I am happy to inform you that the federal government is revving up the war on robocalls.
I checked on how things were going just after hanging up on a tinny-voiced woman who wanted to warn me that my car’s extended warranty was going to expire unless I pressed 1. In case I didn’t really care, she could take me off the calling list forever if I pressed 2.
Public service announcement: People, do not press 2. It’s press 1’s evil twin sister.
Robocalls refer to anything that comes to your phone via automated dialing. Which might include legal stuff you want to hear about, like a snow day.
But we’re thinking only of the uninvited ones. Like “Chris from U.S. Autocare” who hung up when I asked how he got my name and number or the recorded voice of an alleged representative from Citibank who warned me about “suspicious activity” on my card that could be rectified only by pressing 1 right away.
Phone companies are now required to install cool new technology that enables them to stop these robocalls from getting through. Unfortunately, when U.S. Public Interest Research Group checked into the 49 largest such businesses, only 16 seemed to have completed the job, as of mid-September.
And even more unfortunately, it looks as if the scammers are finding a new route that makes them even harder to avoid. We’ll get to that in a second.
First — good news! Scam robocalls fell by about 11 percent from July to August, according to YouMail, a robocall-blocking company that…