In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, you likely didn’t have time to notice that the number of robocalls to your cell phone hit a record low. It seems that even robodialers weren’t immune to the affects of a global pandemic. However, as we inch back into school and work as usual, the annoying calls are making a return in a big way.
YouMail, a robocall prevention service, reports robocalls hit pre-pandemic levels last month for the first time in a year. Americans received an average of 159 million auto-calls per day in February, and industry experts say you can expect more of the same through the end of 2021. The bulk of the calls, as reported by YouMail, are warranty scams, one of the most prominent areas for thieves who use robodialers.
With so many calls being made each day, how can you protect yourself? AT&T (the network through which your HTC Wireless service is connected) began implementing advanced call protect features roughly two years ago. Download the AT&T Call Protect iOS app or Android app.
This app, and others like it, allow AT&T to identify certain phone numbers as “Spam Risk” or “Telemarketer”. As the robodialers make a noticeable return, use these tips to protect your personal information:
- If you suspect the call is fraudulent, hang up and dial a familiar number for the company or organization
- As you identify popular numbers used by robodialers, block those number from coming through on your phone
- Be aware of fraudulent text messages that may include links to malware
- Register your number on the national Do Not Call list at no cost by calling 1-888-382-1222
- Consider a smartphone upgrade. Some smartphones block robocalls automatically, so if you haven’t upgraded you phone in a couple years, now’s the time to explore the latest smartphones and their capabilities.
Use these tips to not only avoid annoying robocalls, but to also protect your sensitive information from scammers.