Annoyance Blocking

Turn Off Annoying Calls, Mail, Email and Texts

Some of the most annoying things in life these days are the unsolicited, unwanted, and useless invasions of our personal space and time, in the form of calls, mail, and email.  These unwanted invasions cost us time, space, and sometimes a lot of money.  We have some ‘tricks of the trade’ to at least stem the flow, and I thought I would share them with you.

 

man yelling into phone

Block Robo Calls

Many phone companies are flagging or blocking spam calls.  Verizon is starting to put a “V” in front of verified caller lines in the caller ID.  (No V does not necessarily mean it is a bad call)

  • Set up Call Filters on your phone line.
  • Set up Nomorobo (Free for VOIP lines, $20/year fee for mobile)
  • The National Do Not Call Registry: 1.888.382.1222 or www.donotcall.gov.  Your state may also have a number to call.
  • Set up Anonymous Call Rejection through your phone company.
  • Block calls as they come in to prevent future disturbances.
  • Use a paid 3rd party app like Hiya to block calls.

For more information, the FTC has a resource list.

Most of these settings can be found on your phone company’s website and require some navigation skills to get it all set up.  Others are apps that you install on your mobile phone.

No junk mail slot in door

Stop Unwanted Mail

Add names of household members to DMAchoice to the Do Not Mail service.  There is a small fee.

Add a different account with names of people you are a caretaker for.

Add an account for name(s) of the deceased if you are the executor.

Use the Paper Karma app (free or paid versions).  This phone or tablet app lets you scan a piece of mail, enter/select your name, and they will handle getting your name off the company’s mailing list at no extra charge!

Write to the company and ask to be removed from their list.

 

Email do not enter

Limit Your Email Inbox

Unsubscribe.  Legitimate companies provide and very tiny UNSUBSCRIBE link, usually at the bottom of an email. You should only do this with reputable companies as some scammers use the link to be bad guys.

Flag as Junk.  This is either an option on the email (right click to access), or an icon you click once the email is selected.  Never reply to an unknown sender.

Report fraudulent emails.  (Use the Spam icon in Google; also report to the FTC.)

Set up rules or labels for emails you may want to read sometime, but not immediately.  Then they don’t clutter your inbox and can be read or deleted later.

Use a spam blocker app. Be careful not to download one that scams you!

Stop Unwanted Text Notifications

For reputable senders, just reply to the text with the word STOP.  This would be if you never want them to text you again.

To report spam texts to the FTC, forward the text to SPAM (7726).  You can add this as a contact in your phone.

Get Help

Unfortunately, a simple phone call is not usually a viable solution in today’s world.  As you noticed, many of the steps listed above require some technical skills that I know some of our readers do not have.  If these issues are a real plague for you, you could be very vulnerable to financial fraud and exploitation.  We don’t want that to happen.  Call us if you need some help.  Your favorite teenager can also figure it out! 😊

Your health and peace of mind are worth every step of this journey.