Robot or robocalls, telemarketing, scam, and spam calls are becoming increasingly common, and they can be frustrating to deal with. This blog will help in expanding your knowledge, understanding what they are, and what you can do to stop them.
What are they?
Telemarketing or sales calls are phone calls made by a salesperson to a potential customer to promote or sell a product or service. Telemarketing calls can be either automated or made by a live person. Automated calls are often prerecorded message(s), while live sales calls are typically made by someone from the company who is trying to sell a product or service.
Spam calls are often repetitive calls that target large number of people who never gave consent to receive marketing calls. Oftentimes, these phone calls are unsolicited, also offer to sell something or promote services.
Scam calls are phone calls in which the person on the other end tries to trick you into doing something or into giving them your personal information. They might try to sound like they are from a legitimate company or organization, or they might pretend to be someone you know. Scammers try to cheat people out of their money, property, or personal information. Although, scams can take many other forms, such as text messages scam, email scams, advance-fee scams, or pyramid schemes.
Robot calls or robocalls are phone calls that are placed by a machine (using a third-party app), rather than a human to dial phone numbers at random. These unwanted robocalls can also be marketing, scam, or spam calls.
Why am I getting so many unwanted calls all of a sudden?
Chances are, you've been getting more of these unwanted calls lately. And if you're like most people, you're probably wondering why. There are a few possible reasons for their increase. For one, phone scams have become increasingly common in recent years. Scammers often use robocalls to make their pitches, which makes it easier for them to find victims while making it difficult to be tracked them down.
Another reason for the increase in scam and spam calls may be due to caller ID spoofing technology that is available in many phone companies. Caller ID spoofing allows spammers and scammers to make their incoming call appear as if they're from a legitimate number. This makes it more difficult for people and call blocking options/services to identify and block incoming calls from these spammers and scammers.
Why are they difficult to stop?
As mentioned above, one of the reasons why robocalls and spam calls are difficult to stop is because they often use spoofed numbers. This means that the caller ID information displayed on the recipient's phone during spoofed calls has been modified to appear as if the call is coming from a legitimate company or a trusted source. This makes it difficult for recipients to identify and block these calls.
Another reason why robocalls and spam calls are difficult to stop is that they often use automated dialing systems. This means that the caller can place thousands of unwanted calls in a very short amount of time. This makes it difficult for recipients to differentiate legitimate calls from spam, and it also makes it difficult for law enforcement or call blocking services to track down the source of the illegal calls.
Finally, many of these calls are made from outside of the United States. This makes it difficult for law enforcement or call blocking services to track down the source of the calls and take action against them.
What are the risks of taking these calls?
Wasting your precious time is one thing. Unfortunately, many of these robocalls, telemarketing and spam calls may also be fraud or scam calls. The caller employs social engineering tactics to extract personal information from you or trick you into giving them money, or worst, steal your personal information or identity, then use it to commit fraud.
To protect yourself from these risks, it is best to avoid answering these calls altogether, and if you do answer one, be sure to hang up as soon as possible.
What can be done?
Despite the challenges, there are some steps that you can take to reduce the number of nuisance calls that you receive on your landline phones or mobile device. Here are a few things that you can do:
- It is fairly easy to block telemarketing calls that are made by a live person. If you are using a landline, you can contact your phone provider to block them. If you are using a mobile phone, Apple, or Android device, you may install a phone app that has a call blocker or use a call filter app.
- Another option is to sign-up with home phone service providers that can provide blocking calls features, spam alerts, call screening, robocall blocking, scam block, or other call protect built-in features on landlines or cell phones.
- Check out VoIPLy's Spam Call Bot with call blocking built in to help block unwanted calls. Blocked calls can either be rejected (callers get a busy signal) or be routed to your voicemail depending on their importance. You also have the option of adding certain area codes or prefixes to your Invited list so that only numbers originating from specified area codes or prefixes can call and reach you. These blocking tools and services will help to screen out and block illegal robocalls, and it can be a great way to protect yourself from unwanted calls.
- You can report unwanted calls if they refuse to stop calling you. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC). You can do this online or by phone. Visit their websites for more information.
- You may also report suspicious calls to your state's Attorney General. This can be done online or by mail. If the suspicious call is not spoofed, the phone company that issued the caller's number may help in investigating the call.
- Lastly, you can register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. This will stop most telemarketing calls and silence unknown callers, but there are some exceptions. It's important to note that registering your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry will not stop all robocalls and spam calls, but it can still help to reduce the number of annoying calls that you receive.
Unfortunately, these illegal calls are constantly evolving. While we can use the steps mentioned above to reduce them, some may still go through. So the next best thing you can do is to be vigilant, do not answer calls from unknown callers. If you do accept calls from unknown numbers, do not provide any personal information. If they claim to be from a legitimate company you do business with, call the company's main phone number instead - do not rely on your caller ID alone when deciding to trust these callers. Remember, they can spoof phone numbers.