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Caller ID spoofing / FCC complaints
Old 07-06-2015, 02:38 PM   #1
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Caller ID spoofing / FCC complaints

This may have been posted by someone before (I confess, I didn't search) but it is something that came up related to a post I made about Ooma VoIP.

Part of the process of moving and switching services is disconnecting your old ones, of course. Two on my list were AT&T (for landline phone) and Comcast (for cable TV). Those are two that were way overdue for the Sam Spade Maltese Falcon treatment: "You're taking the fall!".

As long as I had AT&T on the line, I mentioned that I'd received, over the past several months, incoming calls that were identified as me! Same name, and the same phone number on which the call was received.

The AT&T guy said they knew about this and had been trying to work with the FCC to get after it. He also said it helps when actual consumers file complaints directly with FCC. I asked for and received the phone number to do that - it's 888-225-5322

If you call that number, you get a prerecorded message which talks about phone safety but eventually points you to a website where you can file the complaint. That's consumercomplaints.fcc.gov

And if you go there, there's a medium-length online form you fill out (you have to fill out ALL required fields, even if they don't make sense) with the specifics on your incident (you need the date/time of the spoof and the receiving phone number). I just did it and thought I'd pass along the info - one more strike against the jerks out there.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:04 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by steelyman View Post
... I asked for and received the phone number to do that - it's 888-225-5322

If you call that number, you get a prerecorded message which talks about phone safety but eventually points you to a website where you can file the complaint. That's consumercomplaints.fcc.gov

And if you go there, there's a medium-length online form you fill out (you have to fill out ALL required fields, even if they don't make sense) with the specifics on your incident (you need the date/time of the spoof and the receiving phone number). I just did it and thought I'd pass along the info - one more strike against the jerks out there.
Yep, fill out that form, and they'll put their top people on it. Top people.





Sorry, don't mean to be mean, but...

Do you have any idea how many people have filled out those complaint forms? Do you have any idea how many people have actually been prosecuted? Did you know they got a slap on the wrist, and their small fines mostly discharged because they structured their business such to not have more than a few thousand in the business?

Check out the sites like 800notes.com Why do they have so many entries if the government was actually doing something?

It's a sad sad joke on the American public.

"Rachel" keep popping up, even though the FTC put their 'top people' on it.

I have more faith that the Easter Bunny and Mighty Mouse will come to save the day.

-ERD50
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyman View Post
This may have been posted by someone before (I confess, I didn't search) but it is something that came up related to a post I made about Ooma VoIP.

Part of the process of moving and switching services is disconnecting your old ones, of course. Two on my list were AT&T (for landline phone) and Comcast (for cable TV). Those are two that were way overdue for the Sam Spade Maltese Falcon treatment: "You're taking the fall!".

As long as I had AT&T on the line, I mentioned that I'd received, over the past several months, incoming calls that were identified as me! Same name, and the same phone number on which the call was received.

The AT&T guy said they knew about this and had been trying to work with the FCC to get after it. He also said it helps when actual consumers file complaints directly with FCC. I asked for and received the phone number to do that - it's 888-225-5322

If you call that number, you get a prerecorded message which talks about phone safety but eventually points you to a website where you can file the complaint. That's consumercomplaints.fcc.gov

And if you go there, there's a medium-length online form you fill out (you have to fill out ALL required fields, even if they don't make sense) with the specifics on your incident (you need the date/time of the spoof and the receiving phone number). I just did it and thought I'd pass along the info - one more strike against the jerks out there.
Hmmm - AT&T on the home phone here too. Have had similar experience but never answered and they left no message. Generally do not answer anybody until they leave a message. The Curmudgeon in me says even old friends will leave a message and I can recognize their voice.

heh heh heh - rare enough and so far have been too lazy to complain. Note that some tricks along similar lines - me or friends show up on emails once in a while. Sneaky twits.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by unclemick View Post
Hmmm - AT&T on the home phone here too. Have had similar experience but never answered and they left no message. Generally do not answer anybody until they leave a message. The Curmudgeon in me says even old friends will leave a message and I can recognize their voice.

heh heh heh - rare enough and so far have been too lazy to complain. Note that some tricks along similar lines - me or friends show up on emails once in a while. Sneaky twits.

It's been a few times this year for me, too but I figured since I had AT&T on the line anyway for a last dance, I may as well ask and then actually follow up. I'd also received calls identified as Comcast but those had rolled off my caller ID box. I did call Comcast about it, but they didn't seem to care... their suggestion was that I block the number. Of course, AT&T would have charged me for that!
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:02 PM   #5
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Here's a few examples:

My Plan to Eliminate Annoying Robocalls | Mother Jones

Quote:
Mr. Schumer, Democrat of New York, was in a meeting on Capitol Hill last week when he picked up his cellphone, triggering a phony, prerecorded sales pitch, ostensibly for an extended vehicle warranty.

Irate, Mr. Schumer became one of an estimated 30,000 Americans to make complaints about the robocalls with consumer protection authorities. He held a press conference to rail against the “robo-dialed harassment.”

Did you get that? 30,000 Americans had already complained about these calls and the FTC did bupkis. They obviously Do Not Care about ordinary non-powerful Americans like you and me and 29,998 others.

But then Chuck Schumer got one call on his cell phone, called a press conference, ....
Here's an example of how clueless the lawmakers are on this topic (that they write laws about):

Even Chuck Schumer gets those annoying spam cell phone calls | syracuse.com

Quote:
The Federal Trade Commission, which already operates the do-not-call list, should work with state and local authorities "to find the scam artists and shut their operations down," Schumer said.

