Robocalls are increasing, and people are tired of them. Almost everyone gets those annoying computerized messages. They come at any time of the day or night. Even if people are on the "Do Not Call" registry, robocalls still come with all kinds of announcements even though steps have been taken to stop them.

Robocalls are illegal

Robocalls are illegal with the exceptions of school closings and push 911 messages, according to Janice Kopec, an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Just last month, the calls went up 5 percent with a total of 2.6 billion. That means the average household received up to eight of those unwanted calls even though their #Telephone Numbers might have been on the "Do Not Call" list.

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'Do Not Call' list

Usually, legitimate businesses abide by the "Do Not Call" list. They don't call if a person's telephone number has been registered. Scammers are the ones who don't pay attention to the list. They know how to get through with scams to trick people into turning over their money to them. Many scammers make their calls from overseas where the FTC has little control. Besides, the oversea callers have local telephone numbers to give the impression they are in the receiver's locality.

Earlier this month, the FTC brought a lawsuit against Dish Network for $280 million for robocalls. The satellite television provider is appealing the decision on the grounds that it is in compliance with telemarketing policies.

How consumers can stop the calls

Consumers can do something to stop or minimize the unwanted calls.

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People should stop answering calls coming from telephone numbers they don't recognize. If people do pick up the phone, they shouldn't try to argue with anyone because the call is computerized. If a person picks up the telephone out of habit, he should hang up immediately. Also, it is not a good idea to press any numbers because it could be another way to participate in phone scams without realizing it.

Also, individuals can block robocalls by using certain services and free apps, such as Hiya, YouMail, and Nomorobo. These are third-party services that identify known robocallers and telemarketers and block the calls from getting through. People should make sure their number is registered on the "Do Not Call" list. They can do that by calling 1-888-382-1222 to register or to confirm that their number is on it. Illegal robocalls can be reported to the FTC.