KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt: Robocalls Rising Again, But Experts Say It’s Getting Tougher For The Bad Guys

Jul 17, 2020, 6:28 PM | Updated: 8:06 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – How much have you enjoyed the last couple months of relative peace from robocalls? Well, brace yourselves, because theyre making a comeback.

While theres been a huge dent in robocalls during the coronavirus pandemic, experts said it will be short-lived.

The good news: It is going to be tougher for the bad guys to dial you up.

The automated robocalls have been the frustrating bane of the last few years, from unsolicited calls from crooks and annoying product or service pitches to scammers and identity thieves.

Alex Quilici is the CEO of YouMail, a company that records and transcribes voicemails. It also tracks junk calls through its Robocall Index and uses data from its users to extrapolate estimates of robocall volumes across the country.

Robocalls are on the rise, but experts don’t think it’ll rise to pre-pandemic levels.

Their data showed spam calls are way down compared to before the pandemic started.

From peak to the trough, it was about a 50 percent drop in robocalls that we saw, Quilici told KSL. Where did all the scammers go? Well, they went home.

As everything slowed down, theres more social distancing and companies in the U.S. closed their call centers and (the volume of robocalls) dropped, Quilici explained. When India closed their centers and Pakistan and the Philippines, when they locked down their call centers  all closed completely.

Call centers outside the U.S. dont necessarily have the same access to networking technology that allows agents to work at home.

Theres not great broadband in India, for example, as you get beyond the hubs of the main cities, Quilici said. If they dont have a call center to route the Press Ones or Press Twos to, or the callbacks to, it doesnt do any good to do the robocalls, so they stopped making them.

As countries around the world begin to reopen, the calls were ramping up again.

After going for a few months with virtual robocall silence to our ringers, perhaps it just feels like they are worse than ever.

Will the number of harassing calls return to their pre-COVID levels? Quilici thinks they will never be that bad again.

Theres enough between the changes to the economy, the changes due to the pandemic, enforcement efforts, new technologies, explained Quilici. All that is making it harder and harder for robocallers to get through to consumers.

An entire industry around stopping fraudulent calls has surfaced in recent years.

New technology has been deployed to help the average cell phone user avoid spam calls.

New technology that blocks spam calls as well as your phones Caller ID will identify when the number calling you is being disguised.

As robocall scams become less productive for crooks, they will move on to some other dubious way to steal money and identities.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

FILE - Thousand gather at the Utah State Capitol to support a woman's right to choose. (KSL TV)...
Daniella Rivera

‘It was hastily passed’: Medical, legal experts raise concerns about Utah’s abortion trigger law

Senate Bill 174, passed by the Utah Legislature in 2020, was crafted, in part, to send a message. Now, medical and legal experts are sounding alarm bells about how it will work in practice.
4 days ago
FILE - Credit and deposit cards on a computer keyboard. Electronic commerce, business. Online shopp...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Americans shy away from using credit cards abroad, missing out on best exchange rates

As COVID-19 wanes, travel agencies are seeing a massive spike in bookings as folks look to spread their wings and travel abroad.
4 days ago
KSL-TV's Matt Gephardt talks to the couple to see how this accident happen....
Matt Gephardt and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Utah couple gets hit with sky-high surprise air ambulance bill

A perk of hitting that out-of-pocket max limit on your health insurance is usually, your insurance covers all other expenses for the year 100%. When a Highland couple continued to get bills, they asked KSL Investigator Matt Gephardt for help.
7 days ago
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are all making news with wild up-and-down swings in value. (File...
Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Congress considers crypto legislation: What you need to know

It's been a rough year for cryptocurrencies. Prices reached record heights this past November, but by last week, crypto has lost $2 trillion of its market value. Now, there's a new plan for the Feds to regulate cryptocurrencies.
8 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Despite growing demand for digital coupons, most are still printed

Researchers found that 91% of all coupons are old-fashioned paper coupons. That’s a problem when you compare it to consumer demand.
11 days ago
...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Gephardt busts inflation: Is saving hundreds on your internet bill worth the hassle?

When you sign up for internet, you need a modem to connect and router for your home's Wi-Fi. But most internet service providers charge you to use their equipment, on top of what you pay for their plan. But did you know you can buy your own and potentially save hundreds of dollars? The thing is, it’s not necessarily that simple.
12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Gephardt: Robocalls Rising Again, But Experts Say It’s Getting Tougher For The Bad Guys