Well, one of the major downsides of wielding the technology of phones is scam calls. You never know where they come from, but you’ll definitely experience a couple every now and then.
Robocalls have always been an issue that annoyed both phone users and authorities. Scammers are always on the lookout. And if you haven’t received an email from the prince of some exotic country yet, he’s probably going to call soon!
Carriers are always developing counter measures to identify spam calls to get them off the grid completely. But no matter how hard they try, some new tricks and schemes are going to slide in. This is why you should always be privy to what’s going on.
Recently, a new wave of robocalls has been hitting the United States really hard. If you woke up in the morning to a missed call from some really weird number at night, DO NOT attempt to call that number back!
- What Is a Robocall?
Well, before we address the current issue, let’s explain what a robocall basically is. Usually, a robocall is intended by telemarketers and spammers to get their pitch out. In most cases, you get a call from an unknown number; and when you respond, it’s usually a pre-recorded message.
As carriers and authorities are always developing to counter these calls, robocallers are getting even smarter. They’re constantly improving their schemes and tactics, coming up with new tricks each year. Recently, the authorities have been notified of a new tactic that most of the public are not privy to.
- What Is This New ‘One Ring’ Robocall?
According to the Federal Communications Commission, users in Arizona and New York have complained about weird calls that they receive at night. The caller usually rings just one ring and then hangs up. This made lots of users concerned. And, as a response, they usually return the call.
Users and authorities have noticed that these calls are done repeatedly, and usually come from numbers that are outside of the country. Their main aim is to make the receiver return the call, which usually comes with really high toll charges. The FCC noticed that most of these calls come from the country code “222,” which belongs to Mauritania.
The term behind such tactic is called “Wangiri.” This literally translates from the Japanese to “one ring and done.” Authorities revealed that such scheme has been done in the past, but is surfacing once again.
- When Did Robocallers Start Using Wangiri?
Well, a similar surge happened in the US three years ago, where users complained of the same issues. Calls were being received from Jamaica, Dominican Republic, British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos. Once users noticed that returning calls to such numbers made a huge impact on their phone bill, something needed to be done.
The matter was addressed back then, and it eventually died out. It’s extremely hard to catch such criminals, since they’re usually overseas. That’s why they keep coming back… and that’s why you should be aware of it.
- What Does the Federal Communications Commission Do to Address the Issue?
Once the authorities have been notified this year, lots of officials started addressing the public in order to raise awareness. The deputy press secretary, Will Wiquist, talked about the recent surge in robocalls and explained how the scammers’ tactics are not that known to most users.
Similarly, the Attorney General of Arizona, Mark Brnovich, and the Sheriff’s office in Louisiana went on Twitter to warn their people from the recurrent schemes. Aside from explaining the tactic, officials also tried to provide valuable resources and solutions for users to prevent such calls and even report them.
- How Can I Protect Myself from Scammers and Robocalls?
If you’ve noticed something unusual lately, you should definitely report it to the FCC through this link. This might be the best counter-measure at the moment, since it’s a bit difficult to control who should and shouldn’t be allowed to call your number.
However, if you don’t have any relative in exotic countries; or don’t usually use your number for international calls, you can easily contact your carriers to block the feature from your number. This will save you a ton of hassle if you already don’t call someone from outside the country.
But that’s not usually the case. So, to be on the safe side, try to check your phone bill regularly. If you notice any unusual activity or received an unjustifiable high bill, you better get in touch with your carrier immediately. If it happens and you get charged a massive amount as a result of a robocall, you might also want to try and resolve the issue with your carrier. If they seem not to be cooperative, you should report the whole thing thoroughly to the FCC. Authorities are trying their best to counter these issues. And if you’re carrier is reluctant to deal with that, the Federal Communications Commission should take it from there.
Robocallers and spammers have been around since the very beginning of all of this. It’s always better to be cautious about such matters, not to fall victim for a scam. Always try to identify the caller if you receive a sketchy call.
If you’re ever on the phone with a stranger, try not to disclose any personal information before making sure of the entity you’re speaking to.
Have you ever encountered a robocall before? What exactly went down? Let us know all about it in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!