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Fighting Phone Scams, Telemarketers, Robocalls, etc...
Old 09-25-2016, 04:02 PM   #1
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Fighting Phone Scams, Telemarketers, Robocalls, etc...

One of the biggest frustrations after retiring was dealing with 4 to 5 nuisance phone calls every day. When I was working, my wife had to deal with these and she would complain regularly. The calls include: IRS scams, Department of Treasury scams, home remodeling, payday loan scams, political surveys, robocalls, phony charities, and the latest 911 scam. I had been using Lingo VOIP for many years and they had very little ways to combat these callers. We needed to try something as things were getting out of hand. I switched to Ooma VOIP early August at a cost of $99 for the phone unit and a flat $100 for the first year of Ooma premier service (normally $9.99 per month) including the cost of porting the number over. In addition to anonymous call blocking, Ooma premiere allows you to block with community blacklist (over 8000 known scammers), Nomorobo expanded black list, plus your own personal black list. After almost two months of this service, the frequency of nuisance calls has dropped from 4-5 per day to 1-2 per week. If any of you are experiencing regular phone scams, I highly recommend a VOIP service with expanded call blocking feature. If anybody has any other method of dealing with phone scams, please let me know.
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:16 PM   #2
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All my calls go to voicemail.
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:15 PM   #3
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Old fashion a answer machine for screening

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Old 09-25-2016, 05:19 PM   #4
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I also use Ooma and it works very well. Google Voice is also very effective at blocking spam calls, but nothing is 100% effective.
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RE2Boys View Post
Old fashion a answer machine for screening
+1

(Also, our phone is still listed under DW's previously married name, so as soon as someone asks for "Mr &/or Mrs XXX" we say "Not here" and hang up.)
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:37 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=RE2Boys;1784540]Old fashion a answer machine for screening

This.

I have caller id and do not pick up for any number that I do not recognize. Unfamiliar calls go to the machine. The robo calls don't hang around to leave a message.

Answering the call only feeds the trolls.
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:46 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing your progress. I'm doing Ooma, non-premier, with Sentry device. Zero unwanted calls, but legit callers do need to press zero, hang up, and call back. But so far, nobody that wants to reach us for legit reasons has batted an eye.
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:57 PM   #8
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We don't have a land line and we don't get any calls like these. The occasional stray spam on the cell is easily blocked.
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:57 PM   #9
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I will never take a call from a blocked number or "no caller ID" and very seldom take calls from numbers that aren't on my contact list.

The occasional cold caller/robo call gets through but I will use the block function so I never get another call from the same number again. I'm down to 1-2 calls a week.

On the odd occasion when a live cold caller gets through, I usually invite them to do something more productive with their sad and wasted lives, like commit suicide.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:18 AM   #10
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I have caller id and do not pick up for any number that I do not recognize. Unfamiliar calls go to the machine.
I do the same. If the call turns out to be a telemarketer or scam I add that number to the "blocked number" list.
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:08 AM   #11
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OK, it turns out my call forwarding to NoMoRoBo was hosed up somehow. I got it all reset and tested, and their site says I'm OK now. So now I'm actually waiting for a scammer!

I still don't see how they can keep up with the roulette wheel changing numbers.

After I've verified it working for a few days, I think I can set it up to ring NoMoRoBo for a few seconds first (4-8?), and then start ringing my home phone. That should give them time to detect and hang up before ringing my home phone (I should still see them in the logs). That would just add one ring cycle to legitimate callers, shouldn't be a problem.

And for anyone using phonepower as their VOIP, I ended up disabling their 'advanced' Incoming Call Manager (still listed as 'in beta' after several years!), and reverted back to their more basic "Call Forwarding" option, which is probably more stable.

-ERD50
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:07 PM   #12
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I also use Ooma and it works very well. Google Voice is also very effective at blocking spam calls, but nothing is 100% effective.
Ooma claims to be 90% effective. So far it works much better than I expected. For the first two weeks I set up the call blacklists to direct the calls to voicemail and found my voicemail flooded with calls that hang up or leave their automated messages (about 4-5 intercepted calls per day). After I found that it was working, I set it up to just block the calls. Overall I can't complain. I also like the fact you get a second phone line for the flat fee.
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:33 PM   #13
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+1 for Ooma. Been using Ooma Premier for 2 years. Whenever a new robo call comes in (maybe 1 or 2 per week) we let the answering machine pick up then simply add the robo caller to our blacklist. Easy & efficient.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:33 PM   #14
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I'm on the Federal no call list. And my land line is MagicJack. We don't get an appreciable number of marketing calls or scams.

If a number comes in from any unknown phone number or area code, we don't answer.

When I do get a marketing call, I feel bad about a quick hang up. But I don't want to take one second of their time as I don't buy anything from any salesman.

I just hate to think that politicians are going to be wearing us with rotary telephone recorded calls in the coming couple of months until the elections.
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Old 09-27-2016, 03:43 AM   #15
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One of the problems is these robocall companies are starting to use active phone numbers of real people. We got a call a couple of weeks ago where the caller ID showed a local number and a person's name. We let it go to voicemail and there was no message. I checked with reverse lookup and it was a local guy in our town. I decided to call back and asked if he had tried to call us, pretending like I didn't get to the phone in time. The man sounded older and said he hadn't called anyone. So now they're using active numbers to get you to answer. It's hard to block those calls.


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Old 09-27-2016, 06:00 AM   #16
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I sometimes wouldn't mind taking part when those political surveyors or pollsters call me. But they usually call me at inopportune times, usually around dinner or on a night I am going out (which are most nights) and I can't spend 20+ minutes on the phone answering tedious questions. And for some strange reason these pollsters have heavy accents, making them tough to understand so I have to ask them to repeat themselves all the time, adding to the overall time on the phone. So I hang up on them as soon as I learn who they are.


When Bridget from Cardholder Services calls me, I often press 1 just so I can yell at the person on the other end, They are such cockroaches, scurrying away as soon as they learn it is someone berating them. They must get many, many people doing this to them all the time. It does make me feel a little better.
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Old 09-27-2016, 06:13 AM   #17
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I don't understand the need to answer the phone every time it rings. If the call is coming from a number not on my directory then it does not get answered. I have a message on my phone for any caller to leave a message or their call will not be returned. If I am doing business with a new number I either put them on my directory or tell them to leave a message when they call and it will be returned. Easy Peasy!

Cheers!
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:07 PM   #18
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Not a phone scam, but DW just received an e-mail from 'Appple Support'...yup, three P's.
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:56 PM   #19
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I bought one of these;
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It's a great way to screen calls. Once you identify a number as a call you don't want, it can never call you again.

There's a newer version that I would like to get, but this one works so well, I'll just stick with it.

https://www.amazon.com/SENTRY-blocke...dp_ob_title_ce
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Old 10-30-2016, 04:25 AM   #20
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We dropped our land line this year.
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