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Telephone caller screening devices
Old 03-17-2015, 01:49 PM   #1
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Telephone caller screening devices

Telephone screening , to let only authorized callers ring through . My elderly mother will not answer the phone, due to the daily barrage of telemarketers , even being on the no call list.

This is a big problem, as she is housebound due to health issues. I try to visit every day , but live over 20 miles away. I literally can't check to see if she is ok , except in person.

Does anyone know of a residential phone device that would let only calls pass through with some sort of access code ?

I would set up a separate phone for this . like the "Presidents Red Phone" so she would know it is only family members.

Ideas ?
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:57 PM   #2
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"Auto attendant" devices do what you want but those I've seen online are intended for businesses thus are overkill and pricey for home use. I'd like to find something simple under $100.
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Old 03-17-2015, 02:03 PM   #3
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I finally got Nomorobo to work at the house. I'd say that's stopped 90% of the BS calls we got on that line. Rings once in the house, then if it's legit it keeps ringing.
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Old 03-17-2015, 02:23 PM   #4
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Google Voice is your friend. Best of all, it's free.

GV autoblocks spam calls
How to distinguish people in your address book from anonymous callers in GV
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Old 03-17-2015, 02:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nash031 View Post
I finally got Nomorobo to work at the house. I'd say that's stopped 90% of the BS calls we got on that line. Rings once in the house, then if it's legit it keeps ringing.
That looks like a great solution and it's available in our area! When you say you "finally" got it to work- what problems did you encounter and how did you solve them? I'm so sick of robocall businesses hijacking our phone line I'm ready to sign up.
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:18 PM   #6
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Most VOIP phones will have an option to ask anyone not on the contact list to "press 1" to continue, or "State Your Name".

Between that and nomorobo, it should cut out just about everything. I think the "State Your Name" type options mean your phone won't even ring if they don't respond (and the auto-dialer spammers won't).


-ERD50
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Old 03-17-2015, 04:52 PM   #7
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That looks like a great solution and it's available in our area! When you say you "finally" got it to work- what problems did you encounter and how did you solve them? I'm so sick of robocall businesses hijacking our phone line I'm ready to sign up.
The issue I had was apparently related to having a relatively old telephony capability on my cable modem. Time Warner updated the firmware and then made the auto-answer services available in our area, and presto! Nomorobo worked. And it does... not 100% of all telemarketers and useless calls, but it stops all the robo dialers which appears to be most of them. I'd say I got at least one, sometimes more, robo/telemarketer phone call a night (even though I'm on the do not call list) between 6 and 9 pm, and now I think I answer maybe one every two weeks or more.

I'm still lobbying with DW to just get rid of the landline since we never use it for anything. She just likes to have a number other than her cell to give out to people she doesn't actually want to talk to.

I tell her, "Just give them a fake or old number and proclaim ignorance later." She's too ethical for that...
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:12 PM   #8
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I finally got Nomorobo to work at the house. I'd say that's stopped 90% of the BS calls we got on that line. Rings once in the house, then if it's legit it keeps ringing.

+1
I've been using nomorobo for a while now and love it.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:24 PM   #9
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nomorobo is "free", correct? another TANSTAAFL service?
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:32 PM   #10
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Nomorobo is free, yes. I haven't had any kind of uptick in advertising, etc. via email, though I did use my alternate email address when I signed up, so it appears to be akin to the TSP G fund in that regard... closest thing to a free lunch ever.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lakewood90712 View Post
Telephone screening , to let only authorized callers ring through . My elderly mother will not answer the phone, due to the daily barrage of telemarketers , even being on the no call list.

This is a big problem, as she is housebound due to health issues. I try to visit every day , but live over 20 miles away. I literally can't check to see if she is ok , except in person.

Does anyone know of a residential phone device that would let only calls pass through with some sort of access code ?

I would set up a separate phone for this . like the "Presidents Red Phone" so she would know it is only family members.

Ideas ?
I use a call blocker on my landline which can be set up to only allow certain phone numbers (whitelist), and by default screen calls not on the whitelist.

You could put in your "Presidents Red Phone" numbers as the whitelist to ring through. All other numbers get screened.

Amazon.com: SENTRY (V2.0, NEW) Dual Mode Call Blocker. Block 100% Robo Call, Spam Calls. Great improvements over SENTRY Original: Electronics

The way I got the blocker set up is if accepted/whitelisted number, the phone rings as usual. Otherwise, rings once and the Sentry blocker takes over.
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:53 PM   #12
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Verizon copper line doesn't support nomorerobo, but Time Warner does for that area.

I see some hosted systems for $9.95 mo . a lot to pay to avoid the phone
spammers.

Looking at micro size business phone system, about $400 and up , all I see are digital phones. She uses a hearing aid compatible phone, Don't think any of the low end business phone systems can do that too. Will keep looking.

Will look at the Sentry. That may be just the ticket.

Maybe a toll number like 976 area code ? don't know how small of an account would support that. No way will a robo dialer or list caller ever call a toll line.
Maybe I'm thinking a little to far outside of the box.

Phone spam , this is part of the " Information Age" that really sucks
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Old 03-17-2015, 05:58 PM   #13
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My low tech screening device - if I don't hear a voice in the first second or so after I pick up, I know it's a robo-call and hang up.
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:00 PM   #14
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More info on the Sentry, with Youtube demos.

Sentry version 2 – telsentry.com

Make sure to get the Version 2 as that allows for creating a whitelist directly whereas the version 1, you can only add numbers after someone calls. Plus, the version 2 is only $10 and addresses some glitches of the earlier model.
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:37 PM   #15
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My low tech screening device - if I don't hear a voice in the first second or so after I pick up, I know it's a robo-call and hang up.

I do this too if Nomorobo doesn't work for whatever reason.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:42 AM   #16
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How about setting up her phone with a very distinct ringtone for your number(s)?

You could do that in addition to the type of service you're looking for.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:58 AM   #17
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I would like a device that blocks future calls from those who don't leave messages.
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:00 AM   #18
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My low tech screening device - if I don't hear a voice in the first second or so after I pick up, I know it's a robo-call and hang up.
Sure, that works, but its still wasting your time. When I had a land line (I cut it off 5 years ago) if I could tell it was a robo-call, I would make a sound so it could tell there was a person on my end, then set the phone on the counter and walk back to what I was doing. I figured that would waste 10-30 seconds of their time trying to get me to answer. Its only fair, right?
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:06 AM   #19
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I would like a device that blocks future calls from those who don't leave messages.
+1.

I've wanted to change the outgoing message on my answering machine and/or voice-mail to "SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - DO NOT HANG UP: If it was important enough for you to call, it was important enough to leave a message. Don't leave us wondering. If you fail to leave a message a second time, my phone system will automatically block your number, and my phone won't even ring when you call, ever again. So tell me what you called about, and press # in the future to skip this message - thank you".

DW won't have it though, but over time, our regular callers have 'got the message'.

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Old 03-18-2015, 08:29 AM   #20
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I just use Caller ID to screen calls. If don't recognize the number then I usually just don't pick up. Sometimes, even when I do recognize the number, I don't pick up.
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