PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Robocalls have been around for what seems like forever, but they seem to be getting worse.
The United States government says 99 percent of them are illegal. So, why can’t we stop them?
Well, phone carriers are now working on intercepting robocalls and there are some new ways you can keep them from getting through to your phone.
“A lot of times, when you answer, no one is there and you’re saying hello three and four times, until somebody comes on the line,” Kristie Campochiaro said.
Campochiaro said she’s plagued daily by robocalls.
“Sometimes I feel like I have to just say, ‘Gotta go,’ and I hang up,” she said.
Her kids receive the calls, too. However, Kristie’s learned to avoid answering calls from unfamiliar area codes.
But, robocallers are getting trickier using the so-called the “neighbor scam.”
Computer software mimics the first six digits of your phone number to make you think a nearby friend or business is contacting you.
“The question is, should I pick up, should I not pick up and the answer is don’t pick up if you don’t know who’s calling,” technology expert Jessica Nazari said.
Nazari warns if you do pick up, watch what you say.
“If the caller calls and asks, ‘Can you hear me now?’ and you say, ‘Yes.’ They’ll use your voice signature for fraudulent charges. So, be careful when saying yes,” Nazari said.
The FCC, which regulates our phones, is now giving the phone companies greater authority to intercept and block spoofed phone numbers before they reach your phone. But, she says prosecuting robocallers isn’t easy.
“These are scammers. What we found so far is that a lot of them are overseas, which makes it very difficult for us to catch,” Nazari said.
Scammers have found ways to get around the do not call list, but it’s still wise to register your land line and cell phone numbers to avoid telemarketing calls from businesses that honor it.
If you can’t remember if you already registered your numbers, do it again.
“So technology is really the problem that is making it easier for these robocallers to call you, but at the same time, technology is something that will disable these calls as well,” Nazari said.
There’s also Youmail, which will stop your call from ringing when it suspects a robocall and deliver a message that your number is out of service.
Some are free, but upgrades will cost you.
“Of course, they come with a fee, but it’s much better than getting those unsolicited calls,” Nazari said.
If you receive a call with a recorded message, report that number to the FTC or FCC and then block it from your phone.