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  • Ignoring unwanted phone calls

    Posted on MrJimPhelps Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box Fun Stuff Ignoring unwanted phone calls

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      • #2140073 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        It was not that long ago that when the phone rang, people just naturally answered the phone, allowing junk callers and bill collectors to get through. However, I believe it was a few years back when things began to change. Now, it is difficult for a bill collector or a junk caller to get through. Now, people look at the caller ID; and if they don’t recognize the number, they don’t answer the call.

        For me, this change occurred about three years ago. If I don’t recognize the number (or if I do but don’t want to answer it), I don’t answer it. I figure that if they really want to talk to me, they will leave a message, and I can then listen to their message and decide if I want to call back.

        If someone calls me from an unrecognized number and they don’t leave a message, I store their number in my phone directory under “Bogus Call 1”, “Bogus Call 2”, etc. On each of these “bogus” listings, I silence the ringer, meaning that I don’t even know that they are calling unless I happen to be looking at the phone when they call. Although this doesn’t prevent first-time unwanted calls, it prevents me from being bothered by repeat calls.

        The first time I began to ignore undesired calls was back in the days of landlines. I felt that it was unfair that someone calling on the phone could “cut the line” and interrupt whatever I happened to be doing or whoever I happened to be talking to at that moment. When the phone rang, if I didn’t want to answer it, I would sit there and let it ring! It was a liberating experience to be able to ignore a ringing phone!

        Do you ignore unwanted calls, or do you answer them? If you ignore them, what are some of the techniques you utilize to help you in ignoring unwanted calls?

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #2140096 Reply
        Kirsty
        Da Boss

        Being in business makes it a little harder to ignore what could be potential customers/clients. However, it would appear that local prosecutions may have dented the supply of such calls, as – touch wood – I’ve not heard of one in recent weeks.

        It was getting very tiresome, with 90% of calls being techsupport scammers, and I don’t miss them one little bit 😉

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2140117 Reply
          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          Unfortunately, businesses can’t afford to ignore unknown callers. However, there may be some things that a business can do:
          * If you utilize a virtual PBX (e.g. phone.com), you can tie the caller up for a minute while he listens to your initial announcement. You can then make him “press 0 for the operator” (or perhaps make him choose between several menu options) before anyone even hears the phone ring. The delay and the requirement to press a key could eliminate some robo callers.
          * If he is a known junk caller, you could block the number, or tie up the call in endless menu options. Of course, there is nothing to stop the caller from using another number to call you.
          * Here’s a funny solution: RoboKiller! (www.robokiller.com). It not only maintains a list of known spammers, but it does voice analysis, blocking them even if they change their phone number! And it ties them up in meaningless menu options! (I’ve never tried RoboKiller, so I can’t comment based on experience.)

          Here is helpful information from PC Magazine:
          https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-block-robocalls-and-spam-calls

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
          • #2140137 Reply
            MrJimPhelps
            AskWoody_MVP

            Update:

            I listened to some of the RoboKiller fake messages – some are not very family friendly. Be forewarned.

            Group "L" (Linux Mint)
            with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2140118 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I mostly use a landline, a cell phone more for emergencies or when traveling for roughly longer than one hour. I stop answering the phone when it rings, as MrJimPhelps does, because the are mostly robocalls. Although some unwanted calls still come from old-style telephone banks. I feel both annoyed by and sorry for the people that have to work there to scratch a living and would not be really glad to know they have lost their terrible jobs, but, oh well… So I’m a bit conflicted about them.

