Why Am I Getting Spam Phone Calls? (The Definitive Guide)

The Spam Calling /Robocalling Epidemic

There’s a concerning epidemic sweeping the nation known as spam calling. Perhaps you’re familiar with those questionable phone calls that catch you off guard. These particular calls are from total marketing strangers or money and identity stealing mungers-the faces and voices behind the masked deception.

Spam calling is carried out by live agents, hoping to lure you into purchasing their legitimate unsolicited product and/or services.

how to stop robocalls

One type of spam calling is known as Robocalling.

Robocalling is a pre-recorded statement delivered once the receiver picks up the other end of the phone. The robotic voice on the other end of the line sounds like a live person.

After a few minutes, you realize you were bot dialed by a spammer. These calls leave you questioning your privacy and safety. It’s important to know what you’re dealing with and how you can take measures to protect your identity.

Tip: Learn how you can unmask an unknown phone number free.

Here’s what you should know…

Without prior knowledge or consent, Robocalls are illegal.

However; the epidemic continues to be on the rise because it is difficult to catch these criminals.

81 million spam calls a day

Each day nearly 81 million robocalls have plagued landlines as well as cellular phones. This isn’t recent news, robo-dialers have been spamming for decades across the nation, beginning with landlines and now taking over mobile networks like a fluctuation of incurable diseases.

Although the Central Do Not Call lists helps with cutting down on these robocalls that resource from charities and corporations, criminal hackers are still managing to slip through the cracks as they attempt to steal your personal information and rob you of your identity.

As robocalls continue to swarm mobile networks posing as the IRS, credit repair companies, free cruise vacations, and survey completion opportunities; There are things you can do to stop these freelancing phone hackers from invading your privacy and stealing your personal information.

The FCC ( Federal Commissions Act) Steps In

New rules adopted by the FCC on Nov. 16, 2017, opened doors for voice service providers, allowing various types of robocalls appearing as harassment and/or fraudulent to be actively blocked. Included were calls that derived from phone numbers that weren't able to dial out or make outgoing calls.

new fcc rules

Hackers have become clever as these calls appear legitimate to the person on the other end of the phone line. The end result is fraudulent activity with the purpose of stealing your identity.

Also included were calls from invalid numbers, calls from non-existent area codes, numbers with ‘ghost’ providers ( a provider is non-existent), including numbers assigned to a provider that isn't currently in use.

Let’s Begin…

What are Spam Calls

how to stop robocalls

To help equip you with a better understanding of what robocalls or spam calling is; here is the 411 on the types of phone calls that are plaguing your phone continuously.

Let’s take a quick look at your e-mail system. Every day there are unwanted emails sent to your spam mail, where they lay dormant as junk mail until you decide to dispose of the unwanted trash.

Spam calls are much in the same as they are spam sent to your phone in the form of unwanted communication, distributed in unsolicited bulk without you having any prior knowledge.

Examples of these unwanted fraudulent identity hackers include:

  • Telemarketers
  • Other live agents are hoping to sell you something.
  • Robocallers

Add robocalling in bulk with pre-recorded voice messages, and you have an epidemic of unauthorized phone calls you never consented to or knew were coming your way.

Spam calls display particular traits, allowing complex heuristic algorithms to identify them.

Are You Getting Scam Calls?

Whether it’s a spam call or a scam call, these calls are a hassle and surely not wanted by the receiver on the other end of the phone. It all boils down to one thing; an imposing threat to your phone security.

Call patterns for Scam calls are not the same as spam calls. Scammers fall into the category of ‘criminal behavior’, using one number for a period of time; making it difficult for anyone to track the phone calls. Today's clever criminals have become internet stealthy in their attempts not to be detected. Phone numbers are short-lived, and phones can be quickly disposed of and undetected.

While these scammers attempt to get your money, personal information, and entire identities, cutting-edge technology such as machine learning algorithms aid in detecting spam calls, as well as scammers who seek to claim your personal identities.

