“Hello, we’ve been trying to reach you about your cars extended warranty…” It is a message that we have all heard so many times that it’s become a meme. As much as some of us love to get those calls so we can “press one” to talk to a human and mess with them for a while the government is working hard to bring that to an end.
In the first five months of the year us consumers have gotten over 22 billion – yes billion, robo calls. To make things worse, those calls have led to 59.4 Americans losing an average of $502 due to spam calls. That is a total of 29.8 billion dollars.
What Is a Robo Call?
A robo call is a computer-generated message that is designed to start playing as soon as the person on the other end of the call picks up the phone. A lot of these times these messages are helpful and fully legal, such as appointment reminders, and messages to let you know that your prescription is ready. The problem with these calls is that they are cheap to make, and people can make them from all over the world making them an easy tool for scammers to use.
What’s Being Done to End Illegal Robo Calls?
As of June 30th, the FCC is requiring carriers to follow STIR/SHAKEN protocol. STIR is an acronym for secure telephone identity revisited, and SHAKEN stands for signature-based handling of asserted information using tokens. Which means that all voice providers are required to verify where calls are coming from. This is so important because when scammers place robo calls they can spoof their numbers to make it look like a local number is calling you and you will be more likely to answer your phone.
AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have already started working on preventing these calls and say the deadlines have only made them push harder and that they are excited to be fully complaint. AT&T has recently said they are blocking over 1 billion robo calls. As of March, over 200 companies have filed paperwork stating they will be fully complaint with the June 30th deadline.
What Should I Do The Next Time I Get A Robo Call?
Unfortunately, even with the stir/shaken call these calls won’t stop completely, so it’s important to know what you can do to help stop them. The most important thing to do is to resist pushing any buttons, as tempting as it is because you think you’ll be able to get back at the scammer all it will do is generate more robo calls, you should also report scam calls to the FTC at DoNotCall.gov.