Robocall scammers get narrower – here's how to stop them

Molly Rose, a 29-year-old program coordinator at a New York City-based nonprofit, used to think of the phone as a critical tool for doing her job. Now it's more like a burden.

"I'm very annoyed by the constant barring of tricky robots, and I also use my phone for work all the time," she said. "Two years ago, I had responded to every call, assuming they were at work. Now I guess they are fake."

Two years ago, I had responded to all calls provided they was at work. Now I guess they're fake. & # 39;

-Molly Rose, 29, a program coordinator of a New York City-based art without idea

On Thursday, the Senate adopted a bill of 97 votes to 1[ads1] to approve and block robotic halls, and to impose $ 10,000 penalties on companies releasing a flood of automated robotic halls to millions of unsuspecting consumers.

The phone Robocall Abuse Criminal Hand Enforcement and Deterrent Law (TRACED) specifically aims to "spoofing", an insidious practice robokers use to trick the phone's caller ID to make you respond.

The bill controls the FCC to ensure that telephone companies implement a technology that authenticates caller ID information. The regulatory agency has long had the authority to demand that the companies invent and use a call management framework.

Today, over half of 52% of phone calls go unanswered, an analysis of 11 billion calls by caller ID and call blocker app Hiya found. This comes as 26.3 billion robokals were made to US phones in 2018, an increase of 46% from the year before a total of NOK 18 billion, it adds.

The FCC has long had the authority to demand that companies invent and use a call authentication framework.

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YouMail, a competing spam blocker of the app and digital voice mailbox, put the number on a record -Breaking 47.8 billion robocalls made in the US in 2018, an increase of 56.8% over the estimated 30.5 billion robokals in 2017.

Some of these automated calls come from legitimate telemarketers, others are from scammers who want to demolish people. The best scam in 2018 was a health insurance fraud, which amounted to 5.1 billion robokals, according to YouMail.

The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have been working for solutions to the robocall epidemic for years, imposed huge fines on telemarketing operations. FCC a telemarketing company $ 120 million, the biggest bend to that date, for fraud including "neighbor shooting."

& # 39; Neighboring counter & # 39; is when scammers call the phone that appears to be from numbers similar to your own.

"Adultery" is when scammers call the phone that appears to be from numbers similar to your own. The hope is to deceive the victim into believing that the call may be from someone they know. More than half of robocalls come from "neighbor shooting" numbers and 91% of robocalls come from US numbers, according to YouMail.

Those affected by the robocall influx can combat the problem using blocking services such as YouMail, Hiya, NoMoRobo and Next Caller. Prices range from around $ 1.99 a month to $ 19.99 a year. Experts suggest you never answer calls from an unknown number and blocking numbers known to be spam.

Each consumer should sign up with the free National Call Register, which they can do at or by calling 1-888 -382 to 1222. This will stop legitimate telemarketers from calling within a month, but it is unlikely to stop illegal fraudsters.

Your mobile company may also have some solutions. AT&T

T, + 0.40%

now offers a service called Call Protect; T-Mobile

TMUS, + 1.66%

has Scam ID and Scam Block. In January,

VZ, + 0.76%

began offering robocall protection for customers at no cost. Contact your vendor to examine your options.

(Victor Reklaitis contributed to this story.)

(This story was originally published January 31, 2019.)

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