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The good news is that in the last year or so, regulators and legislators put robocalls increasingly in their crosshairs. This has led to service providers implementing more consumer protections and being far more alert to this type of threat. And now, finally, we are seeing some progress in the fight to reduce the influx of unwanted robocalls that most Americans are all too familiar with.
As you may or may not know, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some robocallers changed tactics. This meant that we had seen a rise in scams that preyed on public health fears. According to a statement by Ronan Dunne, chief executive of Verizon Consumer Group, Verizon itself identified almost 40 new COVID-19 scams since March. Yes, forty, and the number is not going down. However, there is a significant silver lining.
Despite the fact that there is a significant increase in the type of cams related to health, there is an actual decrease in robocalls. Yes, this is precisely what Verizon is reporting, a decline of unwanted calls by more than 30%. Most of it is due to the implementation of various tools like the Call Filter app. This and other providers have been working hard to lower the number of unwanted calls to their customers. And we are finally seeing actual results, and this is despite the increases in scams due to the pandemic.
According to Verizon’s robocall analytics partner Transaction Network Services, this trend is seen all across the industry. There has been a drop in monthly spam calls for the past seven months. Did you know that for Federal Communications Commission, unwanted robocalls are the top category for informal consumer complaints? Their latest report showed that the number of robocall complaints filed with the FTC was down 68% in April year over year, and down 60% in May 2020 versus May 2019. Those numbers are great, and they mean that there is a chance for us to put a stop to this kind of scams in the future.
Third-party trackers are also reporting a drop in robocalls. The YouMail Robocall Index notes that around 2.9 billion robocalls were placed in each April and May 2020, that is quite a significant drop is you take into consideration that there was a monthly total of around 4 billion to 5.6 billion for each of the 15 months prior. The new number isn’t any less scary, but it is the drop that has us hopeful for a better and safer future of telephone interactions.
The news is good, the low numbers great, but we mustn’t put our guard down in any situation. That is precisely why you should stay vigilant and sue some of the main methods of protection against gobo calls and phone scammers. So, let’s go over some steps that can help us in the future.
First, don’t answer unknown numbers. Hang up, input the number into your trusted reveres hone lookup search and check who the person or machine on the other side of the line is. It takes just a few moments, and if it is important you can easily call them back immediately. That is the smartest and most effective option. A lot of reveres phone lookups searches offer the option to flag spam numbers so you will know straight away. That way, you can simply block the number immediately. Just don’t forget to report it. We need to protect ourselves and others.
The next possible option is never to return a call from an unknown number, even if it is within your area code. Scammers use numbers that just seem similar and if you are not careful, you can end up calling a third world country and paying a huge bill at the end of the month. So again, run the number through a reverse phone lookup and then decide what you want to do.
Finally, government institutions will not ask for money or personal information via phone. So, the IRS will not call you to charge additional taxes, your bank will not ask for your PIN, and finally, your insurance for COVID 19 situation will not be charged via phone. This particular tactic is meant to scare you once you answer. Remember to report such numbers, and that way protects people around you.
Hopefully, this article has brought you some good news regarding the current state of affairs when it comes to robocalls. We will keep you up to date with all the future changes, and one day we are hoping to see a 100% drop rather than a 30% one. Robocalls will be a thing of the past if we stay focused, report them regularly, and follow the guidelines that are meant to protect us.