It’s fair to say that we are all getting tired of the seemingly endless number of spam calls most people receive every single day. Spam calls are also known as robocalls. Unfortunately, consumers and businesses continue to receive them daily, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cracked down on the scam callers, creative, tech-savvy individuals are coming up with ways to block the calls using call-blocking apps. Cell phone providers are also offering blocking services. So there are things that you can do to limit and reduce those intrusive and irritating phone calls.
What’s a robocall?
So, what is a robocall? If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a living person, a robocall. Robocallers use a computerized autodialer to deliver a prerecorded message to a home landline or wireless number. While the FCC does allow some robocalls, many of these calls are different scams designed to trick you into schemes to steal your money. Robocallers can be a bogus company claiming to lower utility bills or credit card rates. Many offer government grants, extended vehicle warranties, and vacation packages. You may receive a call from people posing as IRS agents or other government representatives.
Spammers and scammers can also use robotexts to trick people into sharing personal information. However, not all robotexts are from scammers. You may receive texts from known brands. Nevertheless, there are serious security and data privacy implications if you receive text messages from questionable phone numbers. We will discuss Robotexts in a future blog post, but you need to educate yourself to protect yourself from being scammed.
What types of robocalls are allowed?
At this point, it is essential to describe the kinds of robocalls that the FCC does allow. Recorded messages regarding candidates running for office are permitted, as are messages from charities asking for donations. For example, there are informational messages, a reminder from the doctor’s office that is allowed. If the organizations make the calls themselves, prerecorded messages from banks and telephone carriers are also exempt from these rules.
How do I know if a robocall is illegal?
An immediate red flag is if the recording is a sales pitch and you haven’t given your written permission to receive calls from the company on the other end, the call is considered illegal.
A telemarketer must have written consent to receive a call or message through paper or electronic means. Simply buying a product, or contacting a business with a question, does not give them legal permission. Telemarketers must also allow people to opt-out of receiving additional telemarketing robocalls during a prerecorded telemarketing call through an automated menu.
See Part Two of this blog series.
We will discuss how to avoid robocall scams and what you can do to stop robocalls in part two of this blog series. Please visit our website LifeCrafter.org to our courses on money and marriage.
Federal Communications Commission, https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/stop-unwanted-robocalls-and-texts/
BBB Tips: How to Spot and Stop Robocalls. https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/18615-bbb-tip-how-to-spot-and-stop-robocalls/
BBB Tips: What You Should Know About Robo-call Blocking Apps.
Getting Attacked by Robotexts? Here’s What to Do. https://www.telemessage.com/getting-attacked-by-robotexts-heres-what-to-do/