        Now Congress has passed a law about robocalls .

        https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/19/21030114/robocalls-bill-congress-president-trump-sign-law-illegal-fcc-ajit-pai

        The law was signed into law, made effective, by the President on December 31st of last year.

        https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/1/21045369/robocall-traced-act-signed-trump-law-congress-fcc-ajit-pai

        All that remains is to see what happens now. So far, the number of robocalls I have been getting do not seem to have slowed down. Maybe it is a matter of time, as regulations will have to be put in place to effectively implement this law. According to the FCC, they are definitely going to do so. But that sort of thing takes time, for example because of the preliminary period, usually of a few months, when the proposed regulations are made available to the public for comments, and so forth. So I would not be too surprised if the “robocall industry” (and a real industry it is!) are going to do their best to robocall away our phones while the new era slowly gets under way. And, I imagine, they are also going to spend much of their time and resources figuring out how to deal with this new order of things, so they can continue to make money at the expense of everybody else’s time and patience. Will their solution still be rogue phone calls? Or something else? Maybe something even worse? We’ll just have to wait and see.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2140128 Reply
          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          With Caller ID, you can see who is calling before deciding whether or not to answer.

          If you get cable TV and phone service from the same company, they will likely offer Caller ID on the TV, which means that it will flash the incoming number on the screen while you’re watching TV!

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        • #2189272 Reply
          wavy
          AskWoody Plus

          Oscar would you for instance angst about putting pickpockets out of business? Most of the calls are robeo calls these days anyway. I used to VERY quickly tell a real caller that i am not interested and hang up. This is actually a favor as they are not wasting their time on me. Robo calls I often put the phone down or by a speaker w/o hanging up and wait for the ‘hang up message’. If i am feeling really evil I push a button that passes the call off to an actual person. My conscience does not bother me about this.

          🍻

          Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
          • #2189276 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            To the extent of what you say is true, I would feel even sorrier for the poor, but brought up decent, individuals that work at such horrible jobs, particularly in some forsaken corner of Appalachia, or India, etc., because they do not have better ways at hand to keep soul and body together or help sustain their families. I don’t approve, but neither I judge. I observe and try to understand. (OK, I lifted that from Georges Simenon’s motto, in the first page of the Penguin edition of every “Maigret” mystery novel, but I’m fairly sure it does apply here.)

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2140177 Reply
        dg1261
        AskWoody_MVP

        I reached that point a decade and a half ago. As our children left home and we became “empty-nesters”, my wife became increasingly involved with numerous non-profits in the area — president of this, chairman of that, treasurer over here, vice-chair over there … I got tired of becoming her personal answering service, so I just let the landline go to the machine and had my own contacts use my cell number instead of the landline.

        I think my millenial-age kids just leave the ringers turned off on their cell phones. I’ve never heard their phones ring when I’ve been with them, though there are the constant blips and beeps from incoming texts. They don’t even pickup when my wife or I try to call them, but we do get a callback if we send a text to “call me”. So rather than trying to screen calls, I think they just ignore incoming calls wholesale unless preceded by a text.

        Of course, cell phones are not immune to junk calls these days, though. So I set my default ringtone to something non-intrusive, and use an app called “Group Ringtones” to set everyone in my contact list to real ringtones. That way, if my phone actually rings I know it’s one of my contacts, but if it just dings, it’s not and I can let it go to voice mail. I may look at the incoming number if I’m curious, but it’s easier to ignore if it’s just a ding instead of ringing.

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2140247 Reply
          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          Come to think of it, I don’t think my 13 year old ever uses her phone! She’s on Facetime continually, or she is texting; but I think if I secretly disabled the phone function on her iPhone, she wouldn’t even notice!

          And I can’t remember her phone ever ringing, although I have heard it vibrate a time or two.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #2140183 Reply
        CADesertRat
        AskWoody Plus

        Personally, I use “Do Not Disturb” on my cell phone and programmed it to only allow the ringer when the caller is on my contact list. Unfortunately there are some Diehards that leave a voicemail with loans or the IRS etc. Other than that, voicemails are normally from someone that I want/need to talk to. If it is a business I add them to my contact list until I no longer need that number then I delete it.

        Don't take yourself so seriously, no one else does 🙂
        4 Win 10 Pro at 1909 (3 Desktops, 1 Laptop).

