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There were more than 48 billion robocalls across the country in 2018, a nearly 50% increase from the previous year, continuing a frustrating practice that’s endured for decades. The Onion looks back at the history of robocalls.
Telegraphs begin receiving the first robocalls, random bursts of electrical impulse caused by moles chewing through wires underground.
Alexander Graham Bell claims to be from the IRS and tells his assistant Watson that he owes $50,000 in back taxes that must be paid immediately.
Creation of the Federal Communications Commission establishes agency dedicated to ignoring telecommunications regulations.
Invention of Caller ID finally enables people to differentiate between calls from robots they don’t want to answer and calls from family members they don’t want to answer.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act creates the Do Not Call Registry, which allows residents to prevent telemarketers from calling them for the next 30 seconds.
Dad goes nuts on robocaller who called twice during dinner.
Spam email picks up the slack.
Estimated 25 million Americans miss out on life-changing job opportunity by declining to answer call from unidentified Billings, Montana number.