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Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 2:33 PM

I am increasingly receiving robocalls on both my landline and on my separate cell/smartphone numbers. I screen call numbers for my landline and do not answer any number I do not specifically recognize. I registered both numbers with the DNC registry but to no avail. I am looking for advice on how to minimize/eliminate such calls. Recommendations on techniques you have used please.

I am wondering if lifting the receiver but not responding but holding the call would help.

I perceive the only way the customer can impact the situation is by causing financial harm to the robocall companies.

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#1

Re: Suggestions to reduce/eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 2:53 PM

I have used a two pronged approach, never answer the phone unless it's a call from your contact list, and turn off the phone when they start for at least a couple of hours...This has slowed the call volume to a trickle...This does necessitate having initial callers leave a message, then the number can be added to your contact list...but that's the price you must pay...This is the only strategy that has worked for me.....

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#2

Re: Suggestions to reduce/eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 2:59 PM

Voting responsible people into government and then applying pressure on them is probably the only solution.

With random (often local) back numbers spoofed in the consumer is helpless to do anything but only answer known numbers and miss all important calls that don't come from a known number. The network can connect Point-A to Point-B so therefore the government can trace the calls back.

The lost time answering and then hanging up and the cost of some minutes being billed must add up to billions of dollars of "damages" per year. Why does the government seem to not care?

It is not a privacy issue if the government traces back calls placed to government phones. I get about 2 robocalls a day. I don't know how many phones the government has but that must be a million or more calls to government phones they could trace each day with no privacy concerns.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Suggestions to reduce/eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 3:11 PM

Slow yer roll there partner....

..."The FCC is working to, as Chairman Pai says, "combat the robocall scourge." He has made combating unlawful robocalls and malicious caller ID spoofing his top consumer protection priority. By proposing and implementing impactful policy initiatives and pursuing strong enforcement actions, the FCC has been taking a bold stand to protect and empower consumers."...

..."Unwanted calls are far and away the biggest consumer complaint to the FCC with over 200,000 complaints each year—around 60 percent of all the complaints we receive. Some private analyses estimate that U.S. consumers received nearly 4 billion robocalls per month in 2018. Unfortunately, advancements in technology make it cheap and easy to make massive numbers of robocalls and to "spoof" caller ID information to hide a caller's true identity.

Chairman Pai and other FCC staff get these calls too. He wrote in USA Today: "I hate robocalls as much as you do. I get them myself on my mobile phone, I hear about them from my family and friends, and I know that consumers want to reclaim their sanity."

FCC Report on
Illegal Robocalls

The FCC knows that these calls are a major concern of millions of Americans, and scam calls in particular can result in very real financial losses and serious consumer frustration. The agency is therefore committed to using every tool in our tool box and working closely with private, public, and international partners to combat unlawful robocalls and spoofing. These efforts are outlined in the FCC's first ever report on illegal robocalls."...

https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/fcc-initiatives/fccs-push-combat-robocalls-spoofing

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#34
In reply to #3

Re: Suggestions to reduce/eliminate Robocalls

08/23/2019 9:36 AM

Major US carriers join forces with state attorneys general to fight robocalls

Aug. 22nd 2019 ....

https://9to5mac.com/2019/08/22/us-carriers-attorneys-general-robocalling/

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#28
In reply to #2

Re: Suggestions to reduce/eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 10:00 PM

Two possible answers.

1. Can you provide a list of responsible people that are going into government

[ note : ] if these people are responsible then why is the need to pressure them ?

2. " seem to not care " = Capitalism. As long as uncle sam gets his,,,,,

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#4

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 3:28 PM

I simply installed a "call blocker" that "rings" once and then disconnects all offending calls that have been previously 'blocked,' ie: one ring & silence.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 3:33 PM

Yeah but they use a different number every time.....

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 5:43 PM

I think about 90 percent of our calls are from the robodirtbags!

We don't answer unless we recognize the number. If it's important, someone will leave a message on the recorder.

