Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

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Lance
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Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by Lance » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:12 pm

This is happening on a land line. I receive between 6 and 14 calls on a daily basis for some medical stuff being offered, often paid for by Medicare, or that my computer is in sad shape (it isn't!). Many of the numbers calling are LOCAL numbers showing the same area code that I have. When answering, it is usually some foreigner, hard to understand.

How is it that these "sellers" can use someone else's LOCAL number or even one out of state that is not their actual phone number? I once returned a call to the number showing and the man said hackers are using his phone number to make it look like a local call so that one will answer it.

In the meantime, I have purchased a unit called "CPR Call Blocker," that comes preloaded with 5,000 KNOWN scam phone numbers. I can block up to 1,500 additional numbers with the click of a big red button. The secret is you have to block unknown phone numbers BEFORE you answer the phone. It will not block the number if someone answers the phone. I have about 40 of them added so far in the last few weeks. What happens is when a call comes in, it if FIRST determined if this is a blocked caller. That means, happily, that the phone won't even ring once, which I think is a good feature. The other problem is we don't always recognize the local phone numbers and could be blocking calls we might want to take. There is another feature that you can remove a blocked number one someone wants to know why their calls are being blocked.

Calls come in the early morning or sometimes after 10pm at night. I am registered on a DO NOT CALL listing (as many are) but this seems almost worthless any longer.

Are others experiencing similar calls on their phones. Is their anything that we can do about it. I fear that the Medicare system is being grossly taken advantage of. Does Medicare even KNOW that this is happening?

Thankfully, it is not happening on my cell phone except on very rare occasions. I can easily block the number on a cell phone. Telephone sales have gotten way out of hand. It's like our local newspaper which, these days, is filled largely with full page ads. We have seriously thought about dropping the newspaper altogether, but then I might miss the obituaries.

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jbuck919
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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:39 pm

The one I keep getting (about once a day) has a caller ID of "Medical Supplies." I always just press talk and then off, but I agree with Lance, it is a nuisance. Another is the call that says it is about my credit cards. The first thing they say is that there is no problem with my credit. (Thank you, I knew that.) Then they pretend to make an offer for credit at a very low interest rate. If one has a land line, one just has to put up with this to a certain extent. At least I am not, like Lance, "inundated," and as for cell service, there is none in Stony Creek, though I do own a smart phone to have with me when I travel around to nearby towns, etc.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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jserraglio
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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by jserraglio » Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:59 pm

I have a landline and zap a signicant # of robocalls daily, free of charge.
Nomorobo has become a necessity.
Hangs up on way more than half of incoming robocalls after one ring.
Can't recall the last robocall I got roped into answering, but it's been several years.

https://www.nomorobo.com

Free for landlines.
Only supports certain landline carriers. ATT is one.
$2/mo for mobile.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Arhn0W5wLAg



Nowadays I never pick up my phone unless I recognize the caller's name or ID number.
If a legit caller is too vain to leave a message, then I can't be bothered.

AlanM
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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by AlanM » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:03 pm

In addition to nomorobo, I have a desk phone that permits me to block after a certain number of calls. It’s a Panasonic. Check for other phones that do this. Also look at your readout on your phone before picking up. If it looks totally unfamiliar, let them leave a message. And above all, don’t answer :|by saying yes. Say hello. And finally become familiar with other ways of :stopping these calls. Unfortunately these days it’s a battle.

Cell phones have other ways to combat these problems.

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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by John F » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:32 pm

Lance wrote:How is it that these "sellers" can use someone else's LOCAL number or even one out of state that is not their actual phone number? I once returned a call to the number showing and the man said hackers are using his phone number to make it look like a local call so that one will answer it.
This is called "spoofing," and there's a Wikipedia article about it.

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

Briefly, "Caller ID spoofing is the practice of causing the telephone network to indicate to the receiver of a call that the originator of the call is a station other than the true originating station. For example, a caller ID display might display a phone number different from that of the telephone from which the call was placed." The spoofed phone number can be anybody's or nobody's. I once got a call whose caller ID was my own phone number!

It's been suggested that you use Nomorobo to block unwanted incoming phone calls. No doubt it's a great service for those who can use it, but Nomorobo only works for phone service over the Internet, or VoIP. True land lines, with your phone connected directly to the phone company through a jack in the wall, use a different technology and Nomorobo doesn't work with it.

Like Alan, I deal with this nuisance using my phone's caller ID and voice mail recorder, though I don't have the kind of phone he describes. If I recognize the phone number or name on the caller ID, I pick up; otherwise, I let the phone ring until it triggers voice mail or just stops. If it's a legitimate call, the caller will record a message and I can then decide whether to call back. Otherwise I ignore it. If the call comes in while I'm out, I check my phone's caller ID for incoming calls and either call back or not, depending.

(Recently Verizon has begun indentifying some of my incoming phone calls as SPAM. Unfortunately it does not provide a way to block those calls; all it does is relieve the temptation to pick up the phone. Not much help, then.)
John Francis

jbuck919
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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:04 am

jserraglio wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:59 pm
I have a landline and zap a signicant # of robocalls daily, free of charge.
Nomorobo has become a necessity.
Hangs up on way more than half of incoming robocalls after one ring.
Can't recall the last robocall I got roped into answering, but it's been several years.

https://www.nomorobo.com

Free for landlines.
Only supports certain landline carriers. ATT is one.
$2/mo for mobile.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Arhn0W5wLAg



Nowadays I never pick up my phone unless I recognize the caller's name or ID number.
If a legit caller is too vain to leave a message, then I can't be bothered.
Now forgive me, but that itself sounds like a scam. Many calls come in with no caller ID at all. Cell phone calls from people one knows are often unidentified, at least around here. I have to answer them because it could be my beloved sister calling from Vermont. Also, there is the issue of listening to the phone ring until the message system kicks in, which is a nuisance all by itself. I would go the next step if, say, I was getting a call every hour, but that has not happened yet.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by John F » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:44 am

There are two elements in present-day Caller ID: the originating phone number and the identity linked to that number. I've never received a call from anyone which doesn't put the originating number up on caller ID. Many do not name the caller, saying "Unidentified" or "Out of State" or something, and these I ignore.

