Apple teaming with AT&T, FCC, Google in 'strike force' to battle robocalls

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 43
    chris vchris v Posts: 460member
    "Hello?"

    "Hello, I am calling from Windows tech support"

    "Ok, how may I help you?"

    "We have detected a problem with your Windows computer."

    "That's odd, because I don't own any Windows computers."

    *click* bzzzzzzzzz

    Two or three of those a week at this point.

    Rachel from Card Services sounds so chipper though!
    pscooter63dysamoriaSpamSandwich
  • Reply 22 of 43
    yoyo2222yoyo2222 Posts: 144member

    I've wondered what would happen if I would play the recorded the sound of a fax machine attempting to connect when they call. I don't know if their software is sophisicated enough to deem my number as a fax line and not call it anymore.

    Anyone have a dedicated fax line that gets robo calls?

    I tried this trick when I still had a landline and an answering machine. After about 4 seconds of fax tone my outgoing voice message would start. As I remember it didn't really decrease the robocalls.
  • Reply 23 of 43
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,291member
    corriek said:
    nomorobo.com works great. Probably close to 99% of all unwanted calls are intercepted. My phone rings once and stops. It's funded by the government and free. I can't believe more people don't know about it. 
    My understanding was that they make their money by selling their database of robo-callers to other providers looking to block robo calls as mentioned here in PC Magazine's article, "The company behind it—Telephone Science—makes its money from providing its database of robocalling numbers to carriers like Ooma Premier and Sonic, which use it as part their own robocall-blocking service.

    Additionally, I had the concern of what they do with all the call information they can gather, which was also mentioned in the same article, "
    In case you're concerned about Nomorobo collecting a list of your incoming phone calls, Telephone Science says that although it hasn't settled on a policy for data retention or destruction, it also says it doesn't sell or share this data with anyone, and it has a policy that it never will unless required by law."

    Heres the full article. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2492079,00.asp

    Too bad I'm with AT&T. Oh well, looks like I keep ignoring incoming calls that aren't in my contact list.
  • Reply 24 of 43
    spacekidspacekid Posts: 183member
    geobike said:
    I think the bigger issue is a phone system that allows call spoofing. 
    Yeah, good point!
  • Reply 25 of 43
    spacekidspacekid Posts: 183member
    corriek said:
    nomorobo.com works great. Probably close to 99% of all unwanted calls are intercepted. My phone rings once and stops. It's funded by the government and free. I can't believe more people don't know about it. 
    The web site says it's 4.99/month for smart phones. And no mention of being funded by the government.
  • Reply 26 of 43
    corriek said:
    nomorobo.com works great. Probably close to 99% of all unwanted calls are intercepted. My phone rings once and stops. It's funded by the government and free. I can't believe more people don't know about it. 
    Indeed. I switched my home phone service over to Ooma six months ago and signed up for their premiere service, which includes nomorobo blacklisting. I have not received a single, solitary unwanted call in that entire six month period.

    I did, however, get a call a few months ago (to my mobile) from "Windows" informing me their servers had detected a virus on my computer. I humored him for 5-10 minutes walking through the "click the start menu" procedure and finally informed him I was on a Mac. He acted like he'd never heard that one before and didn't know how to proceed. I finally told him to go screw himself and he hung up on me.
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 27 of 43
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    Good! Can't happen soon enough. I hate HATE HATE robocalls! I get almost no calls from real people. Almost every call I get is a BS marketing or robocall, on both landline and cell.
    edited August 2016 linkman
  • Reply 28 of 43
    noivadnoivad Posts: 186member
    There's no need for any of this and collusion between the private sector and government to share data cannot result in anything good. Ever.

    Problem number one: One of the biggest robocall sources, political ads, are ALREADY LEGALLY PROTECTED and cannot be blocked, because political speech is protected!

    My solution has been extremely effective. I have no landline and any call from a number not in my iPhone's address book will go unanswered and is immediately blocked.

    Yeah, politicalls™;) & emails that can’t be blocked suck because they waste my time & everyone else’s time. I used to be able to ignore unknown numbers, but thanks to business w/companies with “displaced/floating caller ID [the phone number shown is not the number to call back nor even in their block of numbers]”—should be illegal too, IMO—I don’t have that luxury anymore. I told one person calling on behalf of a candidate that because they were repeatedly calling me ever couple of days that I was not going to vote for him because he was already a nuisance & giving him more power would be against my peace of mind. They stopped calling, but I still didn’t vote for him. (It was a local race.)

    It’d be really simple if there was a X11 number a person could call which, when called automatically reported the prior incoming caller as spam/robocall. To prevent abuse a threshold could be established and adjusted for known area codes—that way people with grudges couldn’t add an enemy to a public blacklist. Then users could do much of the reporting & the companies can focus on verification, filtering & disconnecting abusers much faster. This is kind of like how busy chat boards operate now. The only problem is scaling—thus the threshold & tweaks to target area codes like those in florida which generate much of the spam robocalls IME.