If you answer, hang up immediately. Never answer any questions. They can record your voice and paste it into a recording, and you may end up being charged for a purchase you didn't make.

https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/spoofing-and-caller-id

It's very irritating paying for a service that we can't use. Phone ID spoofing should be illegal. Maybe if enough people complain, the politicians will do something. I can't believe it's not physically possible to shut it down.

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#21
In reply to #8

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 10:01 AM

When I'm at a customers house doing my thing, it seems like they call when I'm right in the middle of something. After I answer, I hear this sound ( like when you stick your thumb in your mouth ) , it's kinda like a phoof sound.

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#29
In reply to #8

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 10:23 PM

Sometimes I think it's my own fault for the robots calls I get.

I'm always watching instructional videos. Learning for myself is an insatiable appetite.

I go to sites, they get my info ( by using cookies ).

And then they get my phone number. ( which of course is listed on Google )

So, why do they call me and try to parley a desire to me that has absolutely nothing to do with the number.

Hey ! ' , if they got the time and resources to waste, have at it.

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#6

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 3:37 PM

I had to change my phone number. Down here (at least) there is nothing the phone companies can do apparently.

There may be some blocking software that you can program caller phone numbers in to ignore the call but I don't think it works with normal land lines and cell phones due to the way the calls are forwarded through the existing phone network, unless you have your own phone network router (which may be an option for business lines, but not home).

From my experience modern scammers and I believe robocallers use a series of different phone numbers and even the country codes displayed can be fake because they are routing through another phone number (or some how). The phone company couldn't block them, I tried.

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#7

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 3:46 PM

When my phone rings it says " possible scam" under some numbers next to a "block number?" Option..

Works pretty good.

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#9

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 6:13 PM

I had some guy call me and ask why do you keep calling me? I said I'm not calling you, I've never called you...He was being spoofed by somebody using my number....now that really ticks me off....

"Is Caller ID Spoofing Legal?

The short answer is yes, most forms of caller ID spoofing are legal. The only circumstances in which caller ID spoofing is illegal is if it has the intention to cause harm in some form. If no harm is intended or caused, spoofing is legal.

The Under the Truth in Calling Act from the Federal Communication Commission prohibits any person or entity from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value. Anyone who is illegally spoofing can face penalties of up to $10,000 for each spoofed phone call or text violation.

Though the Federal Trade Commission has done their part to try to ensure caller ID spoofing services are not abused by the spammers, their lawmaking efforts have been pretty ineffective thus far. This is because the criminals behind these spoofed phone calls already know what they’re doing is illegal.

No crook is ever going to read the FCC handbook on caller ID spoofing before picking up the phone to scam you. But because caller ID spoofing offers such a promise of total ambiguity without the price of getting caught for their crimes, the reward greatly outweighs the risk. "...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caller_ID_spoofing

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#20
In reply to #9

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 8:06 AM

Around here there are lots of calls that spoof not only the area code but also the exchange code (next 3 digits) so that it looks like a local caller. On a business phone it's difficult to ignore calls that might be a customer.

Would you believe that I was called by my own number once?!?!

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#31
In reply to #20

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/22/2019 12:30 AM

Yes. So was my wife!

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#10

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 10:20 PM

I use the Callcontrol App. I have had it with my android and I have it on my iPhoneX.

With it running, I very rarely get an unwanted call.

Otherwise, I would love to do what this guy is doing:

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 10:22 PM

I want to add that Callcontrol uses a community block list that is very effective. I rarely have to block a number any more.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 12:30 AM

Community call control relies on the good faith of he who says a number is evil.
Your business competitor can register your number as a scammer, thereafter no customer in the community will answer when you call.

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#22
In reply to #13

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 10:14 AM

Your competitor will have to do that over and over again from different numbers for it to register in that way and flag your number. That aint how it works.

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#15
In reply to #10

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 2:27 AM

We need a whole army of guys that just run these guys around in circles all day...maybe AI will be able to do that some day....soon

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#25
In reply to #10

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 5:04 PM

Ha ha!

