You’ve probably already gotten one today – that annoying call from a random number. If you’re like most people, you don’t answer the number. On the other end is likely a prerecorded voice telling you you’ve won a prize, or owe money to the IRS. These automated spam calls are what’s known as a robocall.
You may have noticed they’ve become more prevalent in recent years. Technologies like virtual networks and software phones have made it easy and inexpensive for scammers to make hundreds of calls — in a matter of seconds.
The sheer volume of these calls means that many people in today’s society ignore any unknown number entirely. While in many cases this helps miss the repetitive messages, this means people also miss important calls from doctors’ offices, friends, and loved ones.
Most people use their phones for more things other than calling these days, but in making people afraid to answer their phones, robocalls are stealing the functionality altogether.
They’ve grown so prevalent in recent years not just because the technology has advanced, but unfortunately, because they work. People lose billions of dollars each year to robocall scammers, which in many cases is unrecoverable.
Now, there are emerging technologies like direct-to-voicemail calls and audio deepfakes that could make these already dangerous technologies even more effective. Thanks to AI that can mimic anyone’s voice, we may not be far off from a reality where even a call that sounds like grandma or your boss could actually be a scammer.
To learn more about how robocalls work, and how to spot them, check
out this infographic by Mint:
Please include attribution to Mint with this graphic.