Do not try to reach this robot. He won’t answer the phone

Nearly all American adults — 97% — have cell phones. wireless industry. About 470 million mobile devices are currently in use.

And yet, we still can’t deal with the chronic problem of spam calls from telemarketers.

If so, the problem getting worse as these companies continue to come up with clever new ways to circumvent the protection of wireless service providers and customers.

Just ask Terry Feigenbaum, who contacted me the other day to complain about Quantum 3 Media, which he says calls his iPhone every day, sometimes up to eight times a day.

“I get other spam calls, but no one has ever harassed me like this,” the Cheviot Hills resident said.

“Every time they call, I block the number,” he told me. “But they just call again from a different number. They seem to have an unlimited supply.”

Feigenbaum’s experience will not come as a shock to other mobile phone users, which, as noted above, are you, myself, and just about everyone else.

I receive spam calls almost every day from companies trying to sell me a new car under warrantynot to mention automatic calls in Chinese that come too often to be wrong numbers.

You or someone you know is no doubt familiar with the more common phone scam who refuse to die – fake calls from the Social Security Administration or the Internal Revenue Service, fake calls from Amazon or Microsoft.

Americans received about 4.1 billion calls from robots last month alone, according to the agency. latest data from Irwin’s YouMail, a robocall call blocking app. This means more than 137 million bot calls per day, or roughly 1600 calls per second.

Los Angeles residents received about 3.4 million calls from robots last month, according to YouMail. That’s about seven calls per person, a figure that seems decidedly conservative.

Seven robot calls a month? Heck, I get at least that much every week. You probably do too.

But I had never heard of Quantum 3 Media until 84-year-old Feigenbaum, a retired optometrist, asked me to look into these guys.

I did. And everything about the North Carolina company shows why spam calls are so common and so hard to stop.

Quantum 3 Media is known as the leading generator for life and health insurance companies. That is, pestering potential customers on behalf of insurers.

“Q3M provides qualified prospects and sales for leading insurance brands and agencies,” the company said in a statement. Web site.

“Combining data science and predictive analytics with a diverse set of important lead generation partners has resulted in an exclusive and unique opportunity.”

The Quantum 3 Media website lists well-known insurance companies as “partners” including Anthem Blue Cross, Cigna, Aetna, Humana, and Mutual of Omaha.

However, everything at this company fails an odor test.

First, don’t bother trying to call. I tried the company number several times. In each case, I had a record that the mailbox was full and you could not leave a message.

Contact Quantum 3 Media through your website looks risky to say the least. You are prompted to provide your name, phone number, and email address, as well as select one of two reasons for contacting – “marketing information” or “employment information”.

That’s all. You cannot send a message or submit a request. All you can do is provide your contact information, which is of course not something you want to do with a telemarketer.

I traced the email address of the company’s CEO, Joshua Jagid. He didn’t answer.

None of this is a great look for a telecommunications company that specializes in, you know, connecting with people.

The Internet is filled with consumer complaints about Quantum 3 Media.

“I get 6 to 10 phone calls a day from these spammers,” says complaint submitted last month on the Better Business Bureau website, giving Quantum an F.

Excessive, offensive telemarketing calls at any time of the day; dozens a day,” the complaint says. published last week on an angry consumer.

“Constant calls 8-10 times a day from different numbers,” the complaint says. published last week on Scampulse. Blocked all numbers and keep calling.

Feigenbaum’s experience is the same. He told me that he started getting calls from Quantum about two months ago and they don’t stop.

Worse, Feigenbaum said, Quantum never leaves a message. Just calls and calls and calls.

“I would like to answer them and share my opinion with them,” he said. But I’m afraid to make them angry.

Feigenbaum is a T-Mobile customer and uses the company’s wireless network. free tool to block spam calls. Unfortunately, he said that the filter couldn’t prevent most Quantum calls from getting through, probably because they keep coming from different numbers.

No one at T-Mobile responded to my request for comment.

The wireless industry has focused its anti-spam efforts on a system called “Shake/Shake” (and yes, the tech geeks behind the program say reference to James Bond was intentional).

However, industry experts say it will take years for Shaken/Stir to reduce spam calls — if at all.

Experts say calling robots are smart. No matter what we throw in their way, they keep coming up with inventive ways to get through.

“There are no silver bullets,” said Jim McEachern, chief technology officer at Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, the trade group leading the Shaken/Stir rollout. “All we can do is try to reduce it the way we reduce email fraud.”

But that’s the point. According to some estimates, almost 85% of all email is spam. Most of them do not reach our mailboxes due to aggressive filtering by ISPs.

Experts tell me that for spam calls to be screened off in the same way, wireless companies would have to monitor their networks much more closely and invest millions of dollars in new technology resources.

This is not happening. If anything, the slow rollout of Shaken/Stir shows that many service providers have had to dragged with feet and screams FCC to do something.

Solutions exist—if the wireless industry is willing to invest in protecting customers from harassment.

At the same time, companies like Quantum 3 Media can easily raise funds.