Why are robo-calls more frequent this time of year?? You can blame insurance companies.

It is not your imagination that the number of robo-calls coming to your phone is higher than normal. It’s coming up on open-enrollment for health insurance and telemarketers are in an all-out race to get your attention.

I’m getting between 3-6 robo calls per day, usually from a recorded message of a woman named Julia or Ann who wants me to call for information about how she can save my family money on insurance. You can hang up but the same company using the same recorded message will call again from a different number.

Spammers and telemarketers use computers to make the calls so they can change the numbers rapidly. They’re also using technology to spoof numbers so that it shows it’s coming from someone in your area code or even your city.

Stopping these calls is difficult but there are several apps that claim to block or identify robo or telemarketing calls before you pick up the phone.

HiYa is perhaps my favorite of these robo-blocking apps. There are millions of other people using the app who flag and block calls they get from spammers. Those flagged phone numbers are then entered into a HiYa database so any other calls from that number are identified for other HiYa users.

Users can choose whether they want the call simply identified as reported spam, or if they prefer the call being blocked so that it doesn’t ring their phone.

If you miss a call or choose not to answer, you can look up the number in the HiYa database and it will show you any recent complaints from other HiYa users.

When I checked the latest call from “Julia”, I saw dozens of complaints from people who were just as annoyed as I am. One said, “same evil witch selling insurance”.

HiYa is free but there’s a premium version with more features for $14.99 a year. HiYa also states that in their most recent study, there were about 1 billion more calls from telemarketers, spammers and robo’s in the 2nd quarter of this year. With open enrollment still a couple of months away, the calls won’t let up anytime soon.

HiYa is one of the highest rated spam blocking apps for iPhones and Android devices.