providers have both free and paid versions of unwanted call blockers. As of 2019, a new technology called SHAKEN/STIR kicked in, allowing for better screening and blocking of spam calls.
CenturyLink is also looking into ways to incorporate SHAKEN/STIR protocols to provide better protection to its clients. The ongoing war with phone fraudsters has united carriers and government agencies, and according to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, the results are excellent.
Additional protection from robocallers comes in the form of third-party apps that can be downloaded for Android and iOS that screen the calls and prevent scammers from getting in touch with you. If you believe you need extra filters for robocalls, check out one of the below apps:
How to Handle Robocalls That Get Pass the CenturyLink Robocall Help?
Before we dive into some additional tips on how to handle robocalls that actually get through to you, we advise you to put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry. The Do Not Call List prevents unwanted callers from reaching out to you, since listing a number makes it illegal for them to call you.
Although the Do Not Call List exceptions will make it possible for some robocallers to get through to you, the list is a starting point for blocking telemarketers. It’s also a filter that proves that all robocalls coming your way are fraudulent because honest businesses will respect the fact that your number is on the list.
Here are a few simple rules you should follow to safeguard yourself from robocalls:
- Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers because it’s the best way to avoid robocalls
- Don’t engage with the caller because it would be impossible to extract any information from you
- Don’t press keys or call back numbers provided during the call because it will only confirm that your number is legitimate, and it will lead to more calls
- Don’t be tricked into revealing personal details because well-intended businesses and institutions would not ask you to
- Don’t say yes on the call because your voice can be recorded and used for authorization of deals and transactions
Robocallers hide behind valid businesses and organizations, so they tend to impersonate the IRS and utility providers. Even if you think that the call might be real, you should not follow the instructions, but contact the organization independently and check the information for yourself.
Reporting robocalls is also vital because it helps identify as many scam callers as possible and contributes to putting an end to this pest once and for all. You can report robocalls that you receive to:
Can DoNotPay Help With Robocalls?
DoNotPay fights robocalls by helping you take $3,000 from the caller. This fantastic feature called RoboRevenge is designed to hurt the scammers by attacking their funds. The process is legal and easy because DoNotPay does most of the work.
To get the robocall revenge, you must disobey some of the standard rules of handling robocalls and actually engage with the caller. It will not put you — or your money — in any danger, so the next time you get a robocall, do the following:
- Log on DoNotPay via your web browser or iOS app
- Select RoboRevenge
- Create the DoNotPay virtual credit card
- Provide the details of the card to the caller when they ask (and ask they will)
- Wait for the caller to attempt a transaction because at that moment DoNotPay will get hold of their details
- Use the documents and instructions that DoNotPay provides to you to make a robocall lawsuit and get up to $3,000
The trick is in the free virtual credit card that DoNotPay generates for you. It is not a real card, but a virtual car number unrelated to authentic funding sources, and it does not contain any personal information even though it looks like a real card to the caller.
For a better overview of what the difference between a real credit card and a virtual one is, check out the table below. You should know that if your number is not on the DoNotCall List, the app will put it there automatically.
Real Credit Card
|DoNotPay Virtual Credit Card|
|Linked to your bank account|
Not linked to a funding source
Has personal details of the holder
|Holder’s details are unavailable|
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay can do a lot of things, specifically help with matters that require legal assistance that is out of reach for many people. If you need to lower your bills, get a refund from an airline, or unsubscribe from a service you are not using, contact the world’s first robot lawyer, and ask for help. Our virtual legal team can also offer advice on how to handle paying bills that are overdue.
- Dealing with issues with credit cards
- Canceling subscriptions or memberships
- Disputing traffic tickets
- Suing people and companies in small claims court
- Scheduling a DMV appointment fast and easy
- Getting refunds for delayed or canceled flights
- Dealing with bills you are unable to pay for
- Jumping the phone queue when getting in touch with customer service reps
- Fighting speeding tickets
- Getting revenge on robocalls
- Contesting parking tickets