Robocalls Skyrocketing

Kaitzilla

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I hate them! :mad:

I pick up the phone and say hello 2 or 3 times, then a robot tells me their name and starts blabbing about interest rates or other deals.

Every year it gets worse.
People I've talked to (and me) all dread answering their phone now.

In October 2015, there were 683,000,000 robot phone calls, and now in October 2018 there were 5,113,000,000 robocalls!
That is an increase of almost 10 times in 3 years. (Ok, ok it goes up in election year sure)
https://robocallindex.com/2018/october

There are even rumors of robocalls that are interactive and people hang up not knowing if they did so on a human, but I'm not sure they are that advanced yet. :hmm:


They also like to spoof their numbers, so a great deal of robocalls have your own Area Code + the first 3 digits of your phone number, so they look very local.

Anyway, they've clearly wasted 85 million hours of American's time in October if everyone spent a minute listening and hanging up.
That is 9700 years, so clearly there should be some life sentences being handed out for these people.
It's not like showing up to class 5 minutes late and wasting 30 peoples' time.

Where are they all coming from?
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/06/your-money/robocalls-rise-illegal.html

If you live in Atlanta, and have an iPhone and ATT phone carrier, good luck.
Robots like them the most.
 
Last edited:
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Suggestion. Grit your teeth and listen to them. When they reach the point of the call and offer to connect you to a live operator, press whatever. Then keep that live operator tied up for as long as possible. Because the purpose of the robocall is to save the marketing company money by reducing the need for live operators. If this response is widely adopted they will be abandoned as ineffective.

I once held some Indian phone bank operator on the line for eighteen minutes. That's my record, but I hit five to eight pretty regularly.
 

red_elk

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There are even stories of robocalls that are interactive and people hang up not knowing if they did so on a human
Did you try antispam apps?
I usually hang up not caring whether it was a human or robot. Does it really matter?
But I rarely get robocalls, maybe once per month or so - blacklisting known spam callers has been helping so far. May be it will change soon.
 

Birdjaguar

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We never answer our landline. If they start showing up on my cell, then I'll do something.
 

Bamspeedy

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No political robocalls on my cellphone yet (don't have landline).

Just get one telemarketer and I hung up on it a dozen times before I listened to it long enough to find out I can type a number to be out on their do not call list. A month later the same calls come in again...
 
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No political robocalls on my cellphone yet (don't have landline).

Just get one telemarketer and I hung up on it a dozen times before I listened to it long enough to find out I can type a number to be out on their do not call list. A month later the same calls come in again...

Yeah, that never works.
 

Hygro

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Grisu

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So how do these Robocalls work? The phone rings and when you pick up a recording is being played? Basically telephone spam?

Thankfully such things are (so far) unheard of here. Do such robo campaigns even have a measurable impact on anything?
 
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So how do these Robocalls work? The phone rings and when you pick up a recording is being played? Basically telephone spam?

Thankfully such things are (so far) unheard of here. Do such robo campaigns even have a measurable impact on anything?

You say hello and the recording triggers. Frequently the first thing it says is that it isn't a sales call. Eventually it gives you a choice to press whatever to speak to a representative, whose time has been saved since they dind't have to go through a hundred hangups to get "a live one." Frequently there is a second "press whatever" that is purported to be to get removed from their call list, but actually means "please sell my number to a hundred telemarketers."

Yes, telephone spam.
 

Grisu

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*shudders* as if 'regular' telemarketers weren't enough. I hope that never catches on here.
 

GoodSarmatian

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Surely we have some laws against such abominations here in Europe?

I don't know if there's a EU wide law, but cold calling in general is illegal in Germany.
Still happens from time to time.
 

Cutlass

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I only get a few of these on my cell line. My mother gets a ton on her landline. Hate them. Should be outlawed. Nothing will happen.

If you robocall me, I am not going to do business with you.
 

red_elk

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We had a particularly nasty spammer in Moscow in 2000-s. Tons of e-mails, phone calls and other stuff for a few years and nobody could do anything about it. There were several lawsuits against business owner, but nothing helped. In the end, somebody shot him.
 

schlaufuchs

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Never answer a number you don’t recognize. There are literal companies whose job is to call registered phone numbers, solely to verify that the number in question is still I’m active use and the user on the other end will pick up when dialed. The company will then sell that data to telemarketers. If you’ve ever had a phonecall that consisted of 3-4 seconds of silence followed by a hang up, this was one of those companies. Once you’re in their books, it becomes very difficult to get out.

So again, don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number. If the call is important, the number will either leave a message or call back.
 

GoodSarmatian

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There were several lawsuits against business owner, but nothing helped. In the end, somebody shot him.

That seems a bit drastic, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
 

red_elk

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That seems a bit drastic, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
Investigation found that it was a robbery IIRC, but there were lots of speculations that he managed to annoy people who shouldn't be annoyed.
Just in case, I'm not advocating such measures, of course.
 

rah

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If you’ve ever had a phonecall that consisted of 3-4 seconds of silence followed by a hang up,
This is sometimes an auto-dialer that is like you say hunting, but when you answer, if it has a live caller available, it will be routed to them. If all of their live operators are busy, it will note the date and time and hangup. This way they know a likely time to call you back. Yes it will build a history of you.
 

BenitoChavez

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I get about 50 a month on my cell.

I use to as well. I started blocking any number I didn't recognize and who didn't leave a legitimate message. Now I'm down to ~10 a month. It's not a perfect solution due to number spoofing but it seems to be helping. However my phone lags like crazy if I try to open up the blocked list.
 
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