Should you be wary of answering the phone? Short answer, Yes. It’s probably a robocall spammer.
I cannot believe the number of scams and robocalls we are enduring these days. It’s gotten to the stage where my wife and I no longer answer the phone unless we recognize the caller. Our landline phone is connected to an answering machine and, if the number is not recognized, we let it go to the answering machine. If it happens that the call is genuine, as soon as he/she starts to leave a message, we will answer. However, 99 times out of 100 the caller hangs up without leaving any message.
Same on our cellphones, if the caller ID doesn’t appear, we don’t answer. We have been driven mad by one particular robocall with a recorded female voice saying… “Hi, this is Nicole from NBN, your internet is about to be disconnected, blah, blah, blah“. (NBN is the National Broadband Network here in Australia). Nicole rings multiple times per day, often into double figures. It got to the stage where we were seriously considering changing our phone number but, in the end, decided to simply let any unidentified calls go unanswered. According to a survey conducted by research firm Censuswide, 94% of people surveyed have adopted that same policy of not answering unidentified calls.
According to YouMail, a company specializing in anti-robocall services, during the month of February there were almost 2000 robocalls made per second in the U.S. alone. That equates to a little over 165 million robocalls per day. Frightening numbers:
(Image credit: YouMail)
Apart from the obvious, the pandemic, one of the main reasons the number of robocalls has increased so dramatically is due to the unlimited call plans on offer these days from service providers, making robocall scams as easy and inexpensive as spam email. With virtually zero costs involved, scammers can afford to make millions of calls and, if even only a fairly small percentage are successful, they are raking in excellent returns. On average, a victim will lose $182 with some losing as much as $500. As the classic Dire Straits song says… money for nothing.
I have no idea what can be done to curb this upward trend of scam robocalls. According to Australia’s national Do Not Call Register, there is absolutely nothing they can do to prevent these types of calls. Modern technology is a wonderful thing but there always seems to be that devious element intent on exploiting it for their own evil gains.
Take a quick look at some of these other scam-related articles:
- Beware Of Coronavirus Scams!
- How To Identify, Deal With Phishing Scams
- Beware “Is it you in the video” Messenger Scam
So, the question is… have you stopped answering your phone?