If Alexander Graham Bell were alive today, he’d be getting outraged telephone owners calling him to criticize him for his 19th century invention.
According to Mitch Albom, a Detroit Free Press opinion writer wrote, “Welcome to 2019, where the phone is a weapon of deception.”
A new study by the Federal Communications Commission projects that nearly half of all cell calls received this year will be spam. Junk. Uninvited voices designed to lure money or information.
Albom wrote, “You’re on a ski slope. You lose sight of your partner. You wonder whether she’s OK. Your phone rings. Maybe it’s her. Maybe she’s down. You yank off your gloves, toss aside your hand warmers, dig into your pocket and rush before it stops ringing. ‘Hello’ you say. ‘Are you OK?’ ‘This is Miriam with the Association of Retired Journalists …’”
Albom asks “How did we get to this point? Once, a ringing phone was a sign that someone you knew wanted to talk to you, someone you’d be happy to hear from. How else would they have your number?”
That was a long time ago, when phones plugged into walls and operators connected calls. Today, nearly half the time, it’s not even someone calling you. It’s some thing.
A high-powered computer than can spit out thousands of calls in a flash, spraying robo voices across the landscape like a national rainstorm.
“Telemarketers, the financial industry, travel companies, political campaigns, all combine to pummel us with unwanted calls … and lobby the government to protect their ability to do it — and that doesn’t even mention all the scams, ruses, frauds and downright illegal schemes that stay one step ahead of the smaller and overworked regulation agencies,” Albom wrote. “The field has grown so sophisticated, fraudsters can now create a number that looks like your number and employ voice technology that mimics businesspeople you might know,” he wrote.
According to a CNN article last fall, “A scammer could call you from what looks to be a familiar number and talk to you using a voice that sounds exactly like your bank teller’s, saying they’ve found suspicious activity on your account. You’re then tricked into ‘confirming’ your address, mother’s maiden name, card number and Pin number.”
If these problems get any worse, we may have to go back to carrier pigeons to deliver our messages.