"This is an annoying scam whose perpetrators have found a way around the do-not-call list," he said at a news conference in his Manhattan office. "The FTC has to track them down and then shut them down to put an end to this nuisance once and for all."
What? They "found a way around the do-not-call list"? So this lawmaker thinks they passed such a great law that it would be hard for scammers to 'find a way around it'? They don't have to 'find a way around it', they just ignore it!

I recall finding some the actual documents on some of the offenders. After all these tens-of-thousands of complaints, a very few were tracked down, and were fined something like $10,000, and reduced to something like $2,000 due to 'lack of resources' or something. Not sure if they ever actually collected a penny from most of them.

Put your faith here:



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Old 07-06-2015, 04:20 PM   #6
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Another example, the infamous "Rachel":

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/pres...forcement-case

Quote:
The Federal Trade Commission has settled with a set of defendants associated with the A+ Financial Center scheme. They were charged in last year’s joint law enforcement sweep against five companies that made millions of illegal pre-recorded robocalls claiming to be from “Rachel” and “Cardholder Services” and pitching credit card interest rate reduction services.

...

In addition, the proposed order prohibits the A+ defendants from disclosing or benefiting from their customer lists, and prohibits them from collecting or trying to collect money from any consumer who bought their service. Finally, it imposes a judgment of $9,238,155, which will be suspended after defendants transfer all of their assets (except $25,000), including a 2007 Mercedes Benz CL, a 1999 boat valued at approximately $17,000, and a 2002 boat worth about $45,000.
The cases that do get investigated seem to be more for the actual fraud, rather than just the making of the illegal phone calls. This was obviously one of the biggest, everyone seems to know about 'Rachel'.

So while the $9 Million fine gets the headlines, look at the 'fine print' - I assume that since the car and boats were listed, that was probably just about all that "A+" owned? And they'll be left with $25,000? C'mon, an outfit the size of this must have taken in more than just enough to buy a Mercedes and $62K worth of boats?


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Old 07-06-2015, 04:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by steelyman View Post
The AT&T guy said they knew about this and had been trying to work with the FCC to get after it. He also said it helps when actual consumers file complaints directly with FCC. I asked for and received the phone number to do that - it's 888-225-5322
If the practice is illegal, why does AT&T need help from the FCC? Don't they have the know-how and technology to identify these serial robo-callers and scammers?
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:29 PM   #8
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If the practice is illegal, why does AT&T need help from the FCC? Don't they have the know-how and technology to identify these serial robo-callers and scammers?

Got me hanging, I'm not AT&T. I just reported. I vote, too - amazing!
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:54 PM   #9
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Got me hanging, I'm not AT&T. I just reported. I vote, too - amazing!
So since they use your name and number for caller ID, aren't you afraid that if they actually took action on this, they might come after you?

Of course, they'd need to receive some 30,000 or so complaints from people reporting your name/number, plus one (or one?) from a Congressperson. What are the odds of that?

So the conspiracy theory is that the phone companies and others make money from selling blocking services, so the lawmakers just let this go on, or actually encourage it. I'll lean to the ' don't mistake incompetence for malice' mantra.

Ahh, it's called https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:50 PM   #10
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May want to add your own phone number to your blocked call list or perhaps force it to voicemail only.

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Old 07-06-2015, 05:56 PM   #11
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Hmmm, maybe this would be funner than a part time job!
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:56 PM   #12
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May want to add your own phone number to your blocked call list or perhaps force it to voicemail only.

-gauss

Thanks, but that number has the lifespan of a fruitfly (they don't live long, do they?). So it'll be resolved that way for me. I posted for informational purposes only, maybe it'll be better with Ooma.
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Old 07-06-2015, 07:05 PM   #13
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The practice is illegal, but it is not illegal for the provider to pass the call on to you. Pretty sad state of affairs. You can enter the numbers into call complaint bin, but it takes significant time to do that. So you lose the time picking up or ignoring the call, and then put 5-10 minutes into filling out a complaint. You don't get much satisfaction. In fact, there is a follow up email from FCC to let you know they can't tell you anything about this, but it goes towards improving...
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:32 PM   #14
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If the practice is illegal, why does AT&T need help from the FCC? Don't they have the know-how and technology to identify these serial robo-callers and scammers?
Actually, it has been questionable whether or not AT&T or any other service provider could legally do anything under current telecommunications statutes, as this is interfering with a third party communication, even if not wanted by one party.

The FCC is working on a proposed rule change from Chairman Wheeler that would close loopholes and green-light the use of robocall-blocking tech.

Meanwhile, I'm using nomorobo.com, and combined with local call blocking via caller ID, most of them are 'one and done', getting one ring before the caller ID is seen and they are disconnected.

The caller ID is readily spoofed, as it is very old insecure tech that dates back to the days when the phone company owned everything that connected to a phone line. Modern systems and regulations requiring the carriers to provide transit and delivery of calls originating outside their network, combined with the insecure nature of Caller ID signalling leads to the current situation. A VOIP call entering AT&T's network has to be delivered, and whatever the Caller ID signal says is just passed right along.

Filtering the Caller ID for obvious bogosity (all zeroes, exchanges starting with 1, etc) is currently considered interfering with third party communications. This will change with the new proposal.
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:54 PM   #15
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Hmmm - AT&T on the home phone here too. Have had similar experience but never answered and they left no message. Generally do not answer anybody until they leave a message. The Curmudgeon in me says even old friends will leave a message and I can recognize their voice.
I also have AT&T and I must have become a curmudgeon too because I rarely pick up the phone anymore. With friends and family, we usually set the time for a call in advance by text or email since we are all pretty busy and I only answer those. The rest goes to voicemail and I call back if needed.
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