Sharon Koehler

Artistic Stone Design

Let’s face it – we all carry little computers in our pockets. They are our smart aka “cell phones.” We can’t live without them. The average person spends over 4 hours a day using their cell phone. Besides actually talking, we read books, Google things we Must Know Right Now, and keep up with social media. We also text, play games, listen to music and navigate with GPS. Oh, the things we do with those little plastic rectangles. 

We are so attached to them that we carry them everywhere. We panic when they go missing or break, and we turn our cars around and go back home when we realize we have forgotten them. We don’t care if we are late. We need that phone. Whether Android or IPhone – We MUST have that phone!

Unfortunately, as with many love affairs, there’s some unpleasant baggage that comes with your phone: spam/robo calls. 

Take Back Control of Your PhoneI live in an area code that has one of the highest spam call rates in the country. It is more than annoying; they waste a lot of time. Now, on my personal phone, I have the option to not answer and let it go to voice mail. If it’s a local number and if it’s a human, I usually get super belligerent. If it is someone claiming to be from the IRS, I ask for their badge number and threaten to report them to my lawyer. They usually hang up and don’t call back. I then block those numbers, but spammers can change phone numbers quicker than lightning. I feel it’s a losing battle. 

However, on my work phone I need to answer all calls. Those spam calls are the worst part of my day. Yes, my work phone is registered on the Do Not Call list, and I put those spam numbers on my block number list, but spammers don’t care. They just change their number and call back again and again and again. The madness never stops. 

But my friends, the madness CAN be stopped or at least slowed down. There are apps out there that you can download to your phone that intercept and reroute spam/robo calls, and thwart human spammers. The idea is that the app intercepts your call. It very quickly compares the number calling to its huge database of illegal and known spam numbers. If there is a match, it stops the call before it gets to you. If there is no match then the calls go through to you. This all happens in the blink of an eye. Yes, some calls may get through if they are not yet on the database. But if one does get through, you can report it and have it added to their database. 

If the app detects a spam or robo call it simply gives a message that the call has been blocked and hangs up. Some apps do have blocked call history logs that you can view, while others let you rely on the call log for your phone. 

Take Back Control of Your PhoneBefore you decide what you want to do, be sure to do the research. While most of the apps work under the same general principle of comparing the incoming call number to a data base, there are big differences between the apps themselves. 

Nomorobo has a free landline setup but cell phones are $1.99 per month per device, after a two-week free trial period. I checked on their star rating and it’s not great, but a lot of the bad reviews center around people not realizing there was a cost associated with the app. That struck me as a bit odd because it very clearly states on their website that landlines are free, but there is a charge for cell phones. 

Other reviews say the app does not stop ALL spam/robo calls, but I think those expectations might be a bit high. Not one robo call app claims to have a 100 percent intercept rate. But Nomorobo’s landline set up is interesting because as the spam/robo call capital of the U.S., we get at least four to five spam calls a day. Think of the time we save with this. We can actually work instead of being interrupted or wasting time. WOW!

RoboKiller goes a step further. If they intercept a spam/robo call and there is a human on the other end, their answer bots actually talk to the scammer and tie them up for a while, wasting their time. You can go to their website and listen in. They actually record those calls and make voice prints to help identify spammers. I checked their star rating as well, and while not terrific, again, a lot of the reviews are based on cost and not a failure to block 100 percent of the calls. It is very clearly listed on their website that the cost is $2.99 per month after a seven day trial period. 

There are lots of options, so make sure to pick the one that is right for you. Fight back. Fight to win.

Please send your thoughts on this article to Sharon Koehler at