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#12

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/20/2019 11:20 PM

I use Nomorobo.

https://www.nomorobo.com

My robo calls have dropped from many each day to a few a year.

They intercept all your calls and use the origin information that is transmitted after the first ring to determine if it is legitimate or not. If it is a robo call, they disconnect, and you will only get one ring. If it is legitimate, your phone will continue ringing. Their algorithm appears to readily detect spoofed calls and callers with constantly changing numbers.

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#14

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 2:10 AM

I received a phone call today, that sounded like c3po telling me I had to call the social security office about a bill.

I'm not old enough to collect s.s.

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#33
In reply to #14

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/22/2019 10:19 PM

One day I got 3 calls saying that my social security number had been suspended. A few calls have said they were from IT about my computer. I'm retired, so I have no IT. A couple of calls said my computer license had been revoked. I have made a "beeper" from a Sonalert that was sitting around. When I get a marketing call I press 1 to talk to a person. When he says "Hello" I beep him. One guy said "Hello" again, so I beeped him again.

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#16

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 4:18 AM

On 9/11 we lost nearly 3000 citizens. We were so incensed that we gave Afghanistan an ultimatum to give up Osama bin Laden. They refused. We invaded. We still haven’t stopped the Taliban. However, we have contained them a little bit and we got Osama bin Laden. With greater resolve than what we used on the Taliban, we should go after the Robo callers. Unofficial estimates are that Robo calls have caused more deaths and injuries than 9/11. People expecting important calls about jobs, loved ones, and a multitude of reasons to answer the phone have had accidents. Although they are not supposed to, they will answer their phone while they are driving if they think it is important. And, if they are on a ladder, they will try to answer it. The deaths and injuries are approaching the amount of 9/11.

Here’s how we can stop it. Find or elect some people to Congress that will be more concerned about us than getting reelected. They will get away from hating communism, socialism, etc. for a while to focus on a clear and present danger-Robo calls. The bill would state that all electronic and physical contact coming into the United States will be subject to United States Law. And, that law will be that Robo callers will be punished with sever penalties. Our digital corps will track the location of the Robo callers. The country where they are located will be given 24 hours to give them up or we will forcibly take them into custody. We will not be responsible for collateral damage. If the country is too large to use force in their country, we will use economic sanctions until the Robo calls are stopped.

It can be done. The only thing stopping it is the lazy, egotistical politicians. We may have to form a political action committee to get it done. Maybe, elect a robot with a human programmer. It would be a lot better than what we’ve got now. It is so sad that so many people are being killed or hurt because of robo calls. And, it’s also so sad that our elected officials won’t do anything about it.

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#17

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 4:20 AM

We had a spate of such problems some years ago, but nothing helped much. Since then the law here has been changed and the problem has all but disappeared....

What I did at the time, which worked well, was to install a Call answering machine. A relatively (then!) modern one, but cheap, it was part of my then new telephone system.

The message I put on it, as far as I remember, was something like this in both German and English:-

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This answering machine will answer all calls on this land line first.

(By the way, NEVER EVER GIVE YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER IN YOUR ANSWERING MACHINE, OR YOUR NAME!)

All calls will be recorded, and any suspect ones will be given to the German Police.

Prosecutions will follow.

No human will answer you, unless you are a known friend or colleague, with a known telephone number.

Those people only need to stay on the line for a few seconds, and if we are home, we will pick up the call.

If we are not at home, simply leave a message and your telephone number, and we will call you back as soon as possible.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The newer laws have proved functional since those days, and it is highly illegal to not send your caller ID, or a bogus one, if a company is "cold calling!".

It was quite fun to listen to a RoboCall, not listening to my message, sort of talking over it!

Friends quickly got used to it, thankfully and the nuisance calls died a slow death over the following 3 years, or so. (I don't exactly remember how long it took.)

Today I get less than 1 nuisance call a week, maybe 2 a month, which as soon as I realize (the answerphone is still there, but switched off as not needed anymore) what the call is, I cut the line.

