Nearly 35 per cent of Hongkongers receive unsolicited calls on a daily basis, according to a survey conducted by political party the DAB. Following the tips below should reduce them to zero.
Gov’t registry: Add your number to the government ‘Do Not Call’ registry by calling 1835000 from the number you wish to register. It is an automated process and will prevent pre-recorded ‘robocalls’ only. It is also meant to block junk faxes. Check the status of your number on their website.
Call filter: Install StudioKuma Call Filter on your Android device or Junk Calls for iOS. Both block all telemarketing calls.
Below is a comparison table detailing the features of each app (translated by Redditor ‘WheelOfFire’).
There are options for other platforms are listed on the HK Junk Calls website, which also acts as a user-led database of numbers. Several apps match incoming calls to their blacklists and whitelists, silencing or dropping unwanted calls. Most of the apps can be set to notify the user of the blocked call and report what kind of caller it was.
The site keeps track of all kinds of unsolicited callers such as loan companies, beauticians and marketers, as well as known fraudsters like pyramid sellers and fake bank call scammers. You can use it to search for numbers.
Whatsapp: Whatsapp can be configured only to receive messages from people in your address book. However, this can be problematic when-and-if someone changes their number.
Prevention: Avoid giving your real number when registering with unimportant or untrusted companies and websites.
Being harassed? If an entity has failed to delete your data or misused your information, contact the Privacy Commissioner. If you are being harassed by a particular company, contact the Communications Authority. If you have been defrauded or misled by a company, approach the Consumer Council. Or, if you are feeling threatened by an individual or company, contact the police. Use a call recorder app on your phone if you need to retain evidence.