Cellular Companies Waging War to Prevent Robocalls
Are robocalls driving you insane? You’re not alone. Find out how robocalls are evolving and what your cellular company is doing to battle these annoyances.
And like all virtual hunters, the callers had to adapt to changing technology and consumer behaviors to find their prey. And as they did, robocalls to cell phones rose. People flocked to the FTC website to add their cell numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry. That list levied high fines on companies who called people on the list. So robocallers adapted again to get around fines. They called from many numbers, spoofed numbers, hung up on people who asked them to stop calling and deployed other deceptive tactics.
As a result, last year, telemarketers and scammers made over 48 billion calls. Of them, an estimated 14 billion were scams. Healthcare industry and student loan scams topped the list. They targeted the most vulnerable. But you have an unlikely ally.
What Cellular Companies are Doing to Stop Robocalls
Most cellular companies today have specialized software that helps them identify and divert robocalls. In most cases, they automatically opt you in for free. So you don’t have to do anything to get this protection.
The service is free but often has a premium upgrade like most things we buy these days.
Sprint is one that doesn’t yet offer this protection.
In addition to the help from your cell company, your operating system on our phone may offer you more protection. For example, Apple’s iOS 13 lets you send any unknown number straight to voicemail. But you do have to set it up. And it could be frustrating if you’re expecting an urgent call for a delivery, interview, or teacher conference.
Google and Samsung offer similar options. Simply visit your call settings to turn this feature on or off.
What Else You Can Do to Prevent Robocalls
Do a security assessment. Do you need added protection for your business phones?
Consider a trustworthy third-party app that allows you to add bothersome numbers to a blocked list. And look into purchasing the upgrade with your carrier. They’re inexpensive and work well. If somehow you forgot to add your cell number to the Do Not Call Registry, better late than never.
Also, be smart about phone scams. Remember never to call back an unrecognized number. If they didn’t leave you a voicemail telling you who they are, chances are it’s a robocall. And you could be walking right into a scam. And never give any private information to someone who calls you unless you can verify where they’re calling from.
Following these tips will both help you prevent robocalls reduce the risk of that call leading you into a dangerous scenario.