Fall of Robocalls

The Rise and (Hopeful) Fall of Robocalls

We’ve all been guilty of answering a phone call and instantly thinking, “Why did I pick up?!,” when the conversation goes a little something like this:

*Ring, ring*

You: “Hello?”

Caller: *pause* “Hello, this is Rob and I’m calling from [insert random company you’ve never heard of].”

You: “How did you get my number?”

Caller: *even longer pause* “You’ve been chosen to be a winner for an all-expenses paid trip to a location of your choice! If you win, what are the top three locations you’d choose to visit?”

You: “Mars, Hogwarts and Jurassic Park!”

Caller: *even longer pause* “Great choices! Now if you could give me your…”

As “Rob” continues with his script, you continue to give him outrageous responses. It’s obvious that you’ve been hit with a robocall but not just any robocall, one that’s been taking our phone lines by storm by the latest robocall rendition. It’s a cloud-based outbound interactive voice response (IVR). Or, in lamen’s terms, “a contact center solution used to proactively distribute communications to customers through voice-over-internet protocol lines (VoIP).”

What was created for a quick, easy, and positive caller experience for companies like insurance agencies and banks, has quickly been discovered by scammers. IVR is a low-cost system that scammers take advantage of with minimal commitment and quick execution – and it gets the job done before anyone is on to them. It’s a scammer’s dream.

Work, work, work, work, working it
Robocallers have been dodging regulations against their illegal activity by frequently changing or “spoofing” numbers so they appear to be calling locally. With this tactic in mind, scammers choose a target area and gather a number of VoIP numbers registered in their area code of choice. This gives them the ability to hide where their call is originating. A virtual phone switch instantly sends the caller to a number of call centers across the country or, more than likely, overseas. The initial moment of silence after you answer the phone is your scammer learning that there is a live person on the line. Once they know they’re live, they hop on the call and start their pitch.

Robocall Cloud Advantage
“By using cloud platforms to drive these calls, they [scammers] can pay a flat rate to send out a barrage of calls to thousands of numbers, and only have to involve a human for the targets who are gullible enough to interact with the software-driven call for a few minutes of screening questions,” reports Sean Gallagher, ARS Technica.

Continuing the Fight Against Robocalls
Despite robocalls being on the FCC’s radar and the most recent arrests in India equating to a significant drop in IRS scams, we still need to do our due diligence in keeping ourselves safe from scammers.

Here are a few things to remember:

 

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