What the Tech: App of the Day–YouMail

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As call centers re-open you can bet companies will be busy trying to catch up on lost time since the pandemic began late last winter. Bad guys are no different. Since March, many call centers for so-called “Robo-call” companies have been closed or greatly reduced the number of people working. The end result is that robocalls being placed were at a 3 year low. October and November are notorious for being the busiest time of year for scammers and it’s expected that robocalls will increase substantially over the next few weeks.

If you’re being hounded enough already, maybe it’s time for a robocall blocking app. There are dozens in the app stores but you’ve got to be careful which one you download and install. Some robocall companies have released blocking apps in the past which actually place you on more call lists.

YouMail is one of the better robocall blocking apps and it works in a pretty unique way. Once installed, YouMail replaces the voice mail system you have with your cellular provider. YouMail CEO Alex Quilici explains how it works.

“It’s a better voice mail but it’s also a smarter voicemail that can suppress the ringer, move bad messages to spam,” he said. “We try to not let bad guys ring your phone and if somehow they get through and try to leave a message we put that message in a spam folder so it doesn’t bother you.”

Numbers found in your contact list will hear a personalized recording from you, but suspected spam calls will hear one of several messages you can choose. One of those pre-recorded messages instructs the caller to run through a number of steps to leave a message such as pressing,1 four times, spinning around, spelling out their name and phone number, and begin recording at the “bee”. The beep never plays.

Another smart voicemail message is a recording telling the caller that the number is no longer in service. “That tells automated dialing systems that this number isn’t valid,” Quilici said. “So the idea is over time it takes you off these lists and you’ll get even fewer calls trying to hit your number.”

YouMail works with most cellular networks. It is a free app for iPhones and Android devices. Quilici explains the companies revenue is generated by offering a premium version for $3.99 per month.

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