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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 9:09am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

The Caller ID said ALZ FAM SER CTR, which I took to mean Alzheimers Family Service Center, presumably a charity looking for a donation.

When I picked up it was a recorded voice offering me a "limited time" opportunity to reduce my credit card interest.

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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 9:18am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I recently discovered I can block numbers on my phone. I
have blocked at least a dozen so far.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 9:24am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The way telemarketers skip around, blocking their numbers hardly seems worth the effort. I rely on Caller ID to spot the fakes -- usually. (When they have the same exchange as my house line, for instance.)
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 9:26am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I wish there was a way to legislate them out of existence. 
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 9:33am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The Do Not Call registry doesn't seem to work that well
anymore.

I find blocking numbers does help. I have been using
the blocking feature on my cordless for the past month.
The amount of calls have gone down significantly.

For my cell phone, I use the app Mr. Number.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 9:49am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Problem with blocking is that it's akin to "Whac-A-Mole". 

I blocked some vermin a while back, but weeks later, and I'm sure it was the same guy, he was ringing up, claiming to be from my bank, requesting bank details, etc.

But what can one do?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 10:05am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

My “favorite” telemarketer experience happened years ago when I was living in London, Ontario. A guy called to say he’d been at a party where he’d met a friend of mine (couldn’t recall his name) who suggested I might need to increase my insurance coverage.

Since the only friend who was living in London was my old bud Gary Cody, I assumed it must have been him. So I chatted with the guy for a while, talking insurance options. Then an alarm sounded.

He asked me what I did for a living.

Really? Gary (presumably) had been talking about me in sufficiently intimate detail that my insurance needs came up, but not my job? That I work in comics is usually the FIRST thing that comes up when friends talk about me.

So, I detached myself from the conversation, and later checked with Gary. Of course, he had no idea what I was talking about.

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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 10:35am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Over the past few weeks, I have been getting a slew of calls by a telemarketer. Some days, it's as many as five or more calls. I block each one, but eventually my block list filled up to capacity. The numbers mostly originate from New York and New Jersey. 

I Googled the numbers and found this particular telemarketer is not only an insurance scam, but had been very busy as the Web page I visited had several pages of reports from disgruntled people who had also been called just from that day.

It's slowed down over the past week or so. In fact, I hadn't has any calls from the scammers for days, but just this morning I got another one.  Ugh.

By the way, beware that there is also scammers that are calling people and spoofing the victim's own phone number so that it appears you are calling yourself on the I.D.

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Phil Kreisel
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 10:46am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

My ultimate rules of thumb.

If I don't recognize the number I don't answer it.  People can leave a message.  If they don't, it's a scam/telemarketer call.

If it's a 1-800 number, it's likely a scam/telemarketer call.  There have been exceptions, but the message left tells me what it is.

I'll block some calls, but because of the technology, a new one comes up.  As such, rules 1 and 2 come into play.

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Michael Hogan
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 10:50am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I tend not to answer the telemarketers (thank you, CallerID). In the instances where I do pick up the phone and find myself confronted with one, I go out of my way to make the conversation as surreal as humanly possible for the individual on the other end of the line. The route I take varies, but if this keeps up I will be ready to star in any improv troupe.

Edited by Michael Hogan on 09 October 2018 at 12:05pm
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 10:51am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I did spook one once as I told him I was passing his details onto the police and FBI. His silence spoke volumes before the call ended!

EDIT: Just to clarify, I don't do that if someone is simply trying to sell me something (e.g. insurance), but if it's an illegal attempt