Remember the last time you answered your phone, only to learn you were on the receiving end of a robocall? It may not have been a big deal, but it probably wasn't all that long ago.
What exactly the call was trying to promote or sell could vary, and nothing about it may have really stood out to you. But the fact that it happened was probably not surprising.
At least, it should not have been. Turns out robocalls are dialing out with a vengeance, with the number of them rising over the past year (in fact, one came in as this article was being written!).
We could certainly do without them
According to YouMail, who keeps track of robocalls across the country, the year 2018 has featured more than 16.3 billion, with the average American receiving more than 12 in the month of May alone.
For those who are averse to math, that equals one robocall every two-to-three days. That is plenty enough to annoy even the most patient person, which is why robocalls have maintained their place atop the list of consumer complaints at the Federal Trade Commission.
According to the FTC, there were upwards of 4 million complaints registered in 2017.
The problem is robocalls are not expensive for the organizations behind them. Whether it is a legitimate business or a total sham, all can benefit from the practice.
Yet while it makes sense from that standpoint, there's always the chance that the calls themselves are illegal. Much of it depends on how the machines learned the phone number.
It's not necessarily random, and while some numbers can be found in legal databases, others are acquired through other, nefarious means.
But wait, I signed up for the Do Not Call list
The Do Not Call registry was formed so that people could sign up and, in theory, be done with robocalls. Maybe not done entirely, though, but at least receive fewer.
But while that may have helped a little, the list does nothing to curb the number of illegal or survey calls. That's not to say there is nothing that can be done.
One measure you could take would be to not answer the phone if you do not recognize the number. And if you do answer, wait for the recording to start and immediately hang up so as to not verify that your number does, in fact, belong to someone.
You can also tap or click here to learn seven ways to finally end robocalls, or check out this link to learn how to stop them with Google Voice. And because people aren't allowed to have nice things, spam texts and messages also happen, but tap or click here to learn how to block them.
For even more on robocalls, listen to Kim's podcast on the subject:
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Film trailers and previews are all meant to give potential viewers a little sampling of what a movie is supposed to offer. But did this particular trailer go too far? Tap or click here to see what we're talking about.