young businessman with a red tie shouting furiously at his mobile phone

Robo, scam, and spam calls are on the rise and it doesn’t appear they will stop any time soon. According to statistics provided by YouMail, 3.4 billion robocalls were placed nationwide in April 2018. That is up significantly from just four months earlier when there were 2.8 billion robocalls placed nationwide. Prior to that there were 2.5 billion and 2.3 billion in respective months one year earlier.

It is estimated that each person affected by robocalls will receive 10 to 11 calls per month. That number is sure to grow because technology has enabled it. Scam operators can now generate a new spoof number for each call to a recipient, circumventing any chance of blocking spam numbers.

Furthermore, “neighbor spoofing” allows perpetrators to generate numbers with area codes that match locations near recipients, in high volume, enticing them to answer.

With the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fielding over 375,000 complaints about robocalls every month, there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of effective intervening to be had by them any time soon. Therefore, it’s up to potential recipients to take actions – both preemptive and upon receiving the call – to keep instances down.

Step 1: Add yourself to the FTC Do Not Call registry. Once signed up, your presence on the registry will not expire. It will keep sales and solicitation calls away.

Step 2: Unfortunately, scammers don’t adhere to rules and regulations of Do Not Call lists. You need to ensure that their calling system does not recognize your number as active. That means never push a button to connect to an operator; even to be placed on their “do not call” list.

Step 3: Download any number of apps to identify fraudulent calls. ATT has a free app called “Call Protect” which identifies and blocks some unwanted calls. Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon also have options.

Fake calls are a problem crying for a solution. Would love to hear thoughts on how to keep the number of fake calls down even more. Please send messages via Twitter or LinkedIn with effective apps, tools and strategies.

-Lee Sumner, Sr. Research Manager