      • #2140187 Reply
        Charlie
        AskWoody Plus

        I do the same as you with my landline, and my flip type cellphone stays turned off 99% of the time and I only have it for safety and emergency use.

        The number of robocalls, telemarketing, and scam calls has gone way past just disturbing.  So this is the way I must deal with it.

        Group L
        No situation is that bad that it can't get worse tomorrow.

        • #2140227 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Charlie: “So this is the way I must deal with it

          For now, at least, we must indeed grin and bear it, although we also may, besides, hope that the anti-robocalls legislation now finally in place that I have mentioned further up, actually has some teeth and these get actually used.

          In my own experience, letting it ring until the call gets flipped over to the voicemail box results almost always in a recording of silence lasting a few seconds and then the recorded call ends without anyone leaving a voice message. Except for a woman that has, repeatedly, over several months now, been telling me that “we are starting legal proceedings against you…” etc. Clearly the judicial system must move very slowly wherever she is in charge of letting me know that “they” are starting those procedures.

          I also get many of these calls from numbers with lots of digits, maybe made from people with cell phones in Russia, or North Korea, or Iran? Wonderful world, this one we live in now!

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

          • #2140241 Reply
            Charlie
            AskWoody Plus

            The “Do Not Call” law seemed like a ray of hope but has failed due to ways to circumvent it.  We can only hope that any new legislation will have real teeth to it.  But then, what can be done to stop those calls from Russia, Nigeria, etc.?  Wonderful world indeed.

            Group L
            No situation is that bad that it can't get worse tomorrow.

      • #2140315 Reply
        cyberSAR
        AskWoody Plus

        We’re a very small shop. Couple years ago I almost hired a receptionist just to deal with the enormous volume of BS calls. Ended up implementing nomorobo which helps somewhat. Now have a policy that if we are busy we don’t answer. If we answer and nobody speaks within a few seconds hang up. Yes, I’ve hung up on a few clients but they understand. I used to blow a whistle in the idiot’s ear but don’t have time for that any longer. I don’t even answer my cellphone and don’t have voicemail set up. It’s a scourge on society.

        Edit for content

      • #2188891 Reply
        DriftyDonN
        AskWoody Plus

        A couple of years ago(I think it was that long…?) I got sick of robocalls and searching google(ugh) led me to Nomorobo.com. I signed up 2 numbers(VOIP-the nesw landline) and up untill about 2 months ago, they caught most of the calls. One ring and gone. Gradually more and more got thru and Voice mail picked up after 3 rings. Then almost all got thru, then last week ALL got thru. Had to turn off the ringers, check messages etc. Finally signed on robocall home page and after testing, was told robocall wasnt eanabled. check settings w/ my ISP-Frontier. So I checked and settings were correct. Finally called ISP tech support as suggested by robocall. First fella wrote up and passed it to someone else, and said I would get a call neaxt 24 hrs. No After 3 days, Checked status ticket- supposedly fixed the problem the day after I called. So I called again. This guy said basically same thing. So by 7 in the evening same day, frontier called( ringer off) left message -Robocall had changed the number the robocalls were divertedto and they had changed the settings on my phone-singular. So I called again- no help no follow up BUT when I checked the phone settings,1 phone had a different number than the other. BUT the tech couldnt/didnt explain it or get back to me so I just put BOTH numbers in the fields under simultaneus call. his was 6mar2020. Since then I have had exactly 2 robocalls!!! I was beginning to think my phones did not work! In this time of politics, and medicare an nauseum, I cannot figure why the calls just stopped! But I am happy they did!!!

        Just wondering if gov’t regs arehaving an effect? Anyone else not getting deluged? I live in Florida so political seaon is upon us (upcoming vote) I am excited-no calls!

