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The New Weapons in the Fight Against 2.4 Billion Robocalls

  • Unwanted automated calls almost tripled in the past year
  • ‘We are going to deal with it,’ says AT&T CEO Stephenson

You know the drill -- those annoying recorded calls saying you’ve won a free cruise or a reduction in your mortgage payment. You curse the automated voice, hang up and add the number to your blocked caller list. But they keep on coming.

In July, there were 2.42 billion robocalls in the U.S., almost triple from a year earlier, according to the YouMail Robocall Index, which tracks mostly mobile-phone users. They are the No. 1 consumer complaint received by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, topping 200,000 a year. Many of the calls are tied to criminal activity as they attempt to extract personal information to steal identities and money.