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Recent uptick in Robocalls and Junk calls
Old 03-11-2019, 03:18 PM   #1
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Recent uptick in Robocalls and Junk calls

I have a landline through my cable company. I have nomorobo on my landline and that helps since robocalls are screened and only ring once. I donít even think about checking the phone until the second ring. I donít answer any numbers unless I recognize the caller id.

Lately Iíve seen a big increase in these annoying calls. For example, today, I have had 6 calls get through the robocalls blocker and probably three times that many that were blocked with a ring once.

At this point, I am surprised that the phone companies arenít doing something to stop this. I say this because I found myself thinking....hmmm do I really need a landline? I know a number of people who canceled their landline for just this reason. I plan to keep my landline for now, but the volume of these calls is ridiculous.

I am not asking for advice...just venting and wondering why the phone companies arenít making more of an effort to stop this.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:27 PM   #2
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Not sure how they know how to stop it. Do you have a solution in mind?

I had a different theory 30 years ago. I was getting a call or two at ~3am just about every night. Right around then, I can't recall if it was before or during, BellSouth was touting Call tracing or Caller ID or something that wasn't common back then. I called them to see what they could do about the calls and they offered this service. I said No, I'd just unplug the phone at night if it came to that rather than paying extra for a service. The calls mysteriously stopped. Makes me wonder if their marketing department was being evil.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:28 PM   #3
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I am not asking for advice...just venting and wondering why the phone companies arenít making more of an effort to stop this.
I have wondered about this myself. The only reason we still have a landline is that cell phone service here is spotty - sometimes it works and sometimes not. Between an unlisted number and the call blocker we installed we are not terribly bothered by robocalls.

But if I worked from home and received a number of calls from clients, or something like that I'd be furious about it. It does appear that the congresscritters are aware of the issue and are slowly contemplating forcing the telcos to get off their collective butts and address the issue.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:36 PM   #4
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Conventional landlines, those with POTS, are more regulated than later phone tech, and therefore less profitable. So, Telcos don't really care about POTS lines and would be happy to see you cancel service. POTS is also the most secure type of line, so those who spy or want access to your data are also happy to see you cancel service.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:38 PM   #5
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I've had a Sentry call blocker for the landline for few years. I do notice a drop in calls. The Sentry has a recording that asks (in an authoritative man's voice) the telemarketers to remove me from their call list.

There used to be days where I'd get at least 10 robocalls a day. Now there are some where I get none.

Both my landline and mobile are list based. I allow those recognized callers through automatically. Others go through some level of screening.
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:40 PM   #6
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Call "spoofing," the ability of the caller to change the actual number which he is calling from to another one to get around call clockers and/or increase the chance of the call being answered instead of ignored, is the item which has greatly put the junk callers ahead of those who are trying to counteract the junk callers. It is what makes call-blockers such as nomorobo (which I have had for just over 2 years) less effective.


From what I heard in some FCC hearings in 2017, the phone companies have the ability to require that the actual number used to make the call is the one which gets transmitted to the recipient. But nobody is forcing them to.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:09 PM   #7
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Gray hare, a couple of years ago there was a bill in our state legislature that would have greatly reduced requirements for phone companies to extend landline services. Fortunately it did not pass, but the reason given was that cell phone coverage was so good that landline service was not a necessity in areas where cell service was available. (I am paraphrasing and basing this on my recollection). Like Walt described there were many areas with only very spotty cell coverage.

Anyway, since my original post about an hour ago I have had three junk calls and five ring once blocked calls.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:04 PM   #8
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I still don't get many. Maybe 1 gets through a week. Mr Number doing a good job.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:22 PM   #9
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Anyway, since my original post about an hour ago I have had three junk calls and five ring once blocked calls.
That's awful that you are getting so many. A prime factor for getting rid of my landline was the junk calls. Once cell service got reliable enough in my rural area, I dumped it.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:32 PM   #10
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I don't have a landline any more, and I don't use any call blocker on my cell phone. In recent years I have only been getting maybe 2-3 spam phone calls per week. I give my cell phone number out as little as possible.

A few years ago (in 2014? 2015?) I had terribly frequent spam phone calls, many times a day for months. These started a couple of weeks after a CVS employee demanded my cell phone number (in addition to my landline number ) if I was to get a flu shot there. Probably giving her my cell phone number had nothing to do with all those spam phone calls but TBH I am a suspicious sort.

I used to get a lot of calls on my cell phone (same number) back around the year 2000. These were not spam phone calls but wrong numbers, and in a heavy southern black dialect that was difficult for me to understand. The problem that time, was that it was one digit off of a local rap music radio station's call-in number. When they changed their call-in number, the calls stopped.
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:45 AM   #11
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That's awful that you are getting so many. A prime factor for getting rid of my landline was the junk calls. Once cell service got reliable enough in my rural area, I dumped it.
Are they not also spamming your cell phone number?
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Old 03-12-2019, 07:51 AM   #12
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We have the ringer turned off on our landline. Only keep it for hurricanes, and because our security system is hooked to it.

