The average American gets two to three telemarketing calls a day and by now you know the 'Do Not Call' registry does little to stop the annoying calls to your cell phone. Local 2 Consumer Expert Amy Davis has discovered an app that can provide some relief from the constant ringing.
The app is called Privacy Star. It makes it easy for you not only to figure out who is calling you before you answer the phone, it also helps you file complaints against debt collectors and telemarketers who are breaking the law.
"They said that we had taken out a loan ...that we owed them this money ...that my husband was gonna have felony charges ...he was gonna go to jail," explained Meredith Jones, telling Davis about repeated phone calls she had received from a bogus debt collector two years ago.
At the time, she had no idea how to figure out who was threatening and harassing her.
"Your phone rings and if it's someone who's not in your contacts, you don't know who it is," said Privacy Star's Jonathan Sasse.
Privacy Star is a free Android app. Just download it to your phone and whenever you get a call, the app's caller ID tells you the type of business calling you.
"Maybe it's a telemarketer that has a considerable amount of complaints against them, in which case it's a number that you probably don't want to answer," said Sasse.
You can block the call, or if you do pick up, Privacy Star asks you if you want to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission about the caller. You can do that through the app right from your phone.
"The more complaints that are generated for a particular caller or company or agency, the more likely the FTC is to be able to take some action," said Sasse.
With all of the data Privacy Star has amassed, you can also go directly to its website to look up any phone number to find out who is calling you and how many complaints have been filed against that number. The company says it has blocked more than 100 million calls and filed more than 300,000 complaints directly with the FTC.
You can upgrade to Privacy Star's premium service for $2.99 a month to get even more information about the people calling you.