A hot potato: Wireless carriers, regulators and consumers are seemingly powerless in their fight against unwanted robocalls. Part of the issue has to do with the fact that not all robocalls are nefarious - some are used by businesses for legitimate purposes such as package delivery notices, bank calls and technicians.

Measures taken by the FCC and wireless carriers to fight robocalls have come up short according to data from Hiya.

The Seattle-based spam monitoring service in its Robocall Radar report found that 26.3 billion robocalls were placed in the US in 2018. That’s up a staggering 46 percent year-over-year with the average caller receiving 10 spam calls per month.

Of note is that these are only verified spam calls.

According to Hiya, the average person receives 114 incoming calls per month yet only 46 percent of them are from numbers already stored in their contact list. Unsurprisingly, only 52 percent of total calls received are even answered.

Verizon earlier this month announced it would be bringing free spam alerting and call blocking features to its wireless customers in the coming months. AT&T and T-Mobile already offer similar solutions although in light of Hiya’s report, it’s clear that carriers and consumers are fighting a losing battle.

My philosophy with the phone is simple: if you don’t recognize the number, don’t answer. If it’s important enough, they’ll leave a voicemail. Otherwise, block the caller afterwards and carry on.

Lead photo courtesy Charles Taylor via Getty Images