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November 28, 2018
What It Is, How It Works, And How It Affects You
Are you tired of unknown callers spamming up your call history? How many 1-800 numbers can possibly exist in one lifetime? Maybe your sick and tired of telemarketers getting your number regardless of the Do Not Call lists you’ve signed up for.
Here’s where TrapCall comes in.
What It Is
TrapCall is an app you can use to “unmask” blocked or unknown callers. They also allow for a more permanent Blacklist solution and can automatically block robocalls. This subscription-based app offers a variety of privacy and protection features for each payment tier. Sounds great, right?
There’s some debate on this. While users of TrapCall love the features, some dissident voices claim it’s dangerous. Domestic Abuse advocates, especially, have cried foul. They claim that TrapCall takes away anonymity options that can protect victims who must contact their abusers for any reason (e.g. child custody and visitation).
However, TrapCall defenders return that the app was made with abuse survivors in mind. It allows them to know who is contacting them, when, and why. This, they say, keeps the ex from hiding behind *67.
So, is TrapCall beneficial? Detrimental? Read on, and we’ll let you decide.
Who Makes It
TrapCall was designed by the minds at TelTech, who make it pretty clear what they’re all about:
Our passion is the development of innovative, yet practical, communications products. We work hard to create apps that people really want [sic] and we believe that a great product can touch millions of people, changing the way they use telecom and mobile apps.
Based in New Jersey, this telecommunication tech group focuses primarily on apps that enhance the user experience in our ever-connected digital society. In addition to TrapCall, their portfolio also includes RoboKiller, TapeACall, SpoofCard, and No More Voicemail.
What it Does
Based on your Subscription Tier—Basic, Premium, or Ultimate— you’ll gain access to a combination of features.
TrapCalls main claim to fame is the ability to reveal who is behind callers listed as Unknown, No Caller ID, Blocked, Restricted, etc. When the calls come in, users simply decline to send the caller through TrapCall’s identification system. The call will then ring back through with the associated name and number.
Automatically Block Spam
This feature works differently for iPhone and Android users.
For iPhone, TrapCall references a Global Spam List. If any number from the GSL attempts to call you, they are automatically redirected to a message saying that your phone is out of service before being disconnected. Your phone never rings, and the callers cannot leave a voicemail.
For Android, you have two options. If you enable Call Blocking permissions, then this service works the same as iPhone. However, if you don’t activate these permissions, TrapCall will alert you when a call is Spam. The call isn’t automatically blocked, giving you the option to answer.
If you receive a call from a number that is flagged as Spam but is from a contact you are expecting, you can whitelist that number to prevent any important calls from being missed.
Blacklist Harassing Callers
If pesky telemarketers and spam calls (or that one ex) refuse to give up, you can send them to the Blacklist. When a caller is Blacklisted, then any calls from their number are redirected to a message claiming that your phone number is no longer in service before they are disconnected. Good riddance!
Get Names and Faces with Live ID
Premium and Ultimate users on iPhone can now potentially receive a name, face, and physical address when they run numbers through TrapCall. They can then choose whether to answer or send the call to voicemail.
When TrapCall Live ID successfully identifies a caller in this manner, the information is automatically saved to their contact profile.
Record Incoming Calls
Ultimate Subscribers can choose to record calls with the push of a button. Be aware of the laws in your area! In the United States, some states require that you alert the other party of the recording, while others state both parties must consent. Yet more areas will admit recordings as evidence regardless of the other party’s awareness. TrapCall automatically plays a warning to the caller if you choose to record a call; you can deactivate this warning in your settings if laws permit.
Some services— VOIP callers, or other alternate line services— cannot be unmasked as they are routed through a company or don’t have a number to show. When this happens, Privacy Lock will route declined calls through a message that asks the caller to state who they are. When the call comes back through to you, TrapCall will play the recording and then give you three options: accept, hang up, or send to voicemail.
Your coverage is based on how much you agree to pay per month, though you have the option to cancel your subscription at any time with no penalty.