You Have Privacy Rights...Know them!

know your rights!

What You Should Know:

  • Rules vary between landline and wireless phones; this also applies to calls and text messages, which have the same protection under FCC rules.
  • Your landline and wireless phones have protection from pesky telemarketing robocalls made without your prior written consent.
  • Non-emergency robocalls, including telemarketing and informational, request permission from the consumer when communicating over a wireless phone. Good examples are political calls, polling, and other annoying identity stealing non-telemarketing ‘robocalls’.
  • As a consumer, you have the right to change your mind at any given time. This means you can request no more texting or calling from the calling company. Do not fall for a calling company's number one trick: requiring you fill out a form and mail it in before you are allowed to revoke your initial consent.
  • No prior consent is needed for Urgent calls or texts involving health or fraud alerts. There should be no charge for these calls. You should be able to cancel any anytime.
  • The downfall for most phone companies is providing no legal obstacles to consumers; offering service technology that blocks robocalls to any phone. The use of technologies that block robocalls to any phone. The FCC is encouraging phone companies to provide services such as this.
  • If you have an existing commercial business relationship, this is not an open invitation for spammers, robocallers, or texting spam enthusiasts.

What Can You Do to Keep Unwanted Spam or Scam calls Away?

If you pick up a call and something doesn’t seem right, hang up. The simplest thing to do is not answer a call unless you recognize the incoming number.

Caller ID provides you with the number and most cases the name of the phone owner. Spam callers are slick-they’ll use numbers with the same area code to catch you off guard. Even if UNKNOWN is what is provided by Caller ID, we are thrown off by the area code and more likely to answer the call. There are things you can do to cut down these annoying peace blockers or even stop the calls altogether.

Keep reading…

  • Most effective rule: Do not answer the phone unless you recognize the number. Worse case scenario-you answer the phone simply hang up.
  • Go National: List your phones on the National Do Not Call Registry. Once your phone is listed, if you’re still receiving the bothersome calls; make a report.
  • Make friends with technology: Become familiar with these apps; Robocaller, Truecaller, Mr. Number, Hiya, Nomorobro, and other apps that work to block the unwanted calls. Check with your phone carrier; they may offer call blocking tools for a minimum monthly fee to help fight these spam and robo calls.
  • Catch THEM off guard: Let’s take for example; the Jolly Roger Telephone Company. This company allows you to place the phone on mute, thus matching telemarketing calls to a robot. Thes calling companies cleverly lure you in with offering robot personalities you can choose from, making the intrusion seem like it’s ‘fun’. Vocal fillers such as “O.K.”, and “uh- uh”; are added to throw you off.

Telemarketing Calls-Don't Get Sucked In By Making These Common Mistakes:

  • Don't Hang up the phone right away. The results for the telemarketer leads to “no answer”. What this means for you is a definite call back. They will not quit until they have had an actual conversation with you.
  • Don't engage in a conversation with the telemarketer. This means not showing any interest, do not ask questions, no explanations of why you aren't interested in their product or services, and lastly; don't behave like a human who cares. Giving a telemarketer any amount of false hope means they will not leave you in peace until you finally cave in and agree!
  • No reason to lose your cool and take it too personal. Your number was computer generated, not chosen by the caller. Shouting at a telemarketer will only make them mad and tempt them into placing your number right back into the lead pool for pure “payback”.
  • If you are talking to a rude telemarketer, ask to speak to a manager. Don’t let them fool you, business has a supervisor in the call room.
  • Give them a reason why you aren't interested. If you choose to answer and engage in a conversation, give a reason why you aren’t interested so they won’t call you back.
  • The trap we all fall into: When asked if there’s a better time to call back; do not give them a time. If you don't hand them a hard “no”, and say perhaps tomorrow at noon is better-you’ll never get them off of back. You should know that telemarketers are trained with script in hand to respond to every imaginable objection.

