Have you ever wondered why you receive so many unwanted calls and messages every day? You might have just imagined it once, but in reality, these are robocalls and messages. The purpose of these are nearly the same; they attempt to scam, spam or swindle you.
As per a report by the Federal Communications Commission, the American residents faced nearly 2.4 million unwanted calls, not in a year, but every month in a year! This means that the number per month has increased by a million from 1.4 million per month which was in 2015.
If you might be thinking why not place this automated cell technology to an end, then the answer is no. This is because other important infrastructure, such as weather alerts, and messages from schools and various public utilities also utilize this technology. So, it’s not just possible for the telecom operators to put a ban on such helpful automated cells.
Therefore, to get a hang of what is going on these days with the robocalls and all, we have compiled a list of questions which are then answered accordingly.
Why has the number of unwanted calls increased even more than before?
In the modern era, it has become a piece of cake to do so with all the technology. Someone whose job is to use telecommunications to market the products just needs a simple computer hooked up with a modem, along with a software that itself automated calling by selecting a number from a given database and then dialing it. Therefore, the number of scammers overseas has also increased, since it is hard to trace the origin of the call and thus take any action against them.
National Do Not Call Registry should put a stop to this, no?
They are trying their best, but it is not up to them if telemarketers or scammers know that they are breaking the law by sending autodialed or prerecorded non-emergency calls to your network, but still do it anyway.
Is there any way I could have given them permission to do so?
It is entirely possible but according to the FCC and Federal Trade Commission, the terms clearly state that there needs to be a written consent for the telemarketers or a company to contact you without your permission. The downside is, you can’t revoke the consent granted to the marketing companies by you, if you already signed a contract or an agreement allowing them to do so, without asking their permission first.
Are some calls exempt from the Do Not Call list?
There are some which are mainly for debt collection, charitable causes (if not a scam), campaigns, surveys or political causes are given an exception in this case. So, you would still have to bear them.
“At the FTC, we get more complaints about Do Not Call and robocalls than anything else,” says Bikram Bandy, coordinator for the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call.
He further added that “A lot of these illegal telemarketing operations are actually generating their calls from overseas, which makes law enforcement more difficult, it makes it harder for us to track it down, it makes it harder for us to stop it,”.
Despite all this, what should I do to stop these calls?
- Companies offer robocall-blocking technology, and you can opt for this, which offers some sort of a protection, but some might also charge you a fee for this service.
- There are hundreds of Robocall Blocking Apps out there and you can easily use any of these which use a database of spam numbers to block them. Being a good citizen, you should also add to the database, in case you receive any such calls.
According to Aaron Foss, who is the founder of Nomorobo, which is such a software company, “Every day, Nomorobo adds over 400 new numbers to the blacklist,”. He even mentioned that your such telemarketing companies are going a step further. “You’ll see your own phone number and your own name ringing on your own home phone,” he says.
This means that seeing your own phone number you are more than shocked and would be more eager to pick up the phone. This invokes another issue, “They can’t report that number. Nobody’s going to report themselves to the FTC,” he says.
- Avoid answering calls from unknown or suspicious numbers. If you pick it up, they will know it’s a legitimate number and your number would be sold to other telemarketers and scammers as well.
- File a complaint with the FCC or FTC. Fines can be imposed as well as warning citations can be issued to offenders by FCC, but you won’t get the monetary benefit yourself. If you want to file a lawsuit, you can do that by the FTC, which will file individual lawsuits against any who violate the rules set forth by them.
- What you can easily do is forward such unwanted spam messages to 7726 (or SPAM), for free of cost, which will add the number to a spam list maintained across by the carriers.
- Turn the tables: There are specific programs you can opt for like the Jolly Roger Telephone Company. This turns the tables on telemarketers themselves. If you have opted for this program, and you get a SPAM/SCAM call by a telemarketer, the phone will mute itself, and the call will be redirected to your very own Robot, which is able to understand the patterns of speech, and then responds in a way to keep the conversation going. There have been reports of meltdowns of the telemarketers themselves when the robot asks them to repeat what they had been saying all over again.
There is no sure way to avoid such robocalls, but all you can do is restrict these as much as possible by following the above-mentioned ways, which sure as hell can make your life easier by not picking up your phone only to see an unwanted text or number.