(WKRG) – Call-blocking apps claim they can provide the same service as the caller-ID on your landline phones. One app lets you type a number and do a “reverse lookup” and even shows you the caller’s geolocation.
“In theory, it blocks all the unwanted phone calls,” says Detective Laura Soulier with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
In a world now full of schemers trying to reach into your wallets by reaching out through your phones, it seems like a handy tool to have at your fingertips. However, it might do more than just tell you who’s on the line.
“It will ask for permission to use your camera, to use your pictures.”
Which could be more dangerous than it sounds.
“Years ago there was a flashlight app. Whoever created the flashlight app actually used it to take contact information out of your phone and if they have access to our lives, then they may get access to bank account numbers, any kind of financial information,” says Soulier.
Not only could they get personal information, they may not be that great at blocking unwanted calls.
“Schemers have access to hundreds of thousands of fake, free phone numbers. So you can block this one today, and they’re going to get another one tomorrow.”
There are several apps out there—but officials say it may be best to rely on the blocking capability already programmed in your phone.
Think twice before downloading any app—and read the terms and conditions to know just what all the app will have access to. Experts also add not to answer.