February 5, 2023

There is nothing more disturbing than answering the phone and receiving an automated recording telling you that a warrant has been issued and that you owe the government thousands of dollars in back taxes.

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The message didn’t actually come from the government. It’s just one of many illegal robocalls designed to steal your money or personal information like your Social Security number. To make matters worse, these sleazy scammers are targeting older Americans and those who are more vulnerable to scams.

There is nothing more disturbing than answering the phone and receiving an automated recording telling you that a warrant has been issued and that you owe the government thousands of dollars in back taxes.
(Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images, File)

The good news is that robocalls are on the decline, largely thanks to the FCC’s important step in cracking down on robocalls by requiring phone providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN. What is that, you ask?

STIR/SHAKEN is an industry-standard caller ID authentication technology, which is a set of technical standards and protocols that allow the authentication and verification of caller ID information for calls made over Internet Protocol or IP networks.

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While this has proven to be largely effective, seeing as many people receive calls labeled “spam” or “probably a scam,” it appears that scammers are using analog rather than digital technology to bypass several voice companies. service provider.

Tips for protecting your privacy and avoiding phone scams

Most carriers now have a way of identifying robocalls by identifying them as "spam risk" wait.

Most carriers now have ways to identify robocalls by identifying them as a “spam risk” and more.
(iStock, file)

Don’t know the number – do not answer

It sounds simple, but it’s the easiest way to avoid potentially dangerous calls. Most carriers now have ways to identify robocalls by identifying them as a “spam risk” and more. Another way they try to find you is by using your local area code, and sometimes even the first three digits of your or a family member’s phone number, to lure you into answering the call. It becomes even more important for you to look at the numbers on the screen extra carefully.

Block numbers in phone settings

Another workaround is to block unknown phone numbers in your phone’s settings.

For iPhone users: To mute an unknown caller:

  • tap set up
  • tap Telephone
  • tap Mute unknown calls
  • then toggle it on – it will turn green
  • If calling 911, this feature will be disabled for 24 hours so that emergency calls to you can ring.

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For Android users: To silence an unknown caller:

  • tap set up
  • tap block number
  • Open block unknown calls feature.

*Settings may vary depending on your Android phone manufacturer.

One thing to keep in mind if you use this feature is that it will not only block potential spam callers, but any unknown phone numbers that you have never called or texted. So if you don’t get a call or text but you expect someone to call, you might want to think twice.

One thing to keep in mind if you use this feature is that it will not only block potential spam callers, but any unknown phone numbers that you have never called or texted.

One thing to keep in mind if you use this feature is that it will not only block potential spam callers, but any unknown phone numbers that you have never called or texted.
(Kurt Knudsen)

Manually block numbers from spam robocalls

If an unknown number calls you and does not leave a voice message, it is likely a robocall. And other robocalls go straight to voicemail with threatening or enticing messages urging those who are truly vulnerable to act quickly. Either way, you can manually block these numbers on your iPhone by:

  • Click on unknown number
  • Scroll down on the screen and tap “Block this caller”
  • Tap “Block Contact”.

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Use your wireless carrier’s free spam and robocall blocking service

Some wireless carriers offer their own free robocall scanning and blocking services. Among them:

  • AT&T Call Protection – can be used iPhone with robotlet customers manually block unwanted calls and flag suspicious robocalls as a “spam risk,” and work to prevent unwanted calls from reaching you.
  • Sprint/T-Mobile – cheat shield– An app that flags all potentially dangerous calls as “likely scam” and turns on free controls for multiple anti-scam protections, including Scam ID, Scam Blocker and Caller ID. Plus, the app gives you a second phone number to use instead of your personal phone number, perfect for online shopping and helping you avoid calls from scammers and telemarketers.
  • Verizon call filter app Helps protect you from unwanted calls and lets you decide who can reach you. Call Filter also detects spam and blocks high-risk spam by forwarding them to voicemail.

Third-Party Spam Blocking Applications

Some third-party apps can help protect you from scammers. Our top recommendations include:

  • robot killer is an app that claims to reduce unwanted calls or text messages by 99%. The app is not free for iPhone and Android users. However, it comes with a 7-day free trial, which might be worth checking out before investing.
  • call control is an app currently only available to Android users; the app helps you filter out unwanted callers by manually adding them to a blacklist.
  • wild mother For those who still have a landline, this app helps prevent robocalls at your home and on the road thanks to a package deal with your internet provider. VolP landlines are currently free, and basic mobile plans currently start at $1.99 per month.

Voice provider blocked by the entire US telephone network

The FCC took the unprecedented step of effectively blocking Global UC’s access to the entire US telephone network. Global UC provides low-cost international calling services to more than 200 businesses around the world. However, in an order issued on Nov. 22, the FCC reported that Global UC failed to comply with multiple regulations to control robocalls in the U.S., and therefore failed to implement caller ID verification technology or explain to the FCC its current attempts to make robocalls . Global UC, knowingly or not, allows robocall scammers to make calls through their system and profit from it.

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also, Order Going on, while Global UC certifies that they have implemented the aforementioned STIR/SHAKEN technology, the documentation they provided only describes STIR/SHAKEN and does not contain actual information about how they intend to use it, or any robocall mitigation plans.

As a result, Global UC is no longer part of the Robocalls Mitigation database, and other operators are now prohibited from accepting traffic from them.

A notable first for the FCC

It is the first time the government has formally blocked a voice provider, marking a hopeful sign of an end to spam robocalls, after phone service providers received several notable threats for failing to comply. As the order prevents the provider from accepting phone traffic from Global UC, the move could be extremely damaging to its business, which relies on sending calls to other networks for profit.

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Have you successfully cracked down on robbery calls? Comment below.

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