•   almost 5 years ago

Blocking Telemarketer (robo-calls)

Simply call your telephone provider and ask them to put a telemarketer block on your line.
How it works: When anyone calles your number, they are met with the message: "If you are a telemarketer, hang up. If not, press 1 to complete you call.
We use to recieve 8 - 10 calls per day. Now, there are none.

  • 26 comments

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    This is clever, essentially an audio CAPTCHA for phone calls. I had no idea this was an option, although it would be nice to have some intelligent layer as well, maybe a "white list" so friends do not get the message, in addition to other methods of intelligently tracking and pursuing the violators.

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    There is no option for a "White List". This is a generic service at no charge. So far, there have not been any complaints from "Regular" people who call us. Our carrier is Century Link. It use to be QWEST.

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    Issue decoy card numbers that can be traced. Don't just stop em, bust em! A campaign not without initial cost, would send out decoy account card numbers with names to consumers, enough bait, if taken, to be traced back to the you know who's.

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    How does the "Press 1" scheme work to prevent telemarketing calls from getting through? ... if I was a telemarketer, I would just press 1 ... and get connected.

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    Start going after the middle man, the carriers. They are making money on every call. Big hefty fines would convince the carriers to disconnect the robo-callers who are using their service. I am sure the carries has the abilities to know who are making high rate of calls. This would be a great way to pay for the cost of the resource that the FTC uses to fight this problem.

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    A white list would be really hard to maintain. The issue with the carriers in the middle is the originator can always just switch providers. People are greedy and there is always a telco company that will take the traffic. There needs to be a way to identify the source of the calls and go after them. Also there needs to be a three strikes rule. Caught taking robo calls three times and the federal government takes over your business.

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    This is interesting, I wonder why the telemarketer actually obey your rules and don't press that "1". Your solution is relying on the conscious of the caller, in that case, FTC should just issue a commercial on national TV , "be a good citizen and do not make robo calls", or "for God's sake don't make robocalls, God is watching".

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    A lot of people are asking why a telemarketer wouldn't press 1, but this entire challenge isn't about reducing telemarketing, but reducing robo-calls. Pressing 1 is a request that most robots won't have been programmed to do, making it a CAPTCHA, or "Turing Test", a way of checking if the caller is human.

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    Good point. I know some autodialers will hange up if they detect an answering machine. How does it know it's an answerimg machine? Couldn't you make the Turing test the same?

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    The "Robo-Call" machine does not recogonize the "Press 1 to continue" and unless a human telemarketer is ready to pick up their phone the call will disconnect. Most of the telemarketers are off shore and as such, do not fall under the FCC or FTC rules and requirements of telemarketers. As I stated, since I had our carrier place that service on our line, we have stopped getting calls.

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    Auto dialers detecting the answering matching by audio analysis, it is not reliable.
    Daniel has a good point, this is about blocking robocall, not really telemarketer. The only problem is this solution is easily beatable, I can easily program an auto dialer to pause, then dial number 1 to 9. Or, audio analysis could easily figure out the phone is asking to dial a "1".
    Still a good solution if the service provider supports it.

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    Cell Phone providers would have to do the same service. The only way I was able to reduce the number of calls was to unlist my phone number. I mean really the only thing Robocallers or Telemarketer get is People angry at there company.

    So far the dial "1" seems to be the only simple solution but the phone company will probably charge us to do that.

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    There is another way to defeate the "Robo-Dialers". That is, when they call and there is no one on the line after you say "Hello", hit the (*) key on your phone quickly 10 - 12 times. This confuses the "Robo-Dialer" and it kicks your number out of the system.
    This info comes from a phone company Central Office Switchman.

  •   •   almost 5 years ago

    Reply to Butch A,
    Our number is unlisted also but, they somehow got it and drove us crazy for several days until we installed the "Dial 1 to continue" option. We haven't had ANY telemarketer calls since.

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    Ant chance you are in the DC area? We are interviewing entrants for a TV story. Thanks, Colleen

  • Moderator   •   over 4 years ago

    Hi all,

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  •   •   over 4 years ago

    To All the Press 1 Nay Sayers. When you work for a Telemarketing Auto dialer - You do NOT have a phone !!!! There is nothing for them to push. You have your personal headset and a jack to plug into. Hence the name " AUTO DIALER! "

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    From what I have seen, robo dialers simply dial the number. Once the phone is answered, a human is usually there on their end.

    The human would simply repeat the audio captcha and get through.

    This would also not stop abusive direct calling scammers.
    They would simply use a disposable phone if they were reported, get another one that day, and business as usual.

    But nearly anything is better then nothing.

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    With the "Dial 1" option, we are still not receiving ANY telemarketer call. It is such a relief that we can have piece and quiet.

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    But how would Dial 1 affect our current calling system and International calls? This plan is easy to implement and makes us money. If they want to call I want to be payed per call.
    Electronically how long do you really think until they reprogram the computers to get passed the Dial 1. The pay me to call me is a perminate quick solution.

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    The Robo-Call system does not recognize the "Dial 1" request from the phone company. The way the phone company has it set up, there are too many words in the request and the Robo-Dialer System can't be programmed to respond to the "Dial 1" request. The telemarketers don't have a telephone keypad. All they have is a headset, keyboard and monitor. When you answer their call and say "HELLO", their system recognizes the word "HELLO" and connects you to the next telemarketer in line. So to eliminate the problem, have your phone provider place the "Dial 1" option on your line.

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    Lots of heat, but not much light. Here is how robocalls work:

    A computer dials a number. It then LISTENS to the call. Waits to hear 1-5 seconds of voice followed by a pause. It then transfers the call to a live agent. (**NOTE some Robocallers are now asking YOU to press 1 to speak to a person).

    If the audio continues longer than 5 or so seconds, the robodialer assumes it got an answering machine and usually hangs up.

    The "Press 1" to continue would work as long as it's more complicated... not always 1. For example: "To connect this call please press the last digit of the phone number again" (randomly selected from several options as well, like "Please re-enter the area code", or "Please enter the last two digits of the phone number again.")

    Or perhaps better the intercept could play out "Hello, this is the Voice Interceptor.... (long pause).... This call is being screened. Followed by the instructions I gave above. If the caller doesn't enter those digits, the call is dropped or transferred to a lengthier message.

    I have more details about robodialers and telemarketers here: http://blog.starcircleacademy.com/2012/12/telemarketers

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    The problem with Press 1 is it will not take long for Robodialers to program there computers to send the tone for #1

    With Charging them for calling it not economical for telemarketers to stay in business. If you want to stop anything tax it to death.

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    Like I said 3 months ago, since putting the "Dial 1" feature on our phone, we have not had a single telemarketer call. So, something must be working right.

  •   •   over 4 years ago

    @ Butch.... Be realistic. They are not selling enough of these gadgets to raise an eyebrow. This has worked perfectly for 6 months. If it stops working tomorrow it has paid for itself in the shear lack of phone ringing. Nothing is perfect but this works now and is worth every penny. I also switched to Magic Jack plus (no longer needs to link to a computer) and I only pay 20.00 per year for my local & long distance calls.

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