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Illegal robocalls on the rise, here are ways to fight back

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Major carriers say customers report getting at least 6 illegal robocalls per week. CR photo

A federal judge this June ordered Dish Network to pay a $280 million dollar fine for making millions of illegal robocalls to numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.

According to a recent Consumer Reports survey, at least 62 percent of AT&T, CenturyLink and Verizon customers reported receiving six or more robocalls per week. And the problem has gotten worse.

Now consumers are being bombarded by these calls straight to their cell phones. For calls that aren’t bypassing the ring, phone carriers are now offering different tools to help.

At&T has a free app for its customers that automatically blocks scam calls for iPhones 6 and higher and Androids that can use AT&T HD Voice.

T-Mobile offers free scam call-blocking

And Sprint and Verizon have apps that display the caller’s name on your incoming screen for callers who are not already in your contacts list.

Verizon has also made it easier to sign up with the popular robocall blocker, Nomorobo.

Consumer Reports recommends that consumers closely evaluate what kind of information they’re willing to disclose to prevent robocalls - so look at the terms and conditions when signing up.

Another way consumers can fight back is to report robocalls to the Federal Trade Commission. Write down the number and enter it on the Do Not Call Registry complaint website.

To learn more about the steps you can take to protect yourself from robocalls, visit the Consumers Union End Robocalls website.