Companies working on ways to block robocalls


    Companies working on ways to block robocalls (CBS/CBS Newspath)

    NEW YORK (CBS/CBS Newspath) - Americans received 30 billion spam calls last year, and robocall blocking company YouMail predicts next year half of those calls will be scams.

    Scammers often spoof calls, disguising the digits to make it look like a familiar number. But scam artists recently duplicated Beverly Figueroa's number and used it to spoof others.

    "There must have been thousands of people called with my phone number," she said.

    People who received robocalls thought she had called them, and many called her back.

    "Call back when you're not scared to talk to a mother," one angry caller said.

    Robocalls are frustrating and there are several apps and features on the market that can stop many of them from reaching your phone. Google just unveiled a new 'call screen' feature on it's latest Pixel phone. If there's a call from an unfamiliar number, you can have the phone answer for you. Artificial intelligence asks who is calling and why.

    You get a transcript of who it is and then can decide to pick it up or mark it as spam.

    Phone companies are developing new technology that goes one step further. It's called stir/shaken and would require all calls to carry an authentic digital signature. That would ensure that the number you see in the caller ID is legitimate and not a spoof.

    Verizon says it will start rolling out the system later this year, other phone companies are expected to have it in 2019. Many are hoping it will help bring an end to those annoying robocalls.

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