Does anybody have an unlisted phone number any more? Celebrities, I suppose, but nobody I know. Caller ID should not disclose an unlisted number. But as I understand it, Nomorobo works by comparing the originating phone number with a huge database of known robocallers. If so, then a call whose phone number is blank on caller ID should go through, and it's up to you to decide whether to answer it.

At one time I had an unlisted phone number, I don't remember why. But when caller ID came in and became universal, i stopped that (and stopped paying for it), because I want the people I call to know that it's me calling. So I was back in the phone book, as J. Francis, and from time to time I got a phone call for a teacher named José Francis. They still print phone books but I haven't received or seen one in years.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by jserraglio » Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:01 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:04 am
Now forgive me, but that itself sounds like a scam.
A scam that is not looking to take my money? Now that's the sorta scam I can live with.

To be sure, this service does not eliminate all the inconvenience caused by scammers, telemarketers, robocallers, or my cherished brother and his wife who mask their identities on Caller ID. But I have used Nomorobo for years, so too a million others. Its inventor won a FTC award out of the starting gate https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-r ... ge-winners

Forgive me, this service is imperfect but it is not a scam.

Ricordanza
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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by Ricordanza » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:30 am

jserraglio wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:59 pm

Nowadays I never pick up my phone unless I recognize the caller's name or ID number.

If a legit caller is too vain to leave a message, then I can't be bothered.
That's my strategy as well. In addition, Verizon allows me to block up to 100 numbers (on my land line). That has cut down on the scam calls, but we still get 2 or 3 each day.

John F
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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by John F » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:22 am

The trouble with that is, robocallers keep changing their ostensible phone numbers, so the odds are against your getting repeat calls from them at the same number, and Verizon's system doesn't work. Of course some spam phone calls do come from the same number, such as from my congressman, or real callers who have the wrong phone number and keep trying. But the calls you really want to block need sterner stuff than that.

Now that Verizon is labeling some calls as SPAM?, and indeed they all are as far as I'm concerned, why don't they just let us tell them to block all those calls? That's feasible and logical, but there may be some lawyerly reason.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by jserraglio » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:52 am

John F wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:22 am
The trouble with that is, robocallers keep changing their ostensible phone numbers . . . . the calls you really want to block need sterner stuff than that.
The scammers can change numbers or spoof numbers but still not get thru b/c Nomorobo's algorithm instantly zaps any number aimed at multitudes of recipients.

The only annoyance with these repeat calls that generate different numbers is that the recipient will hear one ring and then silence.

So the service is imperfect but far better than having the phone ring off the hook. It is also passive (no user intervention required) and FREE if your landline carrier is supported.

If not for Nomorobo, I would have dumped landline phone service years ago.

John F
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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by John F » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:52 am

By "land line" do you mean what I mean? That is, the phone is directly, physically connected to the phone company's line, as opposed to using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Its advantage is that if the electricity goes out, the phone still works because the phone company provides power via its phone line. Not so with VoIP.

If Nomorobo has a system that works with true land lines from the phone company, I'd use it. But apparently they don't. I looked at Nomorobo's list of "land line" providers it works with and they included Verizon VoIP but not Verizon. No deal.
John Francis

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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by jserraglio » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:34 pm

Definitely some limitations as this 2015 PC Mag review points out while still rating the service as EXCELLENT.
https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2492079,00.asp The bad news is that you may not be able to take advantage of Nomorobo. Ideally, it should be directly integrated into the carrier's internal call processing, which is what Ooma Premier and Sonic do. And in principle, it should be able to work with any carrier. All it requires is that the carrier support simultaneous ring, so incoming calls can ring both your line and Nomorobo's line at the same time. In practice, unfortunately, that feature is currently available only on VoIP carriers, and not even all of those.

The list of carriers that work with Nomorobo has some significant players on it, including Verizon FiOS, Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T U-verse. (You can find the full list on the Nomorobo signup page.) Missing, however, are all wireless carriers and all analog carriers. So although it works with Verizon FiOS, it won't work with Verizon Wireless or standard Verizon—a plain old telephone service (POTS) line to those who follow such things.

John F
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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by John F » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:39 pm

Well, there it is. SO, Lance, it depends on how your "land line" phone works. If it's part of your deal with your Internet service provider, then Nomorobo may be your answer. Otherwise not.
John Francis

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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by living_stradivarius » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:35 pm

Lance wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:12 pm
Are others experiencing similar calls on their phones. Is their anything that we can do about it. I fear that the Medicare system is being grossly taken advantage of. Does Medicare even KNOW that this is happening?
I get these on my cell phone all the time. Which is why I use a Google Voice number to filter out spam.

FCC fines robocaller $120 million for making nearly 100 million calls
https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/new ... 601287002/

This was back in May, but the FCC has no way of enforcing this against people from overseas who've infiltrated our telecom network with robocalls
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John F
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Re: Being Inundated with Unwanted Phone Calls

Post by John F » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:24 am

living_stradivarius wrote:the FCC has no way of enforcing this against people from overseas who've infiltrated our telecom network with robocalls
It's also extremely rare. I saw a panel about unsolicited phone calls on C-Span in which the FBI's representative said most robocallers are too fast-moving for them, changing not only their spoofed phone numbers but their ISPs and even their physical locations.
John Francis

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