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Why do we get so many robocalls?

Why do we get so many robocalls?
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“The short answer is that they work and they are very inexpensive,” explains associate professor of marketing, Jeff Galak. Eliminating humans dialling phones means that marketers and scammers can reach millions of phones efficiently and cheaply.

“And they work for two reasons,” Galak explains. “First, they can separate the diligent consumers from the less diligent (aka suckers). If you pick up a robocall and talk to the automated system, the caller now knows that there is a human on the other end of the phone and can sell that information to others who might try and call with some kind of sales promotion or, far worse, call with a scam of some sort. The second reason is that they are a fast way to get information – and sometimes disinformation – out to many people quickly. This is particularly true for older demographics who tend to rely more on phone calls than other forms of communication like emails, text messages, or social media.”

Using a variety of schemes, a robocall operation that averages 10 to 15 million robocalls a day can earn a yearly profit of $200,000, says cybersecurity expert Julia Campbell. “If a robocall operation goes undetected for over a year, its profit can soar into the millions,” she adds.

Sign up on the Do Not Call Registry

Sign up on the Do Not Call Registry
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Registering your mobile number on the Do Not Call Register will stop most of the calls. Sign up at www.donotcall.gov.au or phone 1300 792 958.

Wondering about smartphone security? Here’s everything you need to know to keep your phone safe.

Block numbers

Block numbers
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“To get fewer robocalls, start blocking them on your phone. Most smartphones have a feature where you can click through in the settings and block calls from a number. Try doing this consistently for a week or two, and you should see a drop in the number of calls coming through.”  – Michael Alexis, CEO of TeamBuilding

Stop answering the phone

Stop answering the phone
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“A good tip is to stop answering any unknown numbers. This way, your line won’t be seen as ‘active,’ and they will stop calling.” – Grant Aldrich, CEO of OnlineDegree.com.

Find out here what hackers can do with just your phone number.

Use robocall-blocking apps

Use robocall-blocking apps
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Third party apps such as Wideprotect and Hiya will let you block area codes and calls from specific places en masse. Hiya also has advanced spam-blocking features, but you’ll have to pay for it. Finally, all the big wireless carriers have their own apps for this purpose, so check yours and see what free features they offer.

Find out which apps security experts would never have on their phone.

Set your phone to Do Not Disturb

Set your phone to Do Not Disturb
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“Activate the Do Not Disturb setting on your mobile device. This will prevent any incoming unknown number from reaching you and allow you to customise which calls you want to receive.” –  Julia Campbell, cybersecurity expert

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Ask your wireless carrier for help

Ask your wireless carrier for help
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“Verizon has implemented new services to help its customers avoid illegal robocalls. The new Call Filter service offers spam alerts and new protections from robocalls for its wireless customers. Samsung’s SmartCall informs you if the call you are receiving is from a known robocaller. Google also has a spam blocker that will warn you when you are receiving a robocall and your screen will turn red.” – Steven J.J. Weisman, identity theft and cybersecurity expert.

Here are things cyber crooks don’t want you to know.

Don’t answer questions

Don’t answer questions
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“Often, scam robocalls hope to create a sense of urgency and fear. Examples include pretending you owe the ATO and you’ll be arrested if you don’t settle your debt, or pretending to be your bank warning you about fraud so that you’ll provide your card info in order to stop the fraud. If you think you’ve received a call about a legitimate issue, hang up and research the company, organisation, or individual’s official number, then call that number yourself and ask about the issue mentioned on the initial call.” – Greg Mahnken, credit industry analyst at Credit Card Insider.

Send unknown calls to voicemail

Send unknown calls to voicemail
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“On iOS and Samsung devices, it’s possible to silence all unknown numbers, simply sending them to voicemail. This will allow you to ignore the robocalls while adding the important numbers to your contacts so you’ll receive their next call.” – Phil Strazzulla, CEO and founder of Select Software Reviews

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Source: RD.com

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