A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized autodialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, as if from a robot. Robocalls are often associated with political and telemarketing phone campaigns, but can also be used for public-service or emergency announcement.
In 2019 Americans received over 5.2 billion robocalls.
You will find more infographics at Statista
(ABC News) January 2020 Trump signed the anti-robocall act following its bipartisan support in Congress. The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, or TRACED Act, increases fines on spam robocallers from $1,500 to as much as $10,000 per illegal call.
Such calls often use “caller ID spoofing” to hide their origin by showing a phone number different from the one where the call was placed, and often purport to be a government number to defraud consumers.
According to Engadget DOJ is trying to stop US VoIP carriers from hosting foreign robocalls
[Excerpt] US Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement:
"We are using all available tools and resources to stop foreign call center scammers -- and for the first time their U.S.-based enablers -- from conning elderly and vulnerable victims in New York and throughout the United States. Protecting individuals from schemes that result in catastrophic losses to the victims is a priority of this Office and the Department of Justice."
TAKE ACTION | If you get an illegal robocall, report the call to the FTC at donotcall.gov
According to the FCC, there are some easy steps you can take to help reduce robocalls:
- Don't answer calls from blocked or unknown numbers.
- Don't answer calls from numbers you don't recognize.
- Just because an incoming call appears to be from a local number, doesn't mean it is.
- Don't respond to any questions that can be answered with a "Yes."
- If someone calls you and claims to be with XYZ company, hang up and call the company yourself. Use the company's website to find an official number.
- If you do answer a call and hear a recording such as "Hello, can you hear me?" just hang up.
- The same goes for a call where you're asked to press a number before being connected to a representative.