The phone can be a major interruption without the added stress of answering automated junk calls. It is hard to separate the chaff from the wheat. The article, “Why Robocallers Win Even If You Don’t Answer” by Sara Krouse of The Wall Street Journal, describes the complications to resolve the problem of unwanted robocalls. She states,
A big obstacle, telecommunications lawyers say, is that not all robocalls are illegal. Some are made for legitimate purposes such as doctors appointment reminders or political campaigns. The call centers or number sellers hired for legitimate purposes can also be used by scammers.
Earlier this year, I saw an influx of annoying robocalls placed through our business phone number. To combat my problem, I did a little research and applied my own solution. Initially, I blocked the numbers, only to have them call back using a different four digit ending. After evaluating where the calls were originating, I was concerned that we may miss new customers. Were the numbers showing on the Caller-ID associated with legitimate businesses whose phone numbers were high-jacked? I couldn't be sure, so I asked my telephone technicians for additional advice. They told me to answer the calls without responding to any prompts. I did as I was instructed and the calls have stopped.
Now it has started on my cell phone. My cell phone carrier, T-mobile, does a good job screening some of the calls popping the Caller-ID as “Scam Likely.” When I see that information, I let the call go to voicemail. I can choose to block unknown calls; however, I discovered another caveat. What should I do about the bogus calls which show up with information from the personal contacts in my phone?
Recently, I answered an incoming call identified by information from my cell phone contacts, only to discover no one on the other end. I answered it about three times then stopped. The calls from the same number continued over several days. I don’t want to block callers in my contacts in the event that I should need to speak with them. I could call them to let them about the unusual calls, but I am not sure what that would do. My decision is, when this happens again, I will allow any subsequent calls after the first strange one to go to voicemail. My rationale, if it is important, they will leave a message. By the way, I haven't had a call from that number once I quit answering the call.
We are all prey to illegal robocalls. It is difficult to screen each potential contact. As the business owner of a telecommunications company, I realize that something needs to be done about the counterfeit automated calls. Since we provided telephone carrier services using VoIP, I feel a connection to this problem. I want to be able to give my customers hassle free phone service. On the other hand, as a consumer, I value robocalls placed by my doctor’s office and pharmacy. I am fortunate that my experience with robocalls has been more of a nuisance rather than something harmful.
Krouse, Sarah. “Why Robocallers Win Even If You Don’t Answer.” The Wall Street Journal, 4 June 2018, www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/why-robocallers-win-even-if-you-dont-answer/ar-AAycL2v?ocid=chromentp.
Beth Smith is an owner of Trident Communications, Inc.