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Q: Spam Phone Calls

nthsll
10
I get these things daily from marketers tring to get me to lower my credit card rate.  They wont identify themselves, nor will they stop calling.  The internet is littered with complaints about these guys, so I figured one or more of y'all have to receive these things.   Have you had any luck getting them to stop?  I have at least 3 of their numbers on my phone.  Reverse lookups are worthless.
nthsll posted Apr 19, 2012
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21 Comments
arsiel
I don't have any advice on how to get them to stop, per se but you might pick up some clever ideas from this blog if you have the time to mess with them :) If not, you'll at least get a good laugh
http://www.callhating.com/
arsiel (rep: 13k) posted Apr 19, 2012
11
nthsll
That's some funny stuff. I tried to waste a little of their time this morning and sound like i was interested. They caught on pretty quick and hung up on me.
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 19, 2012
00
maven3
For a serious long term solution, you could look into porting your number over to Google Voice. If you do, you can filter out callers, as well as create different answering & call forwarding schemes for different groups of contacts.

Another benefit is that voicemails will be transcribed to text and you can have them automatically emailed/texted to yourself. I often look at the voicemail transcript without listening to the message and can then text back while in a meeting, etc.

Another nice bonus for me is that I am often at work with poor cell reception, but where I do have Wifi. This allows me to catch voicemails sooner.
maven3 (rep: 5.23k) posted Apr 19, 2012
10
VirginiaPeanuts
If there are a few common numbers calling you and you have a cell, you can block those particular numbers. It might help in the short term but they will probably just use new numbers in the future. Google Voice sounds like a good idea too!
VirginiaPeanuts (rep: 11.2k) posted Apr 19, 2012
10
erick99
I use call screening software on my phone and if the caller is not in my contacts list the call goes directly to voicemail. I add all of those numbers to the blacklist as well. You can get apps for the iPhone and Android that do this well.
erick99 (rep: 16.9k) posted Apr 19, 2012
20
fluffy
Is your phone number not registered with donotcall.gov? If they are actual telemarketers and your number is registered there, you can sue them for $1000 per unwanted call.

If they are just scammers trying to phish you, then donotcall.gov isn't going to concern them at all.

Another thing you can do is change your phone number and get a Google Voice number forwarded to it and ONLY give out the GV number from then on. You can block a caller in GV and they will get a "not in service" message and tone. Your phone will not ring when they call, and they will think that your number is disconnected.

I used to get calls from Discover Card more than once a week to try out their credit protection racket. I haven't heard from them ever since I blocked them. Their marketing number is different from their others, so they can still reach me if there is a problem with my account.
fluffy (rep: 2.17k) posted Apr 19, 2012
20
nthsll
Thanks y'all.

I am on both the state and national no call list. Its a phishing scam. They wont identify their company or themselves, yet want people to give them their credit card numbers to transfer to a "lower rate". Right.

I block the calls, but they change numbers every few days and the calls come from all over the country. Boston to LA.

I don't have a smart phone, so I'm not sure what I can download onto what I do have. I'm looking into the GV option. It looks like there are some limitations.
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 19, 2012
00
akaricke
Awesome tips people. I have the same problem with unsolicited calls.
akaricke (rep: 159k) posted Apr 19, 2012
10
fluffy
Scammers use cheap VoIP services that will never reveal a useful Caller-ID. If a number does display, it will either be completely fake, or will simply be a number that belongs to a call termination provider, like Level 3 Communications, which services countless VoIP providers. Either way, the calls are effectively untraceable to their ultimate origin.
fluffy (rep: 2.17k) posted Apr 19, 2012
10
ArtemisDeals
Yea defiantly get on the do not call list :)
ArtemisDeals (rep: 7.16k) posted Apr 19, 2012
10
bbattag
Definitely get on the do not call list and you should be good
bbattag (rep: 6.74k) posted Apr 19, 2012
00
Acidbaby
Ask them to hold. Put the phone down and walk away. No aggravation, usually no return calls either.
Acidbaby (rep: 6.83k) posted Apr 19, 2012
10
maven3
What limitations are you running into with Google Voice? There are more ways to use it than is immediately obvious.

