Do you get calls from scammers and telemarketers?

Trick question! We all do!

I stopped getting so many recently, thanks to Hiya. The claim?

Hiya identifies the calls you want to pick up and automatically blocks the ones you want to avoid.

And guess what? As of iOS 10.1 it sure does. I installed it after a day when I had eight scammer credit card calls in a row. In November, a day happened when I got a series of robocalls, and I didn’t answer any of them. My phone flashed, said it had a call, and then it went away, like a hangup. Curious, I popped into my call log to see who’d butt dialed me and saw Hiya flagged the number as a scammer.

They were right. They’ve been nothing but right since I installed it and configured it, and I’ve been unbothered by crazy phone calls.

Setting up the app is onerous, I’ll warn you. On an iPhone, after I installed Hiya, I had to go in to Settings -> Phone -> Call Blocking & Identification. There I had an option for Hiya to allow the app to block calls and provide caller ID. And once I toggled that on, it took minutes for my phone to sync everything up but … Once it was done, the app worked exactly as expected.

The bother went away.

Now for the dark side. Hiya needs access to your contacts. Their privacy policy isn’t fully clear on what they do with it, but they do say they take the numbers in your contacts to build a whitelist. After all, people you add to your contacts aren’t likely to be spammers. But they also claim not to use your information, sell it, or market to your contacts. They also don’t sell to 3rd parties.

As a California resident, I can write and request (once a year) for a list of everyone they gave my information to, so I may do that later, but they appear to be on the up and up. They’re FTC governed, though given that the drama with all this started because they’re doing fuck all at stopping spammers, your milage may vary.

Me? I’m kicking scammers to the curb.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Hi Mika,
    I’m not an Apple person… 😉 But I’ve been using nomorobo.com to great effect – It even got political calls!
    For it to work, you need to have a voIP with Simultaneous Ring. Most of the broadband carriers are enrolled. Best of all, it’s free!!
    It’s also available for mobile phones, but they do charge a fee for that. That doesn’t bother me… My cell phone is only turned on when I want to call someone… LOL!!!
    Ken

  2. Hey. This is cool; thanks Mika! Installed it, and it tagged all the previous calls I suspected were scams/spam.

  3. I use Truecaller for both mobile and SMS. It warns, but it does not block the calls and stop them from ringing. Or at least I have not set it up to do that. I better check!
    Robert

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