I don't get many on my cell at all. Never even daily. Maybe google is doing a good job.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:01 AM   #13
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I get junk calls to my cell phone and land line. They often com in bunches - I won't get any for several days then get 2-5 in one day. The cell phone gets many more than the land line. I have no call-blocking feature available on my simple flip-phone cell phone. Nomorobo blocks some of the far fewer junk calls on the land line, as I may go 7-10 days without a junk call, blocked or unblocked.


Another annoyance on the cell are the junk texts which have been increasing in the last few months. And those I have to pay for, at least I can just reject the calls because I can see the calling number (not with texts).


W2R, I had a similar experience with misdialed phone numbers back in my early working days in the mid-1980s. My office number was similar to both Egypt Air and a home-care nursing service. I was tempted to take a flight reservation for the former. Thankfully, I moved to a new desk and they changed my office number, freeing me from these minor annoyances.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:12 AM   #14
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Are they not also spamming your cell phone number?
Not as much, and I have better tools to combat it. Extreme Call Blocker is a free app as opposed to buying something for a landline. I never did pay extra for called ID on my landline, but even with that I'd have had to get up to see the number. With my phone I have a different ringtone for unrecognized numbers that get through the call blocker and I can ignore it. My BP used to soar when I'd get up to answer my phone and it's a spammer. Now I just smile when my phone plays a soft, pleasant song for me to ignore. If there's a message my phone will beep and I'll check it at my convenience. I'm sure there were ways to do it all with a landline but with my cell phone it's cheaper and easier.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:26 AM   #15
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I get some everyday, but like most with a landline I let the call go to VM unless I know it is a call from someone I know. While I have seen spoofed calls, more recently I am seeing spam calls from local numbers that are not yet in service. So they have figured out which number range has not yet been assigned. Sigh.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:46 AM   #16
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From what I heard in some FCC hearings in 2017, the phone companies have the ability to require that the actual number used to make the call is the one which gets transmitted to the recipient. But nobody is forcing them to.
This is something I've wondered about. I would assume the vast majority of spam/junk calls are made using VOIP, where spoofing a number would be easy. Even though there's a law or FCC regulation in the U.S. that criminalizes this, overseas spammers can and still do spoof numbers with impunity. However, knowing that VOIP is being used and that the originating packets of IP data very likely come from a server located overseas, it seems like there should be some technology that could detect this and simply block all those calls. Wishful thinking maybe...
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:04 AM   #17
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The only reason we still have a landline is that cell phone service here is spotty - sometimes it works and sometimes not. Between an unlisted number and the call blocker we installed we are not terribly bothered by robocalls.
That pretty much describes our situation. Moved last year from a house in CA where we had near flawless cell phone service to a rental house in TX where we are lucky to be able to maintain a cell phone call for a minute, let alone be able to dial out.

While the call blockers do a decent job of reducing unwanted calls, too many still get through. Very few people have access to our home phone, so we went to the extreme option of blocking all calls from anyone not in our contact list.

Unfortunately, a few legit phone numbers end up blocked, so we set all blocked calls to go straight to voicemail. In almost all cases, robocalls/junk calls never leave a message. Most that do end up leaving a voicemail of a few seconds. Those are easy to delete from my PC without ever listening to them.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:09 AM   #18
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... to a rental house in TX where we are lucky to be able to maintain a cell phone call for a minute, let alone be able to dial out.
Off topic, but wi-fi calling can solve poor cell reception issues.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:16 AM   #19
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Off topic, but wi-fi calling can solve poor cell reception issues.
Agreed. And we have Wi-Fi Calling capable smartphones. The smartphones (AT&T branded - not international) we purchased were new (old stock) smartphones bought on the open market a year and a half ago. Despite AT&T's claim to be able to activate the feature, have failed (or refused) to do so despite numerous attempts and several hours wasted on my part.

If after we move into a house we're looking to purchase and still have cell reception issues, we'll likely buy some Moto smartphones and get Google Fi service.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:19 AM   #20
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This is something I've wondered about. I would assume the vast majority of spam/junk calls are made using VOIP, where spoofing a number would be easy. Even though there's a law or FCC regulation in the U.S. that criminalizes this, overseas spammers can and still do spoof numbers with impunity. However, knowing that VOIP is being used and that the originating packets of IP data very likely come from a server located overseas, it seems like there should be some technology that could detect this and simply block all those calls. Wishful thinking maybe...
I think spoofing is still legal. Its only illegal if you "intend to do harm"... which if the scammers are already trying to scam, whats the deterrence of the spoofing law?
The people selling spoofing products point out the "benefits" to society of cops being able to call a suspect pretending to be the suspects grandma to get them to answer.
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