  • The hiya mobile app. Offering real-time alerts of incoming calls that are marked as suspected spam or scam, you can block and blacklist numbers-stopping repeat spammers and scammers in their path.
  • RoboKiller was awarded #1 app by The Federal Trade Commission in Humanity Strikes Back Competition 2015. RoboKiller was designed so the consumer could take an active role in fighting back. What makes this app different from its competitors is earning some satisfaction by choosing some funny pre-recorded messages meant to harass the spammers.

Tip: These apps have costs associated, check out your free options on how to lookup unknown numbers.

know your rights!

Another recommendation by The FTC is a commercial solution known as Nomorobo to help block robocalls.

The cost is a mere $2 per month per smartphone or cellphone. Normorobo only functions with VoIP phones, not typical old-school landlines.

Landlines are free.

Think of Normorobo as the interceptor, stopping the calls before they reach you. This is accomplished by referring to a database of known robocall dialing numbers. The only ‘flaw’, is that it might not work with newly generated numbers.

You can take action by blocking numbers that have made robocalls to your phone, however; this will not be effective against newly generated numbers. Look for another app that will “whitelist” callers. The only people able to reach you are those approved numbers on the whitelist.

FTC’s Job Is Not Foolproof...Here’s Why:

There’s only so much the FTC can do, as tracing the origin of the spam caller is virtually untraceable.Truth be told; the commission lacks the resources to disclose any identities behind these illegal spam calls. Filing a report still may be helpful in aiding in the identification of trickery used by scam artists.

The goal is to prevent others from becoming prey to the slackers and hackers, wanting to shipwreck on our personal turf.

do legal telemarketing calls exists?

Here’s something you should know: legitimate companies are legally permitted to send calls to our cellular & landline phone numbers, with conditions. (Lawful companies are allowed to call our cell phone and landline numbers, with conditions.)

Spam calls deemed legal by the government:

Telemarketing Calls-Don't Get Sucked In By Making These Common Mistakes:

  • Telemarketing & Cold Calls: These are defined as calls made from a legitimate business (company) by a telemarketer.
  • A company requesting you make a purchase of a legitimate product or service: (purchase of one of their products or a service:)ALWAYS inquire about the validity of the company (of the business) before deciding to place an order for a product or a service that may be illegal or non-existent.
  • Legal Robocalls: Robocalls are aka pre-recorded audio messages (remove) are only considered legal when the calling company has intentions of revealing legitimate consumer information. Examples to look for include: appointment reminders, airline cancellations, credit-card fraud alerts, (fraud alerts for credit cards) and school updates.
  • Legal Charities and Market Research: Receiving calls like these are just as obnoxious as telemarketing calls, (getting a call from a telemarketer.)with the intent to solicit either collectible data or charitable donations to a legally registered (Their purpose is to canvass for collectable data or donations for their) cause or business. Callers (Solicitors) from these calling companies must legally identify themselves and provide you with a contact phone number at the beginning of the phone call.

Why AM I Getting Spam Phone Calls?

It's difficult not to take it personal when spam calls are blowing up your phone.

According to the National Cellular Directory, Without knowing who’s on the other end of the phone and how they got your number to begin with; it can be unsettling to be receiving these calls .

Every day a person's identity and bank account is at risk by posers seeking to steal your personal information.

How does a hacker get your phone number to begin with?

It’s more than likely that your number was simply auto-dialed at random. (Chances are, your cell-phone number was randomly dialed.) Take charge and do a quick check to see if your phone (if your mobile or landline) number is publicly available. Begin with typing your number in the Google search bar. Your phone number may be linked to social media sites, giving collection companies free reign to spam you.

With continuous upgrades in technology, it’s never been easier to find your personal information on the internet. Public databases can easily locate mobile and landline numbers, making a profit by selling them to both legal and illegal spam callers. (Public databases have easy access to cell phone and landline phone numbers. They, in turn, can sell these numbers to legal and illegal spam callers.)

