Robocalls are quite simply the most annoying modern tech drawback for many people. You know what they are. These are the unsolicited, prerecorded telemarketing calls to landlines and wireless phones that seem to strike at the most inconvenient times.
Telemarketing calls are certainly nothing new, annoying us for decades by now. Aside from trying to sell you stuff, robocalls can be downright deceptive and malicious. Robocall scams are actually trying to rip you off or steal your identity.
This is why the rising number of robocall complaints is alarming. It's a plague that the world can do without. But is relief in sight? If anything, the robocall problem is just getting worse each year.
In fact, you'll be shocked with how robocalls are poised to take over more of our lives in years to come.
Robocall plague will get worse in 2019
According to a recent report from the First Orion Corporation, a company that provides spam call filters to various carriers, 44.56% of all calls in 2019 will be spam and robocalls. Yep, almost half of all the phone calls you will be getting next year will be a scam or a telemarketing call.
Aside from that, First Orion also reported that in 2018, 29.2% of calls are robocalls, a 3.7% increase from 2017. That's enough for more than 16.3 billion spam calls and 2018 is not even over yet.
That means the U.S. robocall plague is growing exponentially each year and it's getting worse!
One of the robocall techniques that's increasingly getting more popular is a scam called "neighborhood spoofing."
With this scam, fraudsters will disguise their numbers with local numbers that appear to match your area code and 3-digit prefix.
By spoofing a local number, these spammers are hoping that there's a better chance that their targets will pick up the call.
And neighboorhood spoof calls don't just harm the intended targets, they are also a big hassle to the owner of the spoofed number.
If your number was ever used as a spoof call disguise, expect unexpected return calls from the spam victims. These return calls are annoying since the owner of the spoofed number is not aware that a spam call was ever made from their number.
Another problem with neighborhood spoofing? Third-party spam call blocking apps are mostly ineffective against spoofed numbers since they only tend to blacklist known robocall numbers and not legitimate numbers.
Remember, legitimate phone numbers can be hijacked and used for neighborhood spoofing.
Most notorious robocalls:
According to the FTC, here are the top six spam call types reported by consumers:
- Reducing your debt (credit cards, mortgage, student loans)
- Dropped call or no message
- Vacation & timeshares
- Warranties & protection plans
- Calls pretending to be government, businesses, or family and friends
- Medical & prescriptions
For even more on robocalls, listen to free Komando On Demand podcast on the subject:
Why the growth in robocalls?
In an earlier report, the FTC cited advancements in technology, especially with Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, for the increase in automated telemarketing calls.
With cheap internet access and the available software tools like auto-dialers and Caller ID spoofing, illegal telemarketers can make increasingly higher volumes of calls inexpensively from anywhere while concealing their identities.
HERE ARE WAYS TO STOP ROBOCALLS:
Use call blockers
Ask your phone service provider if it offers a robocall blocking service. If not, encourage your provider to offer one. You can also visit the FCC's website for information and resources on available robocall blocking tools to help reduce unwanted calls. (Click here to learn how to block specific phone numbers.)
Block unknown callers
Many phone companies allow you to block calls that don't show a number on caller ID. Check with your provider to find out how to turn this feature on. Note: if someone you actually know calls you and blocks their outgoing number, their call won't make it through if you've turned this feature on.
This is actually the easiest solution to eliminating robocalls. If you receive a call from an unknown number or one that doesn't show up on caller ID, don't answer. If it's an important call, the person will leave a message and you can get back to them.
Subscribe to the Do Not Call Registry
This move will stop many robocalls before they begin. If you're on the registry, it's illegal for many robocallers to call you. Click here to get your number into the National Do Not Call Registry. After your number is on the registry for 31 days, you can report unwanted sales calls.
If you answer the phone and the caller (often a recording) asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, just hang up. Scammers often use these tricks to identify and target live respondents. Once they know the number is active, you will receive more calls in the future.
Taking the steps in this article will help cut back the number of robocalls that you receive. It could save you from falling victim to a scammer. Remember to share this article with your friends and family so they can block those annoying calls too. Simply click the share button along the left side of this article to post it on Facebook.
Get call blocking apps
You can also download and install call blocking apps such as NomoRobo, True Caller or Hiya on your smartphone. Click here for more information about these types of apps.
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