An Expert Shares Your Best Protection Against Robocalls

An expert shares the newest tactic being used by robocallers plus your best protection against them!

Robocalls range from minor nuisance to big-time scams that steal money out of people's pockets.

The calls are so prevalent now they are a part of everyday life.

"Robocalls have never been a bigger problem before in the United States. We're seeing about 2 billion a month being created," said Jonathan Nelson, Director of Product Management at Hiya.

Jonathan Nelson, .Director of Product Management at Hiya

Hiya makes technology to identify calls and block spammers.

"Robocallers are always reinventing how they present it and they’ll tailor [their message] to their audience in order to get people more willing to bite," explained Nelson.

So what's the point of these calls? Usually, they are selling something or are just outright scams.

The other thing to know: unless you specifically authorized the call, like an automated flight update from an airline or a prescription refill notification, robocalls are illegal.

"If you answer it, know you are talking to someone committing a crime," explained Nelson.

The latest twist is called the "neighbor scam." You've seen the calls - the caller ID on your phone shows a phone number calling that's similar to yours.

The reason - you'll want to pick up the phone!

"You might think it’s a neighbor or a local business and it makes you more likely to answer the phone," said Nelson.

He then showed me just how easy it is to spoof Caller ID with technology readily accessible to all. I told him the phone number I wanted to be displayed on my phone, he entered it into a special website (there are many of them available to the public) and voila, it appeared to be calling my phone.

So why are robocalls so tough to stop?

Voice over IP technology makes it cheap and easy to place millions of calls instantly and they’re though to trace.

Your best bet to protect yourself against these calls?

Download an app like Hiya to help you identify and block spam calls.

You can also sign up for protection through your carrier. T-Mobile and AT&T offer free protection, other carriers might charge you a monthly fee.

But your absolute best bet?

Don't answer the phone at all if you suspect it's a robocall.

"If you do answer the phone, you are known to be a valid number and you will get more calls," concluded Nelson.

NOW WATCH: See just how easy it is for a robocaller to "spoof" the Caller ID displayed on your phone.