We’ve all received a call from an unknown number with a prerecorded voice on the other end. This is what’s known as a robocall. Often, the aim of a robocall is to convince you to send money or personal information. As you’ve likely noticed, they’ve become much more prevalent in recent years as internet phone technologies have advanced.
Spammers can now make hundreds of calls at once, with relatively little effort or expense. The number of robocalls increased a shocking 22% in 2019, peaking at 58.5 billion. This year, many new scams around COVID-19 have arisen, which could put already vulnerable people at risk of losing money.
The FCC reports that there may be more robocalls than real callers, despite the fact that a robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless a company already has permission to contact you. Unfortunately, robocalls are so prevalent because they work. They scam one in 10 people each year, resulting in a loss of $9.5 billion. Though we typically think of older Americans being the most susceptible to caller fraud, one report found that millennial men were the most likely to lose money in a robocall scam.
People are understandably tired of answering fake call after fake call from people attempting to steal their money or identity. As Americans get smarter about phone scams, so do the scams themselves. Now, spam calls could get even more effective as emerging tech like deepfake voice makes it hard to distinguish between real people you know and a scam.
Thankfully with a few precautions, you can protect your finances and your identity from even the smartest of robocall scams. Learn more about how robocalls work to safeguard your money and personal information.
Our thanks to Mint.com for allowing us to republish this guide.