Why am I getting so many robocalls and what can I do to stop them?

Mar 9, 2019, 4:28 AM
(Pixabay photo)...
(Pixabay photo)
(Pixabay photo)

Q: Why am I getting so many robocalls these days and what can I do to stop them?

A: If it seems like you’re getting a lot more calls that are either a robocall, a scammer or someone trying to sell you something, you’re not imagining it.

According to call statistics from companies that monitor unwanted calls, the percentage of calls has risen steeply over the past year from 3.7 percent of calls in 2017 to nearly 30 percent in 2018.

What’s worse is they predict by the end of the year, you can expect about 50 percent of the calls to your cell phone to be a nuisance call.

Why it’s accelerating

One of the biggest reasons that we’re experiencing a huge increase in robocalls is that the technology to call millions of phones every day has gotten extremely cheap and easy for just about anyone with a minimal amount of tech skills.

Why the Do Not Call registry is useless

It doesn’t hurt to register you phone number(s) with the registry, but don’t expect it to do much for you.  Only legitimate marketing companies that are willing to follow the rules will comply with this registry.

If you do get a call you’d like to report, you can do so here.

A growing number of the junk calls and text messages are coming from scammers that are operating outside of the U.S. through VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) so they’re not going to bother paying attention to the registry.

Also, the registry does not apply to political calls, non-profits and charities or polling organizations and any company that you’ve either done business with or sought information from in the attempt to do business.  Those businesses can call you for up to 18 months after your last interaction.

Neighbor spoofing

You may have also noticed that a lot of the calls are coming from your same area code and some times with the same prefix as your phone number.  This spoofing of the caller ID is done automatically by the robocall systems to make it look like someone in your area is calling you in hopes that you’ll answer the call.

Never say ‘yes’

One of the many scams used by these robocalls is focused on recording your voice saying ‘yes’, which they can use as your voice signature for future scams.

They’ll usually try at the very beginning of the call by asking something like “are you the homeowner” or “can you hear me?”.

What can you do?

The first thing is stop answering any call when you don’t recognize the number; let it go to voice mail.

If you have one of the newer Google Pixel phones (2, 2XL, 3 or 3XL), there is a cool little utility in your Phone app that will allow you to screen calls using the Google Assistant – Google is working on making it available for other Android devices.

The telecom industry is working on a caller verification protocol, but until then, there are apps available that will at least try to determine if a call is potential spam, including HiYa, YouMail, NomoRobo or  RoboKiller.

Data Doctors

(Pexels Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Here are the benefits of having a virtual private network at home

A VPN is a tool that can provide a variety of security and usability services that are most useful on networks that are shared by others or when you are traveling.
6 days ago
(File Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)...
Data Doctors

Here’s what you need to know about syncing multiple Windows computers

Making your computers look and work the same way has it’s obvious benefits. Both Windows 10 and 11 have the ability to sync lots of settings.
20 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Here are conversion websites and programs that are safe to use

Q: Are file conversion websites safe to use? A: It’s not uncommon to have a file sent to you in a format your computer can’t make use of and it needs to be converted. In some cases, a program that you already have installed may be able to convert the file for you. A common […]
27 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Here’s what you need to know about end of Facebook Trusted Contacts feature

Facebook hasn’t given a reason why they are shutting down the important Trusted Contacts security feature.
1 month ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Tips to understanding full virus scan information

Depending upon your setup, there are a few things you can check for to help you understand what and where files are stored on your computer.
1 month ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

A handful of free and easy video editors for beginners

For those looking to get into video editing, here are a few options that work directly on smartphones, computers and tablets.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Why am I getting so many robocalls and what can I do to stop them?