Robocalls: is VoIP a threat?
Who is responsible: the tool used for the crime, or the person who commits the felony?
One of the intrinsic characteristics of technology is its multiple advantages and benefits. But, in the same way, and as a counterpart, it is folded with risks and threats. Virtual tools are not malicious in their own means. What gives them that attribute is the particular use given by each consumer. That is why it has become an imperative need to know and learn what the risks of using technology are and, above all, the internet. Being aware of the most used methods to commit scams has become a standard for online survival.
Robocalls have gained a lot of relevance in recent years since they have become a frequent practice at a global level. Making this statement does not imply something negative or positive at first, since the dilemma begins when a large amount of them are carried out with unfavorable purposes. Let’s see what robocalls are.
Getting to know robocalls
If we analyze the word, the definition of robocall can be extracted from the prefix of the word: the term robo alludes to robotics or automated. Then, if we put everything within context, we would have that robocalls are automated phone calls made by a computer system that regularly transmits a prerecorded voice message.
Although some robocalls contribute significantly to our day to day, this term usually causes rejection because it is closely related to illicit activities. This duality has contributed to making the word robocalls something inconsistent, as it changes according to the criteria and convenience of the author. In this article, we will refer to robocalls in the broad sense which includes scamming, spoofing, and automated messages.
The purpose of robocalls is to reach numerous people to convey a message or information. Because of this, VoIP communications contribute to the transmission chain of robocalls. This virtual phone system allows users to make hundreds of calls at the same time in an efficient and cost-effective way. This allows robocallers to reach their target more easily.
Due to the rise of this practice, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had to establish conditions and restrictions for its use. But to achieve this, it was necessary to establish which robocalls are allowed by law and which are penalized.
However, as a consequence of its ambiguity, classifying robocalls can be a relatively cumbersome task. This is why we use two basic and wide categories: legal and illegal. The line that separates how an automated telephone call would be characterized or other is, as a general rule, consent.
For a robocall to be carried out legitimately, the person who will receive the automated message must have previously granted explicit approval. The only circumstance in which this can be completely ignored and still be considered legal is when the call aims to warn about an emergency, as in the case of a natural disaster.
It is common to note that within the category of legal robocalls figures are announcements of a public service to inform that an event is taking place, to inform a flight cancellation, a reminder of a medical appointment or that a person’s prescription must be refilled.
Additionally, services and companies can only contact telephone numbers that are not part of the National Do Not Call Registry Program, a list of users who do not want to be contacted for absolutely no type of robocall.
On the other hand, illegal robocalls are those that do not follow any regulation stipulated by the FTC or other relevant organizations. Within the same category, we can consider two main types: those who do not seek to hurt but ignore that this consent is indispensable and those who seek to obtain some economic benefit when scamming their victims.
Usually, robocallers who fall into the second category are fully aware that what they are doing is not stipulated within the law. When it is detected that an automated call is being made illegally, companies or individuals face severe fines and penalties. Which, in the case of a well-established company, it will cause considerable damage to the business, which can obviously affect its success.
Scamming robocalls are made with the intention to harass the call recipient until the perpetrators achieve to make the victims share personal information that can put them at risk, such as health insurance information or even their bank data. It is very common for robocallers to impersonate legitimate companies or services that the victims trust in order to have a greater probability of success in their misdeeds.
Do we need to condemn VoIP?
A very logical and interesting question to ask is whether the connection that robocalls have with VoIP makes it a threat by default. The simple answer is no.
In order to reach that resolution, we must review what we know about robocalls at the moment: we understand that not all robocalls are negative in nature, in fact, some of them may be helpful to us. So keeping this in mind, we may ask again, who is responsible for the crime: the tool or the offender?
Leaving robocalls aside, VoIP technology has revolutionized the world of telecommunications due to its cutting-edge features and functions. Many individuals and companies have greatly benefited from this system.
The feature that allows the criminal to make calls with a different area code from the state or the country where they reside, is the same that allows a company to expand and obtain a greater clientele, or even, the one that grants a traveler the opportunity to keep in touch efficiently and cheaply with their family and friends.
This is why we cannot blame the system for the use that is given to it. What we can reject is the improper practice of the use of this powerful technology. There are many positive things that can be achieved with it. For example, through our service, users can verify their accounts on various platforms without any inconvenience for a small fee. Here at Major Phones, we help our customers to have an enjoyable experience while obtaining benefits, such as privacy, access to geo-restricted applications, and a wide range of possibilities.