How do we end phone spam?

I am writing about an increasingly annoying problem. Maybe someone reading this will be able to offer some help.

The problem is coming by land and by cell.

More than half of the calls we get on our land line are not from human beings and a growing number — maybe 20-30 percent — of the calls on my cell phone are spam, too.

The number of spam calls used to be practically zero; the great increase in junk is relatively recent.

Somehow, the spammers have acquired the names and phone numbers of local people and organizations. So, having caller ID, I answer the call. And I’m greeted with something like: “Hi, how are you? My name is Jessica with Home Security Promotions …”

Usually, no matter what caller ID says, I am hanging up on Jessica, Julie or Rachel. Sometimes I don’t know for sure if I’m hanging up on a human. I no longer feel badly hanging up on a human because I know that even if I take the time to say, “I’m not interested and don’t call back” … the person or robot will call back. It means nothing to the person or robot if I say, “Take me off your list.”

It’s potentially dangerous because people with caller ID might ignore a call that has relevance, thinking it’s a call from a spammer who has stolen someone’s phone identity.

Equally alarming … what if a spammer has stolen my identity and is using my identity when calling people?

I checked this week and found out:

1. Although I put our house phone on Indiana’s “do not call” list many years ago, it was not registered on the National Do Not Call Registry found at donotcall.gov. So I added the house phone to the national registry.

2. My cell phone number has been on the National Do Not Call Registry list since June 14, 2005 — almost 12 years.

Spammers don’t follow the rules.

Have any of you successfully stopped spam phone calls? I will share any helpful information that I receive in a future column.

Thank you!