In the News

Opinion: “Hello? Hello?” The Pain Of Pandemic Robocalls

Aug 7, 2021 NPR

Busy week? I had news meetings, family stuff, and interviews, of course. And then I got a call from an officious, digitized voice that said they were the IRS. It informed me they’ve noticed suspicious activity on my account. Not a good start to the day.

Soon, more bad news. A call from a similar-sounding robo-voice — maybe they’re siblings — said they’ve noticed suspicious activity on my credit card account.

But good news, a minute later: a peppy, friendly, recorded voice, told me my spotless driving record entitled me to receive a great new deal on car insurance.

Then I remembered: I have no driving record. I have no driver’s license, although that did not discourage another genial recorded voice who called a few minutes later to offer a great new deal on a car warranty because of my immaculate driving history.

By the way, I also have spotless record in performing brain surgery.

I take no poetic license when I say that on any given day, I get dozens of calls to say that I’ve won a vacation, a home alarm system, or discounts on scores of pharmaceuticals. I get calls to warn me of suspicious activities on my Social Security or credit card accounts, and calls imploring me to donate to groups that sound faintly familiar, but are likely just cleverly monikered scams. 40% of robocalls reportedly are…