“Press ‘1’ now to speak with cardholder services, as we have an amazing timeshare opportunity reserved for you.
It comes with a warranty extension for your current automobile and includes a month of free prescription refills!”
Such a pitch may not cover the complete range of possible robocalls—I get pitched regularly by some company that wants to wash my home’s windows—but it does cover the slimy basics of this swampy industry. Which, by the way, is booming.

Robocalls—and complaints about robocalls—are boomingRobocalls beat out live spam calls by a significant margin. (credit: FTC)

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) data released last week (PDF) shows a massive 4.5 million consumer complaints about robocalls in 2017, way up from 2016’s 3.4 million.

For every single month of the year, robocalls topped the list of “Do Not Call” violations, and they came in six common forms:
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