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Enough is enough with the deluge of unsolicited voice mails and the calls from phone numbers that look like they're local but are spoofed (or disguised) by crooks who claim to be with the IRS or to have important information about your car warranty.
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You’ve tried blocking numbers, to no avail. You’ve signed up on the National Do Not Call Registry. No difference. You’ve complained to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Nada.
Scam calls rebound from COVID crash
When the coronavirus pandemic erupted in early 2020, “we saw the first major drop in robocalls because call centers were closed, but now robocalls are exploding,” says Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail, which develops robocall-blocking software.
Robocall volume in the U.S. hit an estimated 5.7 billion calls — an all-time high — in October 2019, then sank to about 3 billion a month in the spring of 2020, according to YouMail’s Robocall Index.
Spammers and scammers have since rebounded, with robocalls averaging 4.1 billion a month over the past year. That’s more than 1,500 calls per second.
“Having computers dialing a bunch of numbers is a fast, efficient and extremely cheap way to get to as many people as possible,” Quilici says, adding that scammers need only a tiny slice of call recipients to respond for their endeavors to pay off.
Some robocalls are legal
Amid the din, some robocalls are legitimate. Charities, pollsters and medical-service providers are among those who can legally autodial you. The American Red Cross can robocall you to ask for blood donations, for example, and your doctor’s office may do so to remind you of an appointment.
But when it comes to bad actors, keep in mind that mobile apps can beat them back. Also, importantly, the FCC now requires voice-service providers to implement call-authentication technology on the Internet Protocol (IP) portions of their networks.