Quite often before anyone or anything speaks, as here they dial say 5 numbers, and talk to the first one that answers, and "drop" the other calls. But I can "drop them" faster than they can answer usually...sometimes they call back, and I see the same caller ID, I just let it ring!

I hope that something on those lines helps you.

For me it was VERY expedient at the time, and the law was very slow in catching up with all the legal issues, and the telephone company's software to support that, all now do a really great job of screening calls.

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#18

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 5:23 AM

The national "Do Not Call" register in Aus seems to have worked well since around 2010.

We are now getting a lot (3 or 4 per week) of single ring calls at all hours but I suspect their own systems hang up when they match to the registry.

I did get a few calls that were dialed by call centre operators offering health insurance or similar. Depending how I feel, I might

  1. Just ask them how they got this number and then advise them it is on the DNC register, to remove me from their list and advise them that it is an offense to call such numbers and if ever I am called again they will be forwarded to the authorities.
  2. Ask them firmly how they got this unlisted number that is used for communication between the EPA and myself and if they ever call again, then that government department will follow them up.
  3. Ask for their ABN (Australian Business Number) and wait for their response. If they don't have one, then they are an overseas fraud and I ask to talk to the supervisor, then the next supervisor and so on. It can be a fun game. If they do have one, then it's simple to verify on-line and then call the real organisation on their 1300 number.
  4. Just hang up.
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#19

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 6:24 AM

I read recently that not answering, or answering without saying anything, only puts your number back into cue on the autodialer for calling back later.

My approaches to the situation are a bit more direct:

#1 Sometimes I answer the phone using a few phrases of a language I made up. (Really don't know what it is I'm saying to them but neither do they)!

#2 (After doing whatever to get an inhuman representative on the line), "Unlike you, we are retired, and we have all of the time in the world to waste. Any time you feel like having your time wasted please feel free to call back and we will be happy to waste your time. If you do not want to have your time wasted please remove our number from your autodialer so we will no longer waste your time. Thank you, and have a good day". (I recite this fluidly without any long pauses and do not allow them to interrupt me, almost as if they are listening to a recording). It doesn't matter if you are retired or not since they most likely don't know if you are.

#3 (For the extended car warranty people). "I want to thank you for taking the time to call today. Every time we get one of these calls we add $500 to a special account. When the day comes that our piece of crap car dies we expect to have the cash to replace it with a new car. Thanks again for taking the time to call and have a great day!" (Recited the same as in #2).

None of these scam artists want to have their time wasted when they could be scamming someone else.

The FCC really needs to make it illegal to spoof all calls and to sell or share equipment & apps to do so.

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#23

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 10:34 AM

There was the one time when I got the call form "The IRS" to inform me of my pending arrest. My response, "I knew it! I just knew the day would come when I would get this call. Do you know why I knew this was going to happen??? BECAUSE I'M A FRAUD INVESTIGATOR FOR THE IRS!!! Instantly the call was disconnected. I waited almost two years to use that line, it was well rehearsed.

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#24

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 1:25 PM

I use Hiya, a free app. It gets most of the bad calls.

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#26

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 6:28 PM

I recorded the tone that you get when you dial a unused number,just the tone,and put it at the very first of my answering machine message.I paused 5 seconds,and then respond with my normal message.This tone will disconnect computer calls,thinking it is an invalid number. It also removes your number from it's dialing list Works most times.

Set the answering machine to minimum number.

When I really feel like messing with them,I play this:

https://famguardian.org/Subjects/PropertyPrivacy/Articles/Tom_Mabe.mp4

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#32
In reply to #26

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/22/2019 8:01 AM

Like it!!

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#27

Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 9:02 PM

Some people make a game out of it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scam_baiting

https://youtu.be/sN_tVRmzA7Y

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#30
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Re: Suggestions to Reduce/Eliminate Robocalls

08/21/2019 11:05 PM

I kept someone going for a few running Linux and WireShark and trying to find their IP address. Pissed them off at least!

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