Mobile spam calls have been a nuisance for years, but over the last few months, it’s felt to me like there’s been a surge of them. I get between four and six calls daily, and a quick survey of friends shows that I’m not alone. Every waking day brings with it a new barrage. Robocallers have upped their game by masking their spam with local, genuine-looking phone numbers. Sometimes their nonsense is amusing — like when you get a threatening voicemail about your impending arrest over owed back taxes — but the vast majority of the time, it’s an unwelcome distraction. It’s all too easy for these scammers to wield the power of the internet and fire off countless calls with ease. And once even just a few people fall for a scam, they’ve made enough profit to cover their trivial expenses.
Robocalls have become so infuriating that the Federal Trade Commission received over 375,000 complaints about them every month last year. The agency routinely says it’s doing its best to get a handle on the situation, and yes, there are occasionally significant crackdowns. But real-world feedback indicates that things are getting worse — not better — and it’s starting to feel a little out of control.