To say the least, 2020 has been a dumpster fire. This year has been a terrible start to the new decade. This is undoubtedly a stressful time. However, we must always endeavor to keep a positive mental attitude. Military training stresses the importance of making the best of your circumstance. In keeping with this, we have found something good that has come out of 2020 thus far- less “Robo” calls!
Drop in “Robo calls”
“Spoofing” is the illegal use of fake numbers to solicit telemarketing scams. They account for over 40% of all calls made to US numbers. This added up to over 61.4 billion spam calls to Americans in 2019. Many retirees, and unfortunate citizens, lost money over worthless warranties or fake investments. Many elderly people thought they were saving money on vital prescriptions just to be over charged or abandoned completely.
As a result, the US government has taken massive steps. To combat this, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the fining of multiple companies which totaled hundreds of millions on dollars. The FCC recently broke a record by fining health insurance telemarketers $225 million. In this case, the accused had placed over one billion spam calls.
The profit in fooling Americans
Elderly victims report feeling bullied or intimidated by false claims. These are usually related to the IRS or Social Security. “You must act now,” is a common phrase heard. Calls claim to be from official channels and supposedly have dire consequences. Although they sound urgent, these calls are easier to disprove, and will land the perpetrator in hot water in the US.
Consequently, the calls usually don’t originate here. Studies have shown that a huge chunk come from call centers in India and the Philippines. Office space is cheap and technical workers there are paid far less than here. The individuals do not make each call by hand. Rather, they run a computer program that uses similar technology to Skype and FaceTime.
When you call the number back, you either get a computer or no connection at all. Additionally, you may even be connected to the unaware true owner of the number. The “spoofing” is designed to be a number similar number to yours, to increase the chance of you picking up.
Shelter-in-place orders saw many of these scammers unable to show up to work. Thus, the companies lost profit and had to fire employees. Less people to man the computers resulted in less successful scams. In addition, US citizens were being more cautious with spending, further damaging the criminal operations.
A combination of government action and coronavirus saw US complaints drastically fall. A popular app called RoboKiller released a report saying that spam calls have dropped 35% overall. Some areas have reported a 70% drop in spam calls.
We sincerely hope the number of spam calls fall to zero. Americans who worked hard their entire life do not deserve this. How do you handle Robo calls? Sound off in the comments below!