Spam calls. If you own a mobile phone, this is what you need to know

Blocking spam calls: why is it not working?Statistically, every 7th call you received in 2018 was a spam or a fraud call.  And it will get worse. The experts say that almost half of your incoming phone calls in 2019 will be spam calls.

Do we really need to be afraid of answering calls from unknown numbers? Maybe. Or maybe not. Read more.

What are spam calls?

Long story short: spam calls are unwanted calls with but one goal: to steal either your time or money.

Came here for the longer version? Here it is.

In general, spam calls are inappropriate or just unwanted calls, usually received by a large number of recipients. (Of course by those who haven’t showed any interest in receiving them.) Not only they are annoying. They can be very dangerous, as well. Because most of them are designed to trick you into paying money for things you don’t want at all.

According to statistics, the number of spam calls is growing. For a lot of reasons. For example, it’s getting easier for spammers to hide their true identity and location (thanks to the so called neighbor spoofing).

In last few years, the number of spam calls has been rapidly growing also because of robocalls. They allow spammers to rapidly increase the total number of calls they make.

Why are you receiving so many spam calls?

Have you been ever wondering where does the information spammers have about you (including your phone number) come from? In fact, there’s a lot of reasons.

First, there’s your activity when online. Comments on friend’s Facebook posts, Skype calls, mobile apps or emails. Nowadays, all what we do (even when we think nobody can “see” us) becomes part of our digital footprint. And it’s easy to be found.

Second, you also can get easily tricked by popular loyalty cards. They are still very popular with customers. However, when using a loyalty card, you’re giving your privacy away.

–> Read more about how loyalty cards threatens your privacy

As you see, when it comes to spam, the principle “better safe than sorry” becomes very useful. However, even when you’re really cautious about giving your private information away, you still can become a scam target. Sometimes because of public lists of numbers, sometimes because spammers try to call every number possible.

Yes, you get it right. Nowadays, if you own a mobile phone, there’s no escape.

Is it even legal?

First things first. Not all calls considered as spam are illegal. Legitimate charities’ calls, updates from your child’s school, a flight cancellation call or a legitimate telemarketing call are good examples of when spam calls aren’t considered illegal.

None of these legal calls, yet annoying, are dangerous. Also, you can easily get rid of them. All you have to do is to register your cell phone number on the Do Not Call Registry. However, only legal telemarketing companies take the registry into consideration. Unlike scammers.

Which leads us to those spam calls which are, without doubt, illegal. And there’s plenty of them. (Read our comprehensive guide to illegal scam calls in USA.)

Spoofing. Legal, or not?

We also can’t forget one very special category of spam calls – spam calls coming from spoofed numbers. Spoofing is a popular tactics how to push you to answer the call. It’s because a caller have faked their number, so you more likely pick up the phone.

This so called spoofing isn’t always illegal. Sometimes it’s even necessary. (For example, it’s often used when communicating with victims of domestic violence who are seeking for help.) However, spoofing a number with an intention to do harm is restricted. Yet, very popular with illegal scammers.

How to stop spam calls?

Of course, you can always try to count on usual methods of blocking spam. However, as statistics show, they seem to stop keeping pace with scammers and robocallers.

First, it’s no longer possible to avoid spam using only your common sense. Because no matter how you’re cautious, to recognize a spam number is almost impossible. It’s all because of spoofing, a tactic of changing the phone number you see on a display of your phone.

Second, your smartphone’s features won’t help you either. They allow you to block specific numbers. Which means that if a certain number never called before, it can reach you without warning.

The bottom line, nowadays, the most efficient help against spammers is an effective spam blocker. Such as the Should I Answer app. It’s been protecting millions of people all around the world for more than five years against all kinds of unwanted calls.

And that’s also the app’s greatest strength. The Should I Answer app is based on a community spam database (there are 30 000 new reports daily!), so it can block all incoming spam calls for you. It’s also perfectly safe: your data and personal information never leave your phone.

Say (finally) goodbye to spammers. Get the Should I Answer app.

Get the app for free (Android)

or get the Should I Answer app for iOS