April 4

Why nobody answers the phone anymore and when life will get better: Revisiting Robocalls

“Hmmm… who do I know from Mount Airy, Maryland?”

“Why would the IRS leave me a message?”

“How can I be calling MYSELF?”

Robocalling is out. of. control. Most people I know have become so accustomed to avoiding them that they’ve completely stopped answering their phone unless they 100% recognize the caller. We look at the caller ID with anger, discomfort and confusion. How in the world has it gotten this bad, and will it ever get better?

Three Facts about 2019 Robocall Hell

One: It’s Getting Worse

It’s not your imagination… the problem is getting worse. A voicemail company called YouMail manages calls to your phone and tracks automated calls with its Robocall Index. Here’s the sad trend from just the past year:

And look at March’s numbers per person… more than two weeks out of every month, you have to deal with these irritating interruptions…. and many of us see these calls every day.

Two: The Government Is Trying to Help

First there was the National Do Not Call Registry. This worked for a while, but now only spammers who play by the rules even worry about it. And nonprofits and politicians and debt collectors and other groups are actually exempt from the guidelines. And businesses can’t unlist their numbers. So it doesn’t really work.

The government has also tried (and is still trying) to pass other legislation to cut down on the calls. But still they come.

Three: Phone Carriers Are Trying to Help

The government threatened carriers that they’d be in trouble if they didn’t do something to protect consumers. And carriers are working on it, trying to use spam databases and new technology to stop the calls. See this post to find what you can do with your specific carrier or phone.

If you want to know more

Maybe it’s just the nerd in me, but I find the search for hackers, spammers and bad guys fascinating. Here are some places you can go for the rest of the story…

ReplyAll podcast: Robocall Bang Bang

On the Trail of the Robocall King

Here’s John Oliver’s report on robocalling… remember that he’s PG-13, so maybe don’t watch him at work. **F-Bomb Alert**


communication, privacy, security

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