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Government shutdown could mean more robocalls on your cellphone

Posted at 4:31 AM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 16:50:46-05

The government shut down is trickling further down to the point where it could affect your cellphone.

The Federal Trade Commission's robocall registry is down and that means more people are getting more unwanted calls.

Some people are getting bombarded with dozens of calls in just one day. Luckily companies like AT&T, T-Mobile and app developers are offering relief for consumers.

First, here is some background: The FTC is run by the government and has a section that specializes in assisting consumers with robotic calls from scammers and advertisers. Sometimes the calls can be excessive until the consumer adds their number to a do-not-call list.

Right now, when you go to the FTC website, there is a message in bold at the top of the page that says, "THE FTC IS CLOSED DUE TO THE LAPSE IN GOVERNMENT FUNDING."

The registry created to stop the callers, is also down. The page is mostly blank with a message that reads, "Due to the government shutdown, we are unable to offer this website service at this time...We will resume normal operations when the government is funded."

Florida resident Tanya Bloom claims that her phone has been bombarded with dozens of calls per day since the shutdown began.

"I had to turn my phone off. It was too much. I didn’t think it’d impact something like that, and its one of those little things, you need it and its not there," Bloom said. "I kind of put two-and-two together, thinking they know about the shutdown. They’re going to utilize the opportunity to not get in trouble from that."

In the meantime, there are several apps you can download for both apple and android to protect yourself:

Below are a few top-rated blocking apps for smartphones :

These apps have been recommended by telecommunications companies for download to help stop the robocallers. Services include spam warnings, call blocking and even checks for fake caller IDs.

AT&T's Caller Protect app autoblocks potential fraud calls, give spam warnings and manage unwanted calls. T-Mobile also has an in network blocker.

Click here for more information on Android applications and instructions on how to manage robocalls on your Android device.

Click here to learn how to set up a third-party app on your Apple device to help you detect and block spam phone calls.