    This idea might not be perfect, but it could be used as 1 potential starting point. So, ideas for tweaks and other considerations, counter-/complimentary ideas welcome but blanket “this won’t work/this idea sucks” critiques without rationale will be ignored. “Ain’t nobnody got time for that noise!” Thanks.

    edited August 2016 SpamSandwich
  • Reply 29 of 43
    noivadnoivad Posts: 186member
    mobius said:
    If a callers on a user's block list dials, the user is not presented with a notification of the call, nor with the phone ring.
    Any chance you could re-write this sentence so it makes sense?
    Heh. I missed that & read this as “nor WILL the phone ring.” Because I knew this part, I skimmed it which was probably what was intended.
  • Reply 30 of 43
    noivadnoivad Posts: 186member
    corriek said:
    nomorobo.com works great. Probably close to 99% of all unwanted calls are intercepted. My phone rings once and stops. It's funded by the government and free. I can't believe more people don't know about it. 
    Indeed. I switched my home phone service over to Ooma six months ago and signed up for their premiere service, which includes nomorobo blacklisting. I have not received a single, solitary unwanted call in that entire six month period.

    I did, however, get a call a few months ago (to my mobile) from "Windows" informing me their servers had detected a virus on my computer. I humored him for 5-10 minutes walking through the "click the start menu" procedure and finally informed him I was on a Mac. He acted like he'd never heard that one before and didn't know how to proceed. I finally told him to go screw himself and he hung up on me.

    I got the same “virus on your computer” call from a Florida number on my government issued mobile phone. After his spiel, I told the guy he was calling a federal number, and because he was calling a government number in an attempt to defraud he was committing a federal crime. He hung up fast. I reported him to IT security who kicked it up the chain. No idea if they bothered to pursue.

    Years later, my mom got one of those while I was present. When I realized what it was I took over the call. I decided to press him on what company he was really with jut to hear him squirm. After he kept trying to feed me BS, I told him I was a professional Sys Admin that monitored network traffic (I actually do) & I would know if we had any Windows machines that were part of a botnet. Then I tore him a new one & reported his number. He hung up after taking about 2 minutes of abuse. A Florida number, yet again, but the guy had a thick Indian accent.
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 31 of 43
    noivadnoivad Posts: 186member

    yoyo2222 said:

    I've wondered what would happen if I would play the recorded the sound of a fax machine attempting to connect when they call. I don't know if their software is sophisicated enough to deem my number as a fax line and not call it anymore.

    Anyone have a dedicated fax line that gets robo calls?

    I tried this trick when I still had a landline and an answering machine. After about 4 seconds of fax tone my outgoing voice message would start. As I remember it didn't really decrease the robocalls.
    What worked for me was recording the 3 tone “this number has been disconnected” and setting that at the start of my outgoing message. Wait a few seconds, then start your real message. Robocalls and usually phishing calls are autodialed. So, the dialing computer will detect it as an invalid number and automatically remove you from the call list. I did this in the 90s and my marketing & robocalls dropped to nothing. It might still work to this day. Just be ready for some of your friends to be confused at first.
    edited August 2016
  • Reply 32 of 43
    sog35 said:
    please do this.

    I FRIKEN HATE robo calls
    I hate all solicitations over the phone...as a matter of principle, I will not do business from a sales call! :)
    linkman
  • Reply 33 of 43
    First of all, robocalls change theirphone numbers so you cannot indentify them. I checked the number they call from and they are unused numbers consistently. I am receiving the same company call from different phone numbers. Blocking based on phone number does not work at all in this case. What FCC should actuually do is restric any marketing to be registered and properly display/present their identity (assigned phoone number for example) and if they keep changing to fake numbers then start prosecute them for violations. If some companies and solutions can provide fake number then I beleive call tracking (after all it is digital identification these days) should be avialble to shut down "the business" in any way required and perhaps prosecute facilitators. It sounds like minotr incovenience... until your phone lands on may such marketing lists and they call you even in the middle of night.
  • Reply 34 of 43
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    geobike said:
    I think the bigger issue is a phone system that allows call spoofing. 
    If you have access to the SS7 signals on a T1 trunk, you can do anything basically.
    The reason for that is that initially, only very few very large companies, or even other phone companies would have access to these signals.
    So, enforcing security was done by basically threatening to lock out a whole company, phone company or even foreign company forr interconnecting with the main network, but as access became cheaper, more and more small players gained access making enforcement much harder this way.
    The protocol in fact has no way to verify in a central way that's your not bullshitting it.

    In theory, you sign something with the phone company that's giving you access to these low level signals saying that you shouldn't be doing this, but unless the end user complains to the phone company (not very probable), nothing happens.

