Google the words “robocall,” and you’ll find an FCC webpage that begins, “Unwanted calls — including illegal and fake robocalls — are the FCC’s top consumer complaint and our top consumer safety priority.” There’s also a link to the FCC’s post on “call blocking services,” which advises users to “contact your phone.”
contact the company to learn more about the blocking and labeling solutions that may be available to protect you from unwanted and illegal calls.” Using whatever equipment your phone company provides is appropriate, but may be They don’t block all unwanted calls.
Most robocalls are also against the law. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and subsequent FCC rulings prohibited commercial entities from engaging in this annoying practice. But, despite this, we have seen an increase in the number of such calls. In December 2021, the FCC reported, “The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a sharp spike in impersonation fraud, as scammers capitalize on confusion and concerns about changes in the economy resulting from the pandemic.” Including the new data, reported costs increased 85 percent year-over-year, with $2 billion in total losses between October 2020 and September 2021.
I still get robocalls on my cellphone, but we got so many on our landline that we eventually disconnected it. For some, this is a difficult decision, especially if they have unreliable or unreliable cell phone service as it sometimes still is. While not a big deal, my adult son quipped that he now had to choose between calling mom or dad, as he could no longer answer anyone calling “home.”
I haven’t lost any money as a result of robocalls, but they affect my productivity and peace of mind. Almost every day I get one or two calls trying to sell me an extended automobile warranty, with the caller implying that they represent the company that manufactured the car I drive. They don’t at all. Automakers don’t bother their customers with telemarketing calls. These are independent businesses, if you want to call them that, or downright scammers.
I don’t respond to any robbery, but I have spoken to callers representing nonprofits, politicians, and, on rare occasions, businesses. But, even if I think they’re legit, I never buy anything or donate money over the phone. If I am interested, I will go to their website and transact online or ask for their callback number. If they are a cheater, they will be hanging on to you at that point. The same applies to calls asking for money from borrowers, the IRS or anyone else. After my sister’s death, I also received calls claiming to be from businesses that allegedly owed her money. His only bills I paid were written notices from legitimate companies I knew had accounts.
Don’t Trust Caller ID
Caller ID that identifies who is calling is often spoofed. I usually see calls that look like they’re coming from my own area code, but they can come from anywhere in the world. In Posts about spoofingOf course, the FCC advises people not to answer calls from unknown callers, but this isn’t always practical. I often respond, thinking it could be a neighbor or maybe my doctor’s office or someone whose number I don’t recognize. Some people regularly answer calls from unknown numbers because they are running a business and want to talk to potential customers or clients. In my line of work, I get legitimate calls from radio and TV stations for interviews. Some callers, including reporters and doctors calling from their personal phones, show up as “private” because they have a valid reason not to share their phone number.
advice from the FCC
The other FCC advice makes a lot of sense. “If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, you should just hang up. Robocalls will usually suggest that you speak to a representative.” Press a key to do or another key to remove from their list. Experts recommend that you avoid pressing any key or saying anything as it confirms that they have reached a real human being whose There will be even more loot as a result. The same is true when it comes to getting removed from spam email, although legitimate email marketing companies will remove you from their lists when you click “Unsubscribe” (which is at the bottom of the message). I’ve used that unsubscribe link to successfully remove most business and political lists I was on, but I only use it if the email is from a legitimate company or organization. Coming from
Do not answer any questions, especially those that can be answered with a “yes”. The reason you don’t have to say “yes” to any question on a robocall is that a scammer may record that you’re asking it to authorize charges over the phone. I strongly agree with the FCC’s advice to “never give personal information such as account numbers, social security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to an unexpected call or if you are at all suspicious.”
we need better enforcement
The Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 makes it illegal in the US for anyone to use false caller ID information for calls, with the intention of defrauding or scamming the calling party, with certain exceptions such as law enforcement or When authorized by a court. But this illegal practice still happens with regularity. One possibility is that these calls are coming from outside the country, but there is also the possibility that many are coming from within the US. I doubt that federal law enforcement agencies have the resources to prioritize enforcement to the extent necessary. , but I think phone companies should do everything possible to block these calls. Most phone companies offer some blocking services, but – based on my experience and what I hear from others – they don’t seem to be working well enough.
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and Internet security activist.