What Are Robocall Scams, How Scammers Act and How to Protect Yourself
What Are Robocall Scams and What to Do If a Robot Calls You?
Last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received a record number of complaints from businesses offering a variety of goods and services regarding robotic marketing calls. In 2016, average Americans got over 29 billion unwelcome calls from robots, which is more than double the number received in 2015. The number of invasive calls may double again before the end of the year.
Many Americans are unaware that they are conversing with robots, since the robots have been trained to adjust to responses and engage in full-fledged discussion. Robots can now not only differentiate between the words Yes and No, numbers and characters, but also duplicate the responses. If you call yourself Mike at the start of a chat, the robot will call you by your name at least three times by the end of the session.
Also, robotic sounds, which are identical to human voices, measure a person’s level of annoyance or interest. They may sometimes purposely change the discussion and even make a joke in order to avoid embarrassment from the commercial tone of the conversation.
Smart sales robots have boosted the average marketing call length to 5 minutes for the first time in 20 years. Until 2016, this period was progressively shrinking, as most Americans hung up on the opportunity to buy anything right away.
Robot sales increased by 120 percent year over year, according to telephone marketing companies. Americans, on the other hand, are irritated by the deceptive calls that might ring many times every day (including at night).
But What Are Robocalls Trying to Do, and What Is the Purpose of Robocalls?
Smart robots are calling you to make money from you. They do this by deception, so robocalls are not legal. The robots are trying to trick you into a conversation regarding your credit card information, social security numbers, or any other information that will help scammers steal your money. They can also force you to buy a particular product without you noticing it. You will realize that you have become a victim of robocall scams only after you receive the package and the check, which you must pay.
How Do Robocallers Get Your Number?
When robocalls call with the purpose of providing information about their bank card or your insurance numbers, most people react correctly – hang up or simply refuse to tell the fraudster the numbers he needs. However, such calls are seriously annoying. And they raise the question – why they decided to deceive me. There is no secret here – there are dozens, if not hundreds, of ways to get a phone number. Here are just a few of the most popular ones:
- The phone may request a site to register, create a comment, or do other user actions. And the owner of the number himself provides the fraudsters with the information they require.
- Data is taken from ad sites. On some resources, information is hidden – you can contact a person only through this service. On others, the phone is visible to everyone. Although, even inaccessible data may be in the public domain.
- Information can be bought by fraudsters on the Internet. Whole shops selling databases with numbers exist on the DarkNet – this is a part of the Internet accessible through the Tor browser.
- Data on customer numbers are sometimes sold by unscrupulous employees of various companies, including banks. Such databases can contain not only phones but also the personal information of users – bank card numbers, full name, and passport data. The methods of obtaining phone numbers are also dishonest, which is why robocalls to cell phones are illegal.
And so, knowing what a robocall is and how works, we have compiled some tips on what to do if you encounter a robocall scam.
What to Do about Robocalls?
First and foremost, do not answer calls from unknown numbers. This is the most basic recommendation, which, of course, cannot be followed by those who are waiting for clients (lawyers, doctors, accountants, and other specialists). Everyone else has the option of listening to the voice message and deciding whether to call the caller back.
Robots, by the way, rarely leave voicemail. It’s more profitable for them to contact someone else than to leave a message for someone who doesn’t pick up the phone.
Second, go to the National Do Not Call Registry and block all of your phone numbers, including your personal, home, and work lines. If you’ve done this before, make sure you block numbers from spam once again. Because the National Do Not Call Registry is a public resource (and thus unreliable), your phone numbers may vanish from the system, which is continually targeted by hackers.
Third, install Nomorobo, Hiya, Mr. Number, Truecaller, or RoboKiller, which will automatically prevent ringing robots. All telephone spammers throughout the world despise these programs because they limit the efficiency of their schemes. The robot is unable to contact a person at any time of day or night.
Fourth, if you’re curious about what happens if you answer a robocall, here are some pointers on how to communicate with him. Try to answer robots’ queries as little as possible. Yes and No responses are collected and can be used to validate your willingness to purchase a product or service. “Sir, if you respond “no,” we will give you a subscription to only three magazines, not 10,” robots sometimes say. If a person ignores this sentence and replies “no,” they will soon receive a stack of unneeded publications along with a fee to pay. It’s advisable to avoid using the terms “yes” and “no” altogether. If the robot asks if you can hear him (Can You Hear Me?), respond affirmatively (I Can Hear You).
When speaking with a robot, the best strategy is to ignore it altogether. Be cautious and recognize that you are not interacting with a live person as soon as feasible. After an extended period of stillness or non-standard responses, such as I Can Hear You instead of Yes, the robot usually begins to “glitch.”
Fifth, check the caller’s phone number on the Internet.
Spammers that call from the same phone number for an extended period of time are usually identified by Google. You’ll be able to tell right away if the number belongs to a certain person or firm, or if it’s being used fraudulently. Never pick up the phone if you receive a call from a blocked number.
How to Report a Robocall?
Once you realize that you have contacted the robocall scam, the best solution for you is to report the scam. In this case, you can contact the FTC. This will be the best solution for you. If someone you know also fell for the robocall scam, advise them to report robocall scams. This is the only way we can fight this type of fraud.
Now knowing what robocalls are and how robocall work will make it easier for you to avoid being scammed. If you are faced with this type of fraud, try to follow our advice. Thus, you will not let scammers deceive you and you can keep your money with you. Share this information with your family and friends so that they also do not fall for the trick of scammers!
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