The big advantage with GV is that you can effectively set up white-lists, in addition to black-lists. As and example, you can have any number that isn't in your contacts screened or sent directly to VM, some groups of contacts can be given one VM, another group given a seperate VM, and altogether block other numbers. All simultaneously. Plus you can set up do not call schedules and custom call forwarding schemes, per contact group.

You can port your current number (though you may be charged a fee by your carrier if you're in a 2-year contract), or you could get a new number and only give out your GV number (as fluffy suggested), or you may be able to set up a whitelist (like this: http://www.att.net/smartcontrols-SmartLimitsForWireless) for your phone and tell people that you changed numbers to a GV number (your GV # would be on your whitelist, and incoming calls could be set to show your GV #).
maven3 (rep: 5.23k) posted Apr 19, 2012
00
toast
The easiest thing to do is to not pick up any number you don't recognize. If it's important, they will leave me a message. I usually get calls when I'm at work on the computer, so I'm able to Google the incoming number immediately. So far, I have confirmed that they are indeed spammers 100% of the time.
toast (rep: 5.54k) posted Apr 19, 2012
10
audiocracy
I've started getting these stupid spam calls on my cell phone since we got rid of our house line a couple of years ago. I keep blacklisting the numbers but they keep on changing it =[

The do not call website doesn't apply to cell phones.
audiocracy (rep: 825) posted Apr 20, 2012
10
nthsll
When I signed up for GV it said something about limitations regarding functioning with AT&T. I don't recall specifically what the limitations were referring to, if it stated them. I've looked around on the Google site for a little while and didn't immediately see the controls for blocking numbers, but I didn't spend a lot of time there. I'll figure it out I suppose.

A guy I went to school with recently had a stroke following a lot of health issues. What follows is a posting on his facebook regarding a conversation between he and a bill collector. I thought it was classic. Apparently he hasnt lost his wit or sense of humor. Kinda goes along with what Acidbaby was saying.

_____________________________________________________________________

Bill collector just called AGAIN. Same one has called me twice a day for th past 2 weeks. I told them about the hold up on my short term disability check and that it was just impossible for me to send them any money at this point. He said that this was "unacceptable." I told him I was gonna put him on speakerphone and set it down. Then I said this, "When you come up with a better idea on how I can... send y'all a payment other than waiting for a check to arrive in my account, let me know. Until then, enjoy th background noise of me doin what I do from day to day while waitin on a check, cause, Buddy, I'm all out of ideas."

"Mr ********? Are you there"

"Yes I am. Did you come up with somethin this quick?"

"Mr **********, I'm not going to figure out how you can make a payment on your...."

"Then pass your headset to someone who doesn't quit so quickly." I'll be washin my dishes from breakfast."

"Mr. ***********?"

"Did you come up with something?"



"Did you come up with something?"

"Mr ***********? I'm not going to sit here..."

"Well I guess you are! Hang on a second while I fill th sink with soapy water."
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 20, 2012
00
nthsll
Maven, It may be the porting that was an issue with AT&T.
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 20, 2012
00
fluffy
@audiocracy: The National Do Not Call Registry does accept cell phones. See item #10 on this page: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt107.shtm

The Do Not Call list is obviously not going to be respected by criminals hiding being untraceable or false caller-id numbers, so if you continue to get calls more than 31 days after registering your number, you can be pretty sure that the calls are not from, if I may use an oxymoron, "legitimate telemarketers".

Since the calling numbers keep changing as fast as you can block them, you can be certain that the callers are worse than actual telemarketers. If the calling numbers are not faked at their end, the numbers you are blocking may belong to call termination networks, which show up when the originator of the call doesn't pass along the information. There is a possibility that if someone were to call you with a prepaid calling card, it may present to your phone as one of the blocked numbers and not go through.
fluffy (rep: 2.17k) posted Apr 20, 2012
00
Tolidos
tell them dont call u agin
Tolidos (rep: 25) posted Apr 24, 2012
50
nthsll
lol. Why didn't I think of that? ;-)
nthsll (rep: 12.4k) posted Apr 24, 2012
10