NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Robocalls – we all get them and we hate them.
Relentless robocalls ringing at all hours of the day and night. Some 5.2 billion robocalls were made to U.S. customers in March. That’s nearly 2,000 every second. A record for a single month.
New Yorkers can relate.
“There’s a whole bunch of them, pretty much everything here I don’t answer,” one person told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
“They keep calling and calling and calling,” another person added.
They won’t even leave your grandmother alone.
“We’re thinking of actually canceling her phone,” one frustrated New Yorker said about the nonstop harassment his grandmother endures.
The call spoofing technology is so advanced, the number popping up on your caller ID looks like it’s a familiar one because it comes from your hometown area code.
Security expert Manny Gomez says it’s time phone companies take responsibility.
“We have a right to privacy on our phone numbers, cell phone numbers, those numbers should not be given to the public without our permission,” Gomez said.
After months of inconvenience and complaints, Congress has begun to answer the call to do something – holding hearings on a bi-partisan bill to end the harassment and crack down on the phone fraudsters.
“These criminals are taunting us because they think we can’t act,” Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado said.
The “Traced Act” would increase the penalty if they can even find the robocallers. It would impose fines up to $10,000 per illegal call, while requiring phone companies to implement a caller ID system to tell you if a number is legit.
Some providers are getting better at detecting spam and have sections on their websites dedicated to how to handle unwanted callers, but clearly they have to do more.
“The best way to prevent illegal robocalls is to stop them from ever being made, and the best way to ensure that is to put the people who are making them behind bars,” Kevin Rupy of USTelecom said.
In the meantime, so many of us are at a loss over what to do. Here are some tips to beat the robocallers:
- Stop answering calls from numbers that aren’t in your contacts
- Block each individual number as it comes in
- Download apps that do that work for you