Wednesday, September 22, 2021

How to Stop Robocalls from Spamming Your Phone

No matter where you are or which call blocking phones you use, one thing that can bother you anywhere are robocalls. These are unsolicited auto-dialed spam phone calls which can bother you several times a week or more, demanding you to pay or pretending to be from technical support. These Robo-callers spoof their numbers in order to peddle tricks and scams, however, the calls are real. Around 26 billion phone calls in the year 2018 were robocalls. Hence, it is up to you to battle these robocalls, however, it’s not always a losing battle. There are some solutions to help keep these spammers at bay. 

How to Block Unwanted Calls and What You Can Do?

You just don’t need to depend on your carrier. There are several things that you can do to help yourself. There are a few semi-obvious things such as signing up to the National Do Not Call Register for free, however, robocalls are not always from marketers and don’t follow the same rules. You need to forget about changing your telephone number, it wouldn’t help. The robo-callers are not dialling you from a pre-existing list, but they are dialling numbers randomly through computer-generated phone numbers. Usually, the spammers go through a list of phone numbers based off on your area code to make the phone numbers look more convincing and local. Sometimes the spoofing is done badly that there are a few extra digits in the number. 

Another thing that you can do for annoying robocalls is to utilise a third-party app, one which can screen and manage the incoming calls on your device. However, there are privacy trade-offs with third-party apps. Firstly, you are providing information about who is calling you and sometimes who you call to another business which is not your cell carrier. That extra exposure can put your data at risk, there have been cases of mobile data leaking. However, the little monthly charges of the apps are worth if it means that the apps do not make money off your data such as service your ads. There are a number of apps which will ask you for access to your contacts and are very mindful of this. 

Blocking robocalls with Caller ID

We all depend on caller ID to screen our phone calls; however, it is not that effective when it comes to robocalls. That is because the spam callers like to use the Voice over Internet protocol technology in order to hide their real phone number and location. VoIP phone calls are almost free of cost; therefore, they can do this around the clock and why you cannot trust your caller ID to flag the suspicious phone numbers. Here is how it works. The responsibility of the caller ID lies with the originating phone call. And if that caller is a scam, then they know the caller ID is very easy to spoof or disguise. In that way, regardless of where in the world they are located, the scammer behind robocalls can make it appear as if it is coming from a trusted company, or from your same local area code or complete with a familiar first three digits of your own phone number. Hence, the effect is a nefarious bit of social engineering which makes it more likely that you will answer the call if you see what looks like a familiar phone number, say from a co-worker, friends or even from a major business or government organisation like the police department. 

What the Regulators Can Do 

Robocalls do not go away until they are stamped out at the source. That needs an industry-wide effort and the government is not there yet. You may be surprised to know that robocalls are not nearly as common or as frequent as they are in Europe. In the UK the communications regulators and carriers have worked together to pool their data sharing and technical resources to find methods to prevent misuse on the mobile networks. 

Collectively, over a billion phone calls have been stopped in the year of 2018. Vodafone which is one of the biggest networks in Europe, and other carriers have prevented around two million automated phone calls from reaching customers every day alone. In the UK, the issue had been decreased by each key operator by implementing techniques to reject spam calls. Generally, these are based on evidence from the network heuristics and customer complaints. 

Even though coloration and sharing spam phone numbers are significant, the technology is essential for crushing the spammers. Since most phone calls nowadays depend in some way or another on the voice over the internet. It is easier than ever to prevent robocalls. The truth is that there are solutions which can fix the spam and robocalls problems. The drawback is that it is up to mobile carriers to act. The federal regulators are as bothered by the problem as everyone else, they are trying to roll out a system which can identify the real callers properly. 

Having one authentication system will make robocalls nearly impossible, called Secure Telephone Identity Revisited and Signature-based handing of asserted information using a token. This system depends on each number having a unique digital signature that when checked against the mobile networks will prove you as a real caller. The carriers can then approve the phone call and patch it through the recipient. This happens instantly. So far, the carriers have to implement the protocol, even though the system is not anticipated to go into effect across the board for some time. But there’s still a way to go.

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