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The scourge of unwanted phone calls

The scourge of unwanted phone calls

Old Jun 29th 2018, 9:25 pm
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Default The scourge of unwanted phone calls

Everybody gets them, and some can be avoided, but the buggers are too damn sneaky. I've been on the do-not-call registry for years and only give out my phone number to places that actually need it (doctor, schools, etc). Yet I get 3-6 calls a day from "US Pharmacy" (it's not), business loans, Marriott (not), and endless others, even calling me by name. So somehow I got on a list. Most, if not all, probably use a VoIP connection from abroad. What's worse is all of those scammers randomise the caller ID, often using a local area code so you don't know if it's a genuine call. Blocking a number is pointless when the numbers are random and new each time I have to take unknown numbers because they might be a customer.

So far two apparently legitimate companies, when told that I'm on the DNC registry, have said "Oh, would you like to go on our DNC list as well?" Cheeky is a polite term for that activity (I did report one).

Will changing my number really help long term? Any other ideas?
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Old Jun 29th 2018, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Any other ideas?
Don't answer the phone if you don't recognize the number. If it's legit, they'll leave a message. Answering just makes it worse, as they know they've got a live one.
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Old Jun 29th 2018, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
I've been on the do-not-call registry for years...
You are aware that the registry expires your request after, I think, 5 years and that you need to renew it?
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Old Jun 29th 2018, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
Don't answer the phone if you don't recognize the number. If it's legit, they'll leave a message. Answering just makes it worse, as they know they've got a live one.
That's not a great business plan.

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
You are aware that the registry expires your request after, I think, 5 years and that you need to renew it?
My number is confirmed live with them, although curiously it says I registered in 2004... eight years before entering the US.
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Old Jun 29th 2018, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

This works for me: if you don't recognize the number, answer, but don't say anything. Robo-calls selling stuff are triggered by you responding - there's always that pause when you're connected to a live person.
So, more often than not, if you don't say anything, the other party will auto-hang-up.

Another good one is let them pitch their stuff - Las Vegas time shares was my last - and then politely inform them you're a minor/underage. That is a BIG no no and can get them in trouble.

I was getting the "IRS" one several times recently, where they tell you there's a warrant out for your arrest (or about to be) for tax violation. Then I was "special agent Brock Hampson of the FBI" and I'm investigating phone scams. What is your name please?
Oh, also laughing at them gets a hail of abuse, and then rapid hang-up.
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Old Jun 29th 2018, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
That's not a great business plan.


US.
You didn’t state that this was a business line.
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Old Jun 30th 2018, 12:11 am
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

Originally Posted by Octang Frye View Post
This works for me: if you don't recognize the number, answer, but don't say anything. Robo-calls selling stuff are triggered by you responding - there's always that pause when you're connected to a live person.
So, more often than not, if you don't say anything, the other party will auto-hang-up.
Yeah, some do, some don't.

Originally Posted by Octang Frye View Post
Another good one is let them pitch their stuff - Las Vegas time shares was my last - and then politely inform them you're a minor/underage. That is a BIG no no and can get them in trouble.
Nice idea. But I don't think the illegal ones will particularly care - they're already acting illegally by calling anyway.

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
You didn’t state that this was a business line.
It's shared use (so no tax benefits) but I did mention customers:

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
I have to take unknown numbers because they might be a customer.
Anyway, the annoyance is having to check the thing when it rings, so I then lose concentration. I guess I'm easily distracted and don't have the razor sharp mind of a whadjacallit.
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Old Jun 30th 2018, 12:32 am
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Yeah, some do, some don't.



Nice idea. But I don't think the illegal ones will particularly care - they're already acting illegally by calling anyway.



It's shared use (so no tax benefits) but I did mention customers:



Anyway, the annoyance is having to check the thing when it rings, so I then lose concentration. I guess I'm easily distracted and don't have the razor sharp mind of a whadjacallit.
"The tea is leaving but the interruption remains."
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Old Jun 30th 2018, 2:44 am
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

My office is on a voip system. Half the cubes are unnocpied but I get a call about my vehicle warranty expiring, then the sequential numbers around the office start ringing. Don't have a solution.
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Old Jun 30th 2018, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

This worked well while I was using Vonage

https://www.nomorobo.com/

I've now moved to Magicjack and Nomorobo does not work with it, however Magicjack offers Automated Call Screening detailed here

What Is Voice Over IP - Frequently Asked Questions | magicJack

It's worked very well so far.
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Old Jun 30th 2018, 12:58 pm
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

I ask them to hold and see if they are still there 10 minutes later.

Do you have a small child who likes to talk on the phone?
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Old Jun 30th 2018, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
I ask them to hold and see if they are still there 10 minutes later.

Do you have a small child who likes to talk on the phone?
I've done both of those! Unfortunately the "US Pharmacy" have some Indians who are quite fluent in the use of vulgar language so not any more. Mostly I just put the phone down on the desk and let them decide to end the call in their own time. Slightly less time harassing other people that way.
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Old Jun 30th 2018, 3:46 pm
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

We are undulated with phones wanting us to take out extended warranty coverage on our BMW. We don't own one, never owned one, and have never entertained the thought of owning one. The other consistent callers are those that want to help us with our student loans and medicare coverage. And yes, we are on the DNC list and have renewed that notification all to no avail. A new # will only mean different callers.
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Old Jun 30th 2018, 3:55 pm
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

We have a solution, standard option from the phone co but i believe you can get a box that does the same.

Theres a white [let in] and a black [never connect] list. Anyone callung not on those lists is screened ‘please give your name, company name and reason for call to be connected...’ your phone rings with their answers and you take it if you want, press the green to add to white, the red to add to black...

The phone co version allows you to also use the crowd sourced blacklist, to get on that several peopke have to blacklist, and as its realtime it blocks current power dialler marketing campaigns very quickly [the spoofed cli no isnt different for each call normally.]. NB i used to work for avaya, purveyors of the devils machine - 1.5 mil a pop, power diallers that call 500 people at a time.

Last edited by uk_grenada; Jun 30th 2018 at 3:59 pm.
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Old Jul 1st 2018, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: The scourge of unwanted phone calls

SPAM calls and faxes are a real pain.

On my cell, I don't answer any call from a number I do not recognize. To beat the spoofed caller ID that has them calling (or appearing to call) from a 'local' number (the first 6 digits of your own cell number) I have a cell number that is for a city about 20 miles from me that I deliberately picked as I don't know anyone there and have no business dealing there. If I see a call from any number with the same first six digits as mine I know it is a scam. I was getting 3 or 4 "This is 'Abigail' I'm calling because you recently stayed in one of our hotels..." trying to sell me something.

For those that call my hospital number we have a fake extension set up that plays a ringing tone for 2 minutes then dumps them to voicemail, which is simply deleted each evening. Every phone in the hospital has a button called "David's SPAM" that these calls are dumped in to. So, if the receptionist or staff member gets a marketing call they just hit a button on the phone that sends it to a 120 second announcement that is just a recording of a phone ringing, the caller thinks they are being put through to an extension, and we waste their time as they are wasting ours. For repeat callers I add a rule to the PBX that plays a disconnected tone.

For those companies that insist on sending junk faxes after we 'opt out', our fax to email service captures the fax and a mail rule on our fax email account deletes the email. Legitimate and whitelisted faxes are printed automatically.

It is annoying to have to employ so many levels of 'defense'.

Some creative people are using bots to fight bots:
This is NOT a real person answering the call, just a collection of prerecorded prompts played to the scammer. I believe the system just waits for the scammer to pause taking then plays a 'response' each time that happens.
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