Did you know that a U.S. National Do Not Call Registry exists? Unfortunately, the act is not effective. How ineffective? According to the CNN: “In 2019, nearly half the calls made to U.S. cell phones in 2019 will be spam, according to a study by First Orion referenced in a Federal Communications Commission report. Further, YouMail, a robocall blocking software company, estimates 48 billion robocalls in 2018.” So, what can be done about spam calls?

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What Can Be Done About Spam Calls?

The FCC notes that:

“Since 2009, the FTC notes a significant increase in the number of illegal sales calls. And particularly robocalls. The reason? Technology. Internet-powered phone systems make it cheap and easy for scammers. Thus, they make illegal calls from anywhere in the world. In addition, they display fake caller ID information, which helps them hide from law enforcement.”

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What Can Be Done About Spam Calls?

 

What should we do? Recently, CNN’s Jackie Wattles offered these observations:

Verizon’s Call Filter app is free to download on iPhones and Android devices. The company announced that the app will offer some free features — including auto-blocking calls from known fraudsters, showing warning banners for suspicious calls, and a spam reporting tool. For $2.99 a month per line, the app uses a phonebook feature to look up the names of unknown callers, and it can show a ‘risk meter’ for spam calls.

AT&T’s Call Protect has similar free features and add-ons with a $3.99 per month subscription. For iOS and Android.

T-Mobile phones come loaded with Scam ID, which warns customers about suspicious phone numbers. It’s also free to activate Scam Blockwhich automatically rejects calls from those numbers. An additional app called Name ID offers premium caller identification for $4 per line monthly. For iOS and Android.

Sprint’s Premium Caller ID, which comes pre-installed, looks up unknown numbers and filters and blocks robocalls for $2.99 per line.

Google’s Pixel phones also give you the option to have your voice assistant answer suspicious calls for you. The phone can transcribe the conversation and lets you decide whether to answer.”

In addition, “The industry puts high hopes on a new tool called STIR/SHAKEN to improve the accuracy of spam filters. It identifies and traces calls that use ‘spoofing,’ technique, which allows spammers to mask their identities. As well as to make it look like they’re calling from somewhere else — even your own phone number.”

Look at the video below to see John Oliver’s humorous take on robocalls.


 

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