You know how they say only Twinkies, Cher, and cockroaches will survive a nuclear attack? Twinkies make the list because of all the preservatives in them. And really, what does a little sorbic acid hurt? We can hardly taste it. Cher makes the list because she is an immortal, obviously. How else could you explain her ongoing relevance over the last 120 years. Then there are those pesky cockroaches. They make the list because they are like zombies. You can stomp them, spray them, even decapitate them (shudder), and they’ll still live. So sure, drop a nuke on them — they’ll figure it out. As many armchair epidemiologists have come to learn, viruses themselves can mutate to survive greater defenses, sometimes even vaccination. It should come as no surprise then that the plague of robocalling can itself mutate for its own survival. Cut the head off — figuratively, of course — and the fraudsters find a way to regroup and come back another day to wreak their special kind of havoc.
In this article, we cover:
- The resilience of Twinkies, Cher, cockroaches, and robocallers.
- Recent developments in the fight against robocalls.
- The ongoing need to employ a call blocking app against robocall scammers.
In the ongoing saga of robocall prevention, a major stomp/vaccine/decapitation was levied by the FCC this past summer: STIR/SHAKEN. Quick review: STIR/SHAKEN, otherwise known as Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) and Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENS (SHAKEN), is a standardized authentication protocol that makes caller ID more reliable, and in turn, phone number spoofing more difficult.
Number spoofing is one of the major tools in robocallers’ tool belt to deceive their victims. The phone rings, caller ID says it’s the FBI or IRS or your financial institution on the other end, and you instinctively let your guard down. The person or machine on the other end says you’re in big trouble or nearly out of time to save yourself from a dire situation, and you start giving away all your personal information in a panic. It doesn’t fool everyone, but enough are tricked that it’s well worthwhile to the bad guys. Though you may not be deceived, you will still pay for it by having to bat away these attempts for what may feel like several times a day, every day, for the rest of your life.
A Robocall Blocking App Is Still Invaluable in the Fight Against Fraud
This fantastic, much-needed progress on the robocall front doesn’t signal the end to robocalling, unfortunately. Just like indestructible yellow cream-filled cakes, the former Ms. Bono, and la cucaracha, the giant rodents operating robocall scams and spam will adapt and come back armed with more sophisticated methods. If you’re familiar at all with the mobile app black market around Apple’s App Store, this phenomenon should ring a bell.
To circumvent the walled garden of protection around the App Store, hackers regularly find new, clever ways around Apple’s iPhone security to “jailbreak” their devices. It’s a dance that happens almost every iOS update: Apple releases its update, and within days or even hours, a hack is disbursed across the internet for anyone willing to partake in some not-all-that-difficult hacking gymnastics. By the next update, Apple closes the vulnerability, at which point the cycle begins again. How is it possible to find yet another vulnerability in nearly every iOS update? The internet, as they say, remains undefeated.
That’s the same reason the fight against robocalls is always changing. One technical or regulatory loophole gets closed, and it’s simply a matter of time before another is discovered and pulled wide open.
And therein lies the beauty of YouMail robocall blocking. While the FCC and voice service providers do their best to curtail the problem, our resources and expertise aren’t going anywhere. That’s why it’s always smart to keep your guard up, despite STIR/SHAKEN, the TRACED Act, even exorbitant fines, YouMail’s tried-and-true robocall blocking methods present the finest in ongoing prevention.
Our robocall database tracks trends from suspicious phone numbers in real time. If we start seeing an usual amount of activity, our call blocker sees it and reacts immediately. You can even see for yourself the month’s worst offenders (literally, you can see the actual originating robocall numbers), sort them by category, caller ID, place of origin, you name it. Armed with our best-in-class data, the YouMail app can block known bad numbers from ever ringing your phone and even play a “number out of service” message to permanently delete your number from their lists.
That’s the magic behind how YouMail protects more than 350 million phone numbers, has answered well over 10 billion calls, and stopped more than 1 billion robocalls from ever being made. Despite the landscape of robocall prevention being in constant flux, one constant you can depend on is YouMail robocall blocker. Who will survive a nuclear attack? Twinkies, Cher, cockroaches, and now, your phone number.