    In the mid 90s, I had access (was tech lead of the company) to 200 T1 trunk to do inbound or outbound IVR, conferencing and telemarketing (we produced the custom software and rented the lines/servivces in/out), we could respond to many millions calls per day (The Celine Dion Contest for her millenium contest ran through our servers). Those machines all run on many SCO System V machines with Dialogic cards.  We had this kind of access on those links; could do funny calls to my parents originating from the current prime minister (using the actual number of prime ministers office) and then leave a voice mail ;-). The people then would call back to the actual prime minister's office all puzzled (only did that once on a friend & parent and then confessed to them that I did :-).

    We mostly had inbound IVR, 1800 lines, but also had a lot of teleconferencing with our system used to connect people all over the world.
    Didn't have much outbound telemarketing, tough doing it was just a special case of the teleconferencing service.

    edited August 2016
  • Reply 35 of 43
    As others have mentioned here, nomorobo works pretty well. It's free, but not government subsidized, as someone suggested. For those that don't know about it, it relies on your phone service provider offering a "simultaneous ring" feature. (Obviously, if your service doesn't provide this, it can't work). The phone will ring, and if the incoming call matches up with an illegal robocaller number, nomorobo hangs up after the first ring--so let the phone ring at least once before you answer it. It's amazing how many one-ring calls come in. At my house, the majority of calls are one-ring and gone.

    Having your number registered with the FTC National Do Not Call Registry (https://donotcall.gov/ ) doesn't seem to help much, but I thought this was interesting...they have been holding contests: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/contests/robocalls-humanity-strikes-back

    Hopefully this proposed "strike force" can finally get it taken care of. Maybe it will be possible to just remove the actual technical ability to spoof numbers. I understand that spoofing may have a legitimate purpose such as what FTC says: "law enforcement agencies working on cases, victims of domestic abuse or doctors who wish to discuss private medical matters," but perhaps those needs could be met in some other way that does not keep the flood gates open to fraudsters.


  • Reply 36 of 43
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 1,029member
    sog35 said:
    please do this.

    I FRIKEN HATE robo calls
    I hate all solicitations over the phone...as a matter of principle, I will not do business from a sales call! :)
    All robocalls and solicitations would stop if everyone (or nearly everyone) would stop doing business with them or hang up on them, and that includes political calls. If sales or results go to nearly zero then there is no benefit or even a loss to such an operation. However it is likely that a good sized chunk of robocalls come from botnets thus making the overhead pretty low. But even a botnet is a waste if it produces nothing.

    Same thing would go for spam.
  • Reply 37 of 43
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,854member
    launfall said:
    There's already a solution to this for landlines: nomorobo.com, which has completely stopped all robocalls to my home phone. They are working on providing the same service to mobile phones, but ironically, AT&T is a holdout and the service is not available on their network. I have sent a complaint to AT&T which was not even acknowledged.
    I seem to remember reading that AT&T actually makes money from robo calls somehow.  If that is true, they have no reason to make any real effort to stop them.  I'm not surprised to see they don't cooperate with nomorobo.  I used to be a video editor and worked with one of AT&Ts agencies a lot.  AT&T are a hard assed, cyncial and petty company that truly don't care one bit about their customers.  You learn inside stuff when you are on long edit sessions.  They have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on political campaigns to get laws changed in state legislatures favoring their business operations.  I worked on some of those spots too when they were called SBC.  One campaign in Texas successfully got a law passed that put an extra $900 million in their coffers - the CEO said as much at a celebratory party after the bill was signed. 

    So no one should expect AT&T to do anything about robo calls unless they are pressured by the government or their business partners like Apple & Google.  Like the Honey Badger, they just don't give a shit.
  • Reply 38 of 43
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,243member
    At least once every day or so, I get a call from an out-of-state number and they never leave a message. Very annoying, and I never answer their call, but at least they're not pitching any product on my voicemail.
  • Reply 39 of 43
    technotechno Posts: 735member
    There's no need for any of this and collusion between the private sector and government to share data cannot result in anything good. Ever.
    I don't think that is what this is. I think the FCC is asking the tech companies for help.
    Problem number one: One of the biggest robocall sources, political ads, are ALREADY LEGALLY PROTECTED and cannot be blocked, because political speech is protected!
    I certainly don't pretend to know the ins and outs of this legally. However, giving people the right to refuse these calls, does not infringe on the freedom of speech of anyone. There is no right to forces someone to listen.
    My solution has been extremely effective. I have no landline and any call from a number not in my iPhone's address book will go unanswered and is immediately blocked.
    That would not work for anyone who relies on their cell phone for new business. 
  • Reply 40 of 43
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    corriek said:
    I can't believe more people don't know about it. 
    I think I found out why.

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