If you’ve had a phone for the last few years, chances are, you’ve noticed a substantial uptick in robocalling during that time. It’s become more and more common as robocalling technology has become more advanced. However, why has that happened? What’s happened to make robocalling more common, and what can you do to stop it?
What Is Robocalling?
In its simplest form, robocalling is when a company uses an automatic program to mass-dial numbers for it. When someone on the other end picks up, that program plays an automated message. The message can be for anything, but in today’s world, it’s often a telemarketer or scammer trying to get you to buy something.
A company can mass-dial literally thousands of numbers per minute. That makes it an appealing option if they’re interested in contacting as many people as possible. It’s one of the reasons scammers use robocalling so often.
How Is Robocalling Different From Telemarketing?
By definition, robocalling only plays a prerecorded message, whereas telemarketing typically connects you to a person that will give you more information on the thing being advertised. It’s a fairly small difference, but it’s a difference that’s important when talking about legislation and other methods of avoiding robocalls.
In past years, many scammers and telemarketers have started to use a combination of the two methods. With this, an individual starts out listening to a prerecorded message, then is connected to a live person if they seem interested.
Is Robocalling Illegal?
Not by itself. Robocalling can be used for many genuine reasons, like public service announcements and reminders for doctor’s appointments. That’s one of the reasons it’s not illegal. Pharmacies, for example, don’t want to physically call every person with a prescription that’s ready.
However, it’s illegal for a company to call and advertise its services to you if you haven’t previously opted into this option or used the company’s services before. That applies whether it’s robocalling or just traditional telemarketing.
Can I Report Robocallers?
You can report callers that are breaking the law by doing something like advertising falsely, advertising to you when you haven’t given them consent to do so, or calling you repeatedly after you’ve asked them to stop. The FTC doesn’t allow any of these behaviors.
Basically, robocalling legislation tends to fall under the same umbrella as telemarketing legislation. You can’t report callers that are using robocalling technology just because it’s robocalling, but you can certainly report people who are breaking the law with robocalling technology.
What Are Companies and Governments Doing to Avoid Robocalling?
There are many ways companies and governments are trying to keep themselves “ahead of the curve” and avoid robocalling. For the most part, this means they’re trying to develop technology that halts known or suspected robocalls.
Right now, there isn’t a lot of government legislation regarding robocalling. Most people are turning to private sources to keep themselves safe. Although some legislation has promise for the future, it doesn’t seem to be a great option for stopping robocalls right now.
What Can I Do to Keep Myself Safe From Robocalling?
As the number of robocalls continues to rise, it’s clear that you should take measures to keep yourself safe on your own time, rather than waiting for official guidance. Instead of hoping your phone company or legislation will stop robocalling, consider an answer that helps you immediately.
There are a variety of apps out there that can help you avoid robocalls. If you use an identity verification app like PeopleFinders’ IdentityWatch, you can not only avoid robocalls, but also make sure you know who’s behind every phone call you take.
It doesn’t seem like robocalls are going away anytime soon, unfortunately, and that means you’re going to have to tackle the problem on your own. If you’re dealing with a massive amount of robocalls, it’s a good idea to invest in an app that can help you block these calls. That way, you’ll be protected both now and in the future.