Apple introduces new call blocking software with iOS 13 to combat robocalls

As part of the upcoming iOS 13 software update Apple revealed Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference, the company introduced new features that promise to block frequent scam and spam callers. Essentially, when this setting is turned on, only phone numbers that are recognized  (via your Contacts, Mail, and Messages) will ring the phone. All other calls are automatically dispatched to voicemail.

  The user will only be notified about the call if the caller leaves a voicemail. The recipient can then read Apple’s transcription of the voicemail and see if they want to call the number back…


That late-night telephone call you just got that amounted to one ring – don’t call back.

The Federal Communications Commission has issued an alert to consumers about a new wave of “One Ring” robocalls after “widespread overnight calling” in the states of New York and Arizona.

These recent “One Ring” calls attempt to bait consumers into calling the number back, which can result in you being billed toll charges as if you called a 900 number. The calls are also known as “Wangiri” – the term means “one ring and done” in Japanese, so labelled after the scam originated there years ago…


In a few weeks, the dreaded tax season will be over. We loathe those oddly titled documents with the tiny print. We wonder what number – refund or remainder – those mysterious equations will spit out.

And as more of us sign up as part-time contractors, driving for Lyft and selling crafts on Etsy, our taxes get more complicated. We get anxious.

Criminals love to take advantage of that anxiety.

Tax scams and phishing operations are getting more sophisticated than ever. By faking ads, websites and caller IDs, scammers will gladly prey on your ignorance…


As the war against robocalls wages on, the Federal Trade Commission claims to have won yet another victory against the illegal spammers. 

In a release this week, the agency touted that it shut down “four separate operations” that were responsible for “bombarding consumers nationwide with billions of unwanted and illegal robocalls.”

According to the FTC, the groups responsible pitched a wide array of services from auto warranties and debt-relief services to home security systems, fake charities and services meant to help improve Google search results. 

March 20, 2019

The fight against robocalls can even bring telecom rivals together.

AT&T and Comcast said Wednesday that they can authenticate calls made between the two different phone providers’ networks, a potential industry first and the latest in the long-running battle against spam calls. 

Using AT&T’s Phone digital home phone service and Comcast’s Xfinity Voice home phone service, the companies successfully tested the feature over regular consumer networks and not in a lab, the companies said…


February 23, 2019

You’re in the shower. The phone rings. Your husband is out of town and you’ve been waiting for his call. You push through the curtain, your hair full of shampoo, you grab the phone and blurt out, “Hello?”

“Hello,” a voice answers, “this is Cindy with card services …”

You’re in the car. You’re on the way to the hospital. Your phone rings. You think it might be the doctor. You feel around, find the phone, hold it to your ear while keeping your eyes on the road. “Hello?” you say anxiously.

“Hi, this is Philip with an important message about your credit …”

November 15, 2018

Your cellphone rings. You don’t recognize the number on the screen, but the call appears to be coming from your area code – perhaps even your exchange. Maybe the display shows it’s coming from your town.

So you answer – and the unwanted recorded message begins.

A voice wants to sell you an extended warranty for your car, or a timeshare in a vacation spot, a loan to refinance your home.

It might even be a Chinese-language message about a purported package awaiting pickup at the local consulate…

July 6, 2018

Wondering whether you should pick up that random number that just called? 

Chances are, it’s a robocall, and it may be a scam. 

Robocalls have been on the rise in the United States: An estimated 4.1 billion robocalls were made nationwide in June alone, according to data compiled by YouMail, an app that aims to prevent robocalls by playing an out-of-service message from your phone. Since February this year, the number of robocalls made to phone users across the country has risen more than 40 percent, it says.

Most of the time, these robocalls are after people’s money. With the rapid improvement of phone caller ID – which, on most cellphones, can now warn you of an incoming potential scam call – and the proliferation of apps designed to screen for fake calls, the number of robocalls that actually get picked up on the first try is declining, according to YouMail CEO Alex Quilici… 

July 5, 2018

Scammers are flooding the United States with Chinese-language robocalls, causing major headaches from coast to coast.

These new robocalls are a lot like the ones you’ve already gotten on your phone at all hours of the day and night: Your phone rings, you pick up, and after a brief pause or maybe a quiet click or beep, a prerecorded voice message meets your ears. The recording, which often sounds like a young woman, usually delivers a message about lowering credit-card rates or buying into cheap health insurance…

March 23, 2018

The robocalls just keep coming.

But some new rules and initiatives may help the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission better combat them.

The FCC has approved a proposal to create a database of phone numbers that are reassigned — about 38 million are each year —  so the new owners of the numbers can avoid unwanted calls…