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Security & privacy

Expect even more robocalls soon. Here’s why

“I’m calling you to discuss your car’s extended warranty.” Those words haunt us all in our sleep. Tap or click here to find out why you get so many car warranty robocalls. Everyone hates robocalls, and sadly, you are about to get more of them. Thanks to the Supreme Court and Facebook, your phone is about to get more annoying.

A major ruling recently clarified the term “illegal robocall,” and it wasn’t in our favor. Anything that allows robocalls to spam our inbox is bad news to those who don’t want to have their phone ringing around the clock.

Well, the bad news is out. Text messages don’t apply when it comes to illegal robocalls. This leaves sneaky companies like Facebook open to send you obnoxious advertising text messages without breaking any rules.

The ruling: Facebook wins

Facebook was recently sued for violating the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The Supreme Court overturned the ruling, essentially saying that text messages don’t qualify. This ruling exposed the loose language used in the original act, leaving open loopholes for platforms like Facebook to spam you legally.

What it means for you

Because the law specifically says that a company must use a program that randomly generates phone numbers, any company that stores your phone number can continue to send you text messages and phone calls without permission.

This ruling gives the green light to companies around the country to work within these new loopholes. Thanks to Facebook, companies are now free to use autodialers that sit outside the Supreme Court’s new definition of robocalls.

How can I protect myself?

Nobody wants to talk to a telemarketer. If you do, there are some telemarketers out there who are about to get very excited. So, how do you protect yourself? Thankfully there are a few things you can do now to stop those robocalls from reaching your phone.

  • Ask your carrier for help – Depending on your carrier, your mobile provider will have some resources to help you eliminate robocalls. The information varies from provider to provider, so tap or click here to get more information.
  • Don’t respond – Touching your keypad or saying anything over the phone verifies that you are a live human. This encourages the calls to keep coming.
  • Consider joining the National Do Not Call Registry – Joining this list does not mean you’ll never get another robocall. Especially with the Supreme Courts’ new ruling. Telemarketers still break the rules. Technically, joining this list makes it illegal for telemarketers to call you. It’s one step towards eliminating the unnecessary spam on your cellphone. This isn’t immediate, it takes 31 days to be fully effective. Head here to sign up or call 1-888-382-1222 from your landline or smartphone.
  • Get legal revenge – A fun new app is out to get you justice. Robo Revenge is a third-party app you can download to trick telemarketers into leaving you alone by registering you automatically for do not call lists then volunteering false credit card info to the companies. If this still doesn’t work, Robo Revenge will send a threatening letter to the company demanding payment for them violating your Do Not Call request. Revenge is best served cold, isn’t that what they say?
  • Report the calls to the FCC – If you join the National Do Not Call Registry and still get robocalls to your phone, report them to the FCC for their violations by heading here. The FCC also has many great tips on how to limit robocalls.

While Facebook’s recent courtroom antics have made things more difficult for us, the fight is far from over. Use these tips to limit the robocalls coming your way.

Keep reading

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