Robocalling is a practice in which marketers or scammers use an autodialer to deliver pre-recorded messages to thousands of phone numbers at once. It has become pervasive in the US and it is increasingly difficult to deal with it. This is not helped by the ability of scammers to spoof their number - they often use local area codes to trick people into picking up their phone.
"It's driving people to not answer their phone and it's kind of created this death spiral of phone calls as the robocallers ramp up their efforts, and the legitimate robocalls try harder to get through" said YouMail CEO Alex Quilici in a statement to CNBC. Yes, around 60% of robocalls are considered 'legitimate' despite being just as annoying. That includes calls from schools, political candidates and so on. The other 40% are scam calls.
What has been done to stop the constant influx of robocalls? Both cell carries and smartphone manufacturers are trying to find a solution. Google, for example, introduced Call Screen in October. The feature lets robots deal with robots. If you get a call and don't want to pick up, Google Assistant can screen it for you. It can ask who is calling and why, while you see a real-time transcript of the caller's responses. However, this feature is currently only available to owners of Pixel 2, 2 XL, 3, or 3XL devices, and it doesn't prevent the calls entirely, which is the desired solution for many consumers.
Cell carries, on the other hand, have adopted a new security protocol called STIR/SHAKEN, which aims to "verify that the number displayed on caller ID is the same number that actually originated the call" said David Weissman, a spokesman for Verizon, speaking to CNBC.
However, since the technology used to make the spam robocalls is cheap and easy to use, it is likely that robocalls won't disappear immediately, no matter the measures taken.
What do you think? What measures should be taken against robocalls? Let us know in the comments.