We’ve (probably) all gotten them: calls from a random number in our area code that we don’t recognize but maybe we’re inclined to pick up, because there’s that nagging sensation it might be a confirmation call from the dentist for an appointment we scheduled some unknown number of months ago. These calls suck!

Sure, there’s the national do-not-call list, but that doesn’t work because basically all legitimate businesses gave up on telemarketing a long time ago and only scammers (and charities and politicians) do telemarketing anymore. The scammers call with offers of things like lower interest rates on credit cards you don’t actually have, or extended warranties on vehicles you no longer own, or soliciting donations to fake charities. I’ve gotten several calls from the same possibly-automated guy who sounds like a cartoon cowboy wanting me to make donations to some kind of unnamed veterans’ charity.

I have it relatively easy when it comes to ignoring these calls. I have a Maryland area code but live in Wisconsin. The scammers have tried to get sophisticated by spoofing caller IDs with a number local to the one they’re dialing, so it looks like it could be legit. But in my case, the only people who would be calling me from Maryland are all in my contacts. So I just ignored anything with a random Maryland area code. I could’ve gotten some kind of call blocking app, but didn’t bother to try any of them.

Then I got my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. I didn’t quite realize what was happening when I first set up my phone and it asked me for some permissions related to Hiya, but I remembered that when I helped my sister set up her ZTE Axon 7, she got a similar request for permissions. Turns out, both Samsung and ZTE integrate Hiya into their phones.

I started getting my usual spam calls, and lo and behold, the caller ID would pop up with messages like “suspected spam” or “telemarketer.” This was damn awesome.

Advertisement

In fact, I loved it so much I listed Hiya integration as one of the best things about my phone in my super-OCD review of it.

Last week, my wife asked me if there was a call blocking app I recommend. Hiya is also available as a standalone app for both Android and Apple so I suggested it to her. Here is the actual text message exchange I had with her.

Advertisement

Wife: What’s your favorite call blocker app?

Me: Check out Hiya, it’s built in to my new phone but you can download it on yours

Wife: Do you screen all unknown numbers?

Me: I wouldn’t, most telemarketers nowadays try to fake a local-looking number instead of unknown number

Advertisement

Wife: Whoa.. It gave telemarketers names!

Me: Yeah when I get a telemarketer call it’ll be like, “suspected telemarketer” or “spam alert” etc

Wife: Ha! Blocked two guys with 354 prefixes leaving me bogus credit offers, thanks! 😊

Advertisement

This morning, I saw an article about the phone companies are trying to work with the FCC to help block all these scam calls, but there won’t be any immediate changes. So I posted on facebook about Hiya, and within a half hour, multiple friends chimed in on how they also like it.

So I’m sharing Hiya with you, the good people of Oppo. Because Hiya Caller ID is “Wife Tested, Atlas///M Approved™.”

Get it here in the Google Play Store or the App Store.