KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Why Are You Getting So Many Robocalls?

Have you been getting bombarded by phone calls from numbers you don’t recognize? If it’s a robocall, you’re just one of the many people across the country who’ve been getting them.

According to data from the call blocking site YouMail, robocalls in Arizona — and the rest of the nation — are on the rise. There were over 78 million of the calls in Arizona in the month of June.

These calls range from promising lower interest rates to better deals on health care.

Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail, explained why we’re getting more calls:

“There’s more and more scam calls and so scammers have discovered that it’s very, very cheap and easy for someone even without the development skills to be able to call lots of people and get a message out there," he said. "Another thing that’s happened is that general telemarketing calls are also up. That’s in part because people are answering the phone less. So, when a debt collector might have been able to get through to you on the first call before, now it may take three, four or five and they never get through to you and they just keep calling.”

Perhaps you’re one of the many people who registered their number with the National Do Not Call Registry, which began in 2003, so why are you still getting these calls?

“The thing with the Do Not Call list is most reputable companies honor it," Quilici said. "So, if they don’t have your consent to call you, they won’t. And so that’s why you don’t just get a lot of random calls from cable companies and others trying to sell you their services. They follow the law.”

Scammers who don't follow these laws, sometimes use a trick called "spoofing," which is when one phone number is masked as another.

However, it isn’t just telemarketers calling your number. People sometimes give consent to get calls without realizing it. For example, if you buy a new car with satellite radio capability, or apply for a bank loan, somewhere in the fine print is a box that can be checked allowing robocalls.

So, what’s the best way to avoid this nuisance? Quilici says you don’t need to re-register with the National Do Not Call List. But he offers this recommendation.

“You don’t let your computer run without anti-virus software. You really can’t have your cellphone run without some sort of call blocking app on it. It’s just necessary now.”

In addition to call blocking apps, the FCC says rules require telemarketers, which are legitimate businesses, to provide an automated menu throughout the call for people to get off the calling list. But the FCC also warns not to engage in menus from unknown or spoofed phone numbers.

Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.