HARRISBURG, Pa. — More often than not when your phone rings, the call is a waste of your time.
According to Truecaller, about 60% of all phone calls are robocalls, spam, or some sort of scam.
Here in Pennsylvania, we have the highest rate of those spam calls in the country. A Time 2 Play survey found that the average Pennsylvanian gets more than four spam calls a day. It's no longer just a call because now scammers and spammers are sending you text messages with links and other information.
Robocalls are the number one complaint each year with the Federal Communication Commission.
The agency recently passed regulations targeted at overseas phone scammers and smaller so-called gateway companies in the US that allow those calls to make it to your phone.
That's on top of a rule recently put in place requiring major phone companies use to STIR/SHAKEN. That's another type of technology that is supposed to verify where calls are coming from and help eliminate phone number spoofing.
Is any of this working?
Terrill Frantz, an associate professor at Harrisburg University, said, "It's a very important question, a very valid question, but it's a difficult one to answer because we all have different experiences. One study will say this, another study will say that, so it is very difficult to answer that question broadly."
Frantz believes STIR/SHAKEN has certainly cut down on the spoofed robocalls, but just when we implement new technology to stop the scammers, they come up with a new way to fool us.
"If we in the Susquehanna Valley can go from four point four calls per day to one per day, I think we've done a good thing, but it will never go away," Frantz said.
Pennsylvania's state attorney general's office is trying a new approach too, by joining a national anti-robocall litigation task force.
So far, the task force has issued 20 civil investigative demands to 20 providers that are allegedly responsible for the majority of foreign robocalls.
The best way to get rid of these calls is to not answer your phone.
That's pretty much impossible for all of us, right?
Instead, you can look up how to silence your phone from unknown callers. That will at least stop your phone from ringing or vibrating all day long and if it's important, someone will leave a message.
You can also reach out to your phone carrier and ask what other free technology they have available to help cut down on robocalls.