Hounded by weird robocalls? Learn how to respond to calls from scammers with our list of the latest tips and tools.
You get a call from a number you seem to recognize. The caller says they work for a big company you do business with. They seem to know things about you. Then they ask for more information – your birthdate, Social Security number, or credit card number.
This is a robocall scam. And even if you are too savvy to fall for it, you may feel swarmed by the frequency of such calls. A new report says robocall spam (all unsolicited automated calls, not just those from scammers) surged more than 325% last year to 85 billion calls globally. The scam callers have also adopted sophisticated tactics, such as spoofing the incoming phone call’s number to resemble your own. And scams have extended to voicemails, inconveniencing call recipients more as they have to listen to and delete messages.
The Avast Blog team reached out to the US Federal Communications Commission, which recently released its first report on robocalls. “Illegal robocalls are a persistent problem,” FCC spokesman Will Wiquist told us. “Recent reported upticks in volume are concerning and likely related to the profitability of these calls” as well as the ease of making large volumes of spoofed robocalls.
But you don’t just have to take it. Here are the FCC’s latest tips and tools for fighting back against the scammers ringing you day and night.
The fight against robocall scams is not futile. In March, the US Federal Trade Commission shut down four separate operations responsible for making billions of robocalls. The robocall operations solicited donations to fake veterans charities, pitched bogus search-engine optimization, and supposedly sold home-security systems, among other scams. In settlements the defendants have agreed to pay more than $20 million.
An ease and familiarity with wide-ranging tech makes younger generations a bigger target for scams and malware.
Ever wonder if a loved one you’re sitting next to this year could be a cybercriminal? They’re probably not. But you can still familiarize yourself with the types of fraud that take place within the family, just in case.