If your phone number is publicly listed, this leaves an open door for real estate tycoons and small business owners. (remove) Built-in apps on your Android Phones Are Not 100% Reliable.

Your Android phone's built-in apps is not enough to ward off the spammers.

according to ftc quote

This solution recommended by the FTC is cumbersome, and here’s why.

Using the “Block This Number” function on your iPhone or Android will not ward off the number of spam calls you receive due to phone spoofing.

If the spam caller realizes there is another person on the other end of the phone and your number comes up as “try again later”, spam callers will relentlessly keep trying until they finally get you on the phone-each time with a new fake number.

What is Phone Spoofing?

Spoofing is defined as the development of altering the caller identity to any number other than the authentic calling number. (as the practice of altering the caller ID by changing the number that normally would be displayed.)When receiving a spam call, the caller ID is dispatched between the 1st and 2nd ring of the phone. (after the first but before the second ring of the phone.)

What Can You Do?

If you suspect you’re being spoofed here’s a couple of things you can do. Try placing the suspected spoof caller on hold. Hang up and try calling the number back. A typical spoof call will be untraceable if you try and call them back. Usually, you’ll receive a message saying that number is no longer in service.

You can also enter the number in question in a browser. (enter the number that is calling a browser such as Google.) This will reveal if the party has the number on their site (if the number is listed under the company’s website) or if the company/party name is mentioned as a scam.

Remember...It's always smart to remain cautious. If a caller on the other end of your phone line is capable of posing as a person or company, there’s no way you can predict the intentions of the caller.

The Legal Aspects

Spoofing a mobile or landline number with evil-minded intent is against the law. (Misleading a person by altering the caller ID number with the intent to disservice them is against the law.

The FCC also forbids the use of (using) caller ID spoofing with intent to victimize, cause harm and wrongfully procure anything of value. (We can probably remove this as well, I feel like its stating the same thing)

Top Call Blocker Apps

We live in a faced paced world, and most of us are trying to juggle work, family, and whatever leisure time is left over after that. You are home relaxing after a long day at work, and a nice sit-down dinner. When all you want to do is relax your aching muscles and weary bones, those unwanted spam calls come pouring in.

Often these calls occur before 9:00 on a Saturday morning-the only day you have to sleep in. No one wants t to be the recipient of these annoying calls blasting your phone.

mobile phone caller id help

All is not lost, for there are ways you can take the bull by the horns by downloading call blocking apps right onto your Android phone. Some of these apps are free, while others charge a small fee for their services.

Here is a list of some of the best free call blocking apps. All of these spam blocking apps are user-friendly, giving you 100% control over all the incoming calls.

Design your own personal blacklist of unwanted numbers from which you do not wish to receive calls from.

top call blocker apps

Telemarketing Calls-Don't Get Sucked In By Making These Common Mistakes:

  • Calls Blacklist – With an easy to use interface, this app is clutter free and enables you to block all incoming calls as well as text messages from the same callers.
  • Call Blocker Free- Another great app that doesn’t use up too much of your phone's resources or RAM.
  • Mr. Number- Mr. Number, with its advanced call blocking features, allows you to block calls from any specific area code, a person, or even the entire world.
  • Call Control – Over 12 million active users are using this app by Kedlin Company, geared towards those who receive scam calls, robotic calls, automated calls, and all other spam calls.
  • Call Blocker app by AndroidRock- This app will not drain your phone battery; t is lightweight and will not use a ton of storage space.This is the ideal app for phones with limited CPU and RAM resources.
  • Blacklist Plus – This Call Blocker app makes it possible to block any unwanted caller from calling you, including a scheduling option so you can block certain numbers or contacts from calling you during the allotted time. With a friendly interface, you to keep a track on all of your incoming calls history and actively block numbers that recently dialed in.
  • Safest Call Blocker- A relatively new call blocking app that allows you to block all the incoming calls from those numbers not associated with your contact list. In other words; all the unknown numbers will be blocked from contacting you.
  • Call Blocker app by Sappalodapps- A call blocking app that blocks unwanted calls and SMS. This password-protected app is loaded with call blocking features, yet the developer has kept the app lightweight, small in size and uses minimal resources.