        Easily entertained,

        DriftyDonN

        • #2189430 Reply
          DriftyDonN
          AskWoody Plus

          Last week as I said above, Frontier notified me Robocall changed the number to be switched to and they(frontier) had fixed my settings. No calls, then two calls then today 3 calls. Email from robocall who I had contacted around the 3rd via email. ”

          ===========================================

          “Rita (Nomorobo)

          Mar 10, 3:05 PM EDT

          <p dir=”auto”>Hi,</p>
          <p dir=”auto”>Thanks for reaching out. I’m very sorry for the trouble you’ve experienced. There was an issue on Frontier’s end. We notified them about it. They’ve now installed a fix, and everything is back up and running again.</p>
          <p dir=”auto”>Please retry the setup process.</p>
          <p dir=”auto”>If you have any other issues, please don’t hesitate to reach out.”</p>
          <p dir=”auto”>====================================</p>
          <p dir=”auto”>I checked settings on Nomorobo and sure enough, neither of numbers were enabled for nomorobo. Went thru setup again and changed back to original number. am supposedly enabled,  So frontier says it was nomorobo fault and took credit for fixing the problem, as if they did anything to research the issue. I believe Nomorobo told frontier their system still stinks after the takeover from verizon. Frontier is a horrible company and support is even worse than m$ft. But maybe this time……</p>
          <p dir=”auto”>D</p>
          <p dir=”auto”></p>
          • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by DriftyDonN. Reason: trying to get rid of html residue from copy/paste
      • #2188904 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        “Sir, about this problem you are complaining about? We are the TELEPHONE COMPANY, and we don’t care!”

        Now seriously: there is an anti-robocalls law, quite recently  approved in Congress and signed into law by the president. Presumably it might motivate people in customer service to be of more service to customers, plus do other good things for those who had enough several times over already with robocalls, but no relief in sight. Does anyone know what is going on with this law right these days?

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2189158 Reply
        Purg2
        AskWoody Lounger

        Here is some information I found with some research I did the other day wondering about this very topic.

        https://www.commerce.senate.gov/2019/12/robocall-bill-moves-to-president-s-desk
        In the above article is the phrase “click here to read.”  Below is that link for congress.gov pdf.
        https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/s151/BILLS-116s151eah.pdf
        https://duckduckgo.com/?q=TRACED+Act&t=brave&ia=web
        https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/31/traced-act-signed-into-law-putting-robocallers-on-notice/

        My sense is that TRACED is taking some time going into effect.  Suspicious Purg2 voice in his head thinks the politicians might not really be that motivated to minimize “political” robocalls.  Therefore it might not be until mid November that some relief is seen for that aspect.

        Meanwhile, I’m still ignoring calls daily from numbers not in my contact list on my android.  Occasionally they even leave nonsense messages that are either incomplete, fractured or garbled, SMDH.

        Some time ago I had researched nomorobo & mrnumber.  Was not impressed with either one of them.  Something about the free versions being rather weak.

        Currently using the function “blocking mode” to block numbers not on my contact list at bedtime.  Specifically have it set to disable the ringer & text notifications.  During the day I’m often wondering about leaving it on all the time.  Maybe I’ll try that.  Just not sure if it will be an extra drain on the battery.

        Mobile phones were supposed to be a convenience.  Instead, the price of ownership seems to be automatic opting in to a cajillion databases for telemarketers, robocallers & the like.

        Win 8.1 (home & pro) Group B, Linux Dabbler

        • #2189459 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          This new law might need some regulations to be put in place before it can become effective, or something else needs to be done before it starts working fully.

          But I am just guessing… while waiting for some more information.

          Political robocalls? None so far in my landline. I don’t take calls in the cell phone. I use it exclusively for making calls in emergencies or when traveling. Now and then a call is received and goes unanswered, same with the odd email that arrives and… goes unanswered. Because practically no one has my cell phone number, so, if it is a call, most likely it is a robocall. Or if it is a mail, then a 100% guaranteed spam or phishing email.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

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