Unmask Blocked Calls, Blacklist Harassing Numbers, 10 Reverse Number Lookups per month
Unmask Blocked Calls, Blacklist Harassing Numbers, Spam Protection, Privacy Lock, Missed Call Alerts, Name & Address Caller ID, 50 Revers Number Lookups per month, 10 Voicemail Transcriptions per month, Call Recording
Unmask Blocked Calls, Blacklist Harassing Numbers, Spam Protection, Privacy Lock, Missed Call Alerts, Live Caller ID, Name & Address Caller ID, Unlimited Reverse Number Lookups, Unlimited Voicemail Transcriptions, Call Recording
How to Install
Go to Google Play or the App Store and search “TrapCall.” You should see a symbol with the blue and green speech bubbles in the logo above. Make sure it’s the service from TelTech! Once you install TrapCall, open the app and follow the instructions to set up your phone. The app will then have you copy a string of numbers to your Dialer. Hit your call button so that your phone dials every number, hashtag or pound sign, and asterisk. You’re all set!
How to Use
Once you’ve activated TrapCall on your phone, the app will run any call that you initially decline through its identification database. The call will then ring back through to you with more information, and you can make the final decision to accept the call, send it to voicemail, or disconnect.
How to Blacklist a Number
In your app, go to the Blacklist tab and select “Add.” Type in the number and a label before pressing “Blacklist Number.”
How to Record a Call
Record any incoming call by going to the Settings tab and enable “Record Calls.” Read the prompt and then press “Continue.” Whenever you decline a call, it will ring back through TrapCall and be automatically be recorded. Recorded calls are stored in your app, and you can listen to them at any time.
How to Transcribe a Voicemail
If you use TrapCall for your voicemail, visit the “Voicemail” tab. Click on the message you wish to have transcribed. You will be given the opportunity to listen to the voicemail, delete it, blacklist the number, or request a transcription of the voicemail. Transcriptions are sent as either texts or emails depending on your settings.
TrapCall is currently running on Version 6.3.3 and requires 13.98 MB of space for download. Over a million customers have downloaded this app, and the Google Play store shows a rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars. The app is rated “E for Everyone.”
TrapCall works with AT&T, Cricket, MetroPCS, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and business class C-Spire
What Operating Systems
No iPhone? No problem! TrapCall works with both Android and iPhone operating systems.
Pros / Cons
TrapCall has some obvious benefits. No more robocalls, recordings that can help build police reports and court cases, the ability to know who is calling you and why regardless of their own settings, better voicemail management and access, and more. It almost sounds too good to be true— others agree.
TrapCall has three main downsides. They can only accept credit cards for their subscriptions— no checks allowed. They do not offer a warranty or guarantee. And, most importantly, they are part of the privacy and ethics in the digital age controversy.
Many phone users are familiar with the old *67 trick to block their number when calling someone else. Several new apps are available that allow you to call through a false number, alternate number, or even a website to protect your information. So how does TrapCall see through all of this?
By taking advantage of an old rule. When calling a 1-800 number, your information cannot be blocked. This is because Toll-Free lines are paying to receive calls.
TrapCall’s activation code basically reprograms your phone so that when you press ‘decline,’ calls are automatically routed to TrapCall’s 1-800 number. Some claim that this is a shady way to access information and then share it with the user.
Another debatable tactic is the Blacklist message. When using blacklist messages and automatic spam protection, callers are redirected to a message claiming your phone is no longer in service and then disconnected. The issue here is that you are allowing a company to misrepresent you; outright lying to avoid and prevent unwanted calls. Not all users are comfortable with the idea.
Let’s not forget the debate we discussed at the beginning regarding domestic abuse victims and others in similar situations. The good news for these cases is that you can still use apps like Hushed that offer alternate numbers. The information provided to TrapCall is the Hushed number information; they will have to use Privacy Lock and ask you to give your name to know who is calling. The same goes for burner numbers; apps give you a temporary number that you can use for as long as you like before discarding.
Breaking It Down
Privacy and protection both combine and collide with TrapCall. The app offers peace of mind from blocked, restricted, and unknown numbers, but it blurs the line between ethical service and cheating privacy invader. The three plans fit a variety of needs, and you don’t have to use all the features if any make you uncomfortable. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.
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