Google Play is one resource you can use to download these call blocking apps. We have given you a list of the top free call blocking apps to save you the time from having to figure it out for yourself.

However; for the more inquisitive types, you may want to search Google Play for yourself. Take heed-there are countless call blocking ads claiming to provide the best call blocking services for free or for a minimal fee.

With over 100 apps to choose from, you will need to do your homework as some of these apps may be non-reputable. The last thing you want is a virus on your phone from unreputable call blocking apps. Some of these apps are foreign apps attempting to do the same thing you’re trying to stop, to begin with.

If you see an app, you might want to try (other than the list we already conveniently provided), take time to search on the internet for some reviews. If you don’t see any reviews or anything written about the app in question, it might be a safe bet not to attempt downloading the app. What Happens When You Sign Up With a Call Blocking Service?

Signing up for a call blocking service will certainly help with cutting down those unwanted spam calls. The first thing you’ll notice is the ‘name ‘ under Caller ID. Take time to read the name before answering your phone. You will most likely see “unknown caller”, or “spam call”. This will automatically alert you as to whether you’re receiving a suspicious phone call.

As mentioned previously, spam callers are pretty slick and will move onto to a new phone number before you even blink your eyes.

Why Should You Stay on Guard?

Today's phone hackers are staying on top of cutting-edge technology in hopes to steal your money and your personal identity. These phone hacking spammers will stop at nothing to rob you, even by means of your telephone. These hackers are great actors posing for what may seem legitimate to you. Let’s say your credit isn’t on the good side. Even if your credit scores are less than desirable, this will not stop an identity thief from stealing your information for a crime they’re plotting-leaving you the guilty party in question.

How to Stomp Out Spam Calls For Good...An Ongoing Process

Now that you’ve been given some helpful information regarding spam calls, scam calls, and robocalls we would like you to know something. There is one straightforward solution that will stomp out these unwanted spam calls for good. Would you like to know the solution?

Warning! This solution is so simple you might miss it, please read carefully and slowly while proceeding.

If spam callers could never contact you via your phone, they wouldn't be able to steal your time, money, or personal identity to begin with. This is the solution to a never-ending problem as there are ongoing challenges to block calls from these identity thieves.

Due to the ongoing challenges of keeping these spammers at bay, the Federal Trade Commission recommends downloading a third-party mobile app to block unwanted spam calls.

“Call blocking apps let you create blacklists – lists of numbers to block from calling your cell phone number. Many of these apps also create their own blacklist databases from numbers that have received significant consumer complaints. They also let you create whitelists – numbers to allow – that is broader than just your personal contacts.”

A few things to know:

  • You cannot rely on the Commission’s rules and regulations as they don’t directly support blocking these calls.
  • The Commission does not have the technological infrastructure needed to block these spammers.
  • Third-party apps are the best resources you can use in the battle against spam calls.

Spam call blocker apps are designed by individuals who hate spam calls as well. These individuals have devoted years to creating apps that will adequately stop spam calls once and for all.

To Sum It All Up

We've provided you with the essential tools needed to simplify your life and keep the spam callers at a far distance.

This isn’t rocket science.

Anyone is capable of downloading a safe app to your phone, ensuring your identity is protected from those wishing to take the easy train by stealing what is rightfully yours.

If you know anyone who is being bombarded with spam callers, we hope you’ll share the information contained in this article or the article itself. Everyday someone’s identity is stolen by a spammer, don’t let that be you or someone you care about.

Stop the spam callers in their tracks by taking action.

It is your responsibility to stop these phone hacking thieves. Remember, technology is constantly upgrading and changing every day. These spam callers are cleverly keeping up with the trends. Keeping up with the latest trends in technology and sharing your knowledge is a good place to begin.

Happy Call Blocking!