Organizations from many industries for years have been utilizing automated calling systems. The automation technology used in such systems is constantly advancing, and regulatory loopholes have allowed almost anyone with a budget to reach vast amounts of people.
Sometimes robocalls are helpful, but when those calls come from fraudsters, that ends up creating a problem that costs billions of dollars to the economy. FCC recently stated that illegal robocalls cost Americans $10 billion a year in fraud, and the amount of wasted time could easily be rounded to $3 billion in losses.
Very often, companies offering automated calls do not accept clients coming from sensitive industries who wish to push political, marketing, or fundraising content. However, this does not mean that marketers, salespeople, and scammers have not been able to find their ways to use mass VoIP calling to generate sales leads, sell, and defraud people. And this is a massive problem; FCC said that in 2020 alone, people received approximately 4 billion robocalls a month. In addition, one of the top three wireless carriers in the USA said they block more than 1 billion robocalls per month.
Some companies utilize automatic calling systems responsibly, but sadly the list of organizations who use robocalls to abuse and scam people is not short either. And the problem has been growing over the years as industry experts have noticed a significant spike in automated calls over the last five years. Not all robocalls are harmful; some of them have value and come from sources that you’ve given consent to. However, bad actors’ massive wave of unwanted calls logically led to countless complaints filed with the FCC, who openly declared war on the robocalls.
Fortunately, FCC listened and stepped up their game on regulating the robocalls. The newest weapon of war on robocalls approved by FCC is called STIR/SHAKEN. All three major wireless carriers were forced to comply with a new technology aimed to prevent caller ID spoofing and decrease the number of overall robocalls reaching Americans every day.
The new tool of FCC comes in the form of a requirement that consists of a variety of protocols and procedures that combat caller ID spoofing on public telephone networks. The new rules went into effect on July 1st, 2021, and aim to prevent called ID spoofing, which is often used by scammers who want to mask their identity and make an impression that the calls are coming from a legitimate source such as the IRS or other government agencies.
Without the new FCC technology, scammers from all over the world had the ability to appear as they are calling from a legitimate source. As a result, confused customers would sometimes share sensitive information such as SSN, banking information, and even loan numbers – information that scammers could then use to commit banking fraud and identity theft.
If you want to decrease the number of robocalls you get, you may want to use one of those third-party apps that help you seed out potential spam calls. If the number that calls you gets way too annoying, you may consider blocking the number. You should also avoid making any contact when you receive spammy robocalls calls; even pressing the red button to reject the call would alert the automation system that the user is “active,” so the system could schedule another call for a later time. Finally, if you want to decrease the number of calls you get on your phone, you may consider adding your phone number to the national do not call list here – https://www.donotcall.gov/register.html.
The new caller ID technology implemented by the top three wireless carriers would undoubtedly decrease the abilities of the scammers to pose as legitimate callers. However, scammers will always find new ways to go around the set of rules designed by the government. We would not be surprised if bad actors decide to restructure and increase their efforts on approaching targets in other ways – by sending text messages or social media platforms. The newly deployed weapon by FCC might help decrease the volume of unwanted calls, but it certainly does not mean the war is over.