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Definition: robocall

A phone call made by a computer and automatic dialer that delivers a prerecorded message. Robocalls are not the same as automated calls to specific people for appointment reminders, pharmacy pickups and the like. Robocalls deliver the same message to thousands of phone numbers on a list. For example, many school districts use robocalling to inform their students of a snow day.

They Can Be Scams Too
Robocalls are also used in phishing schemes that warn of illegal credit card activity or that a lawsuit from the IRS has been instigated. The called parties are told to phone an 800 number, in which case they will be asked for sensitive data such as social security or card account numbers (see vishing).

According to the YouMail National Robocall index, in 2017, more than 58,000 robocalls were made to U.S. phone numbers every minute, even to numbers on the National Do Not Call list. See spam.