By Angel Zagal ’18
When you find your phone ringing and you answer only to find it’s a pre recorded message and not a real person, that’s a robocall. Robo calls have been on the rise because it has become easier for them to be made.
What is a robocall?
A robocall usually comes from an unknown number. It’s a pre recorded message by a person to perform a scam. The calls can be any sort of scam trying to get you to keep interacting with the robot to get personal information like credit card numbers. According to the NY Times, Robocalls usually ask for some type of payment and will threaten you with legal action.
What to do if you receive Robocalls
A solution is reporting any numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry, which allows you to report unwanted calls by people. You can also register other phones in your home once you have been in the registry for 31 days. After that, you can start reporting phone numbers.
How to avoid being scammed
Avoid any interaction with the robot at any cost. If a choice is given to press a number and decline the offer, do not press anything. Interacting with the bot will only prove to the robot you are a number, and you will receive more calls. If you do not recognize the number who is calling, the best choice is not to answer and ignore the call.
How to fight robocalls
First of all, report any robocalls. Although, it might seem like it’s no use it helps the FTC combat them. You can also turn the tables on the robot. There are apps where you can set up robots yourself to interact with the robot wasting its time although not suggested. The best option is always to hang up the phone and report it.
What is the FTC?
The government is fighting to stop scams from happening, and the FTC is incharge of that. According to the FTC’s website, they lead initiatives to develop technology based solutions. They create competitions to see who “can design tools that block robocalls and help investigators track down and stop robocallers.” They are also the ones who run the National Do Not Call Registry that is incharge of blocking and investigating those numbers. They have also fought over 600 companies and individuals that have been making these calls.
What others are doing to stop the calls.
Not only has the government tried to stop these calls, but cellular providers have also fought to keep the calls out. Providers like Verizon Wireless and AT&T are providing their customers with help.