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I’ve been reading recently Grinders by C.S. Boyack (and making slow progress thanks to the wee one being always around – sorry, Craig!) Craig, who’s obviously a time traveler visiting from the future, has holographic walking ads following you wherever you go in 2173. While things are still not that bad, thank God, I still wish Craig wouldn’t give marketers any ideas.

Right now, I’ve been getting calls at least twice a day from a supposed London-based investment company, to my great annoyance. And I know that most people receive calls from an unknown number more times a day than they get calls from friends and family. Answer them and be subjected to an automated message or live person whose main goal is to convince you to share identifying information or send money. These calls happen at such high volume because most of them are automated. This is what’s known as robocalling.

Unfortunately, robocalling’s getting smarter. Thanks to the same technologies that have enabled deepfake videos, a wave of fake audio spam calls may be on the horizon. This means that with just a few seconds of a manager, CEO, or financial officer’s voice, scammers from across the world can recreate the voice of people in your company. Then, using autodialing and robocalls, they can direct employees to transfer funds.

Though there are solutions on the horizon that could put a stop to caller ID spoofing, it’s still important to educate yourself today on the ways to spot and prevent a robocall scam. Know that any major governmental agency isn’t going to call you for money or threaten legal action as a first step. In addition, make it a rule never to give out bank account, credit card, or social security information over the phone, or to someone via email.

For more info on how robocall scams work and how to put a stop to them, check out this infographic below by Mint:

How robocalls work | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books