Back in 1995, when No Doubt's "Spiderwebs" came out, the worst you could expect from your phone was an insistent admirer. These days, robots are constantly blowing up the line — and they're not just placing calls domestically. You've likely noticed that spam calls from the United States and even around the world have skyrocketed over the last few months. It's not just you they're bugging. It's everyone.
Business Insider reports that spam phone calls have jumped back to pre-pandemic levels. In February alone, Americans reported receiving 4.6 billion of these calls, most often about car warranties and health notices. Spam calls are such a hassle that anecdotally, you probably know multiple people who won't pick up numbers they don't recognize, if that doesn't describe you too.
There is one reason why we saw a drop-off in robocalls last spring: It's the same one that halted almost all in-person work in 2020. Call centers that produce these calls closed down to accommodate the pandemic. Now that we're slowly making our way toward "normal" life again, these businesses are getting back on track just like everyone else is.
Annoying as it is, that simply means being on your guard again if you receive a call from an unknown or strange phone number. There are ways to fight these robocalls, including an app that can block and report them, but your most effective bet is the simplest: Don't answer the calls. The more you train the robots' algorthims that you don't engage, the more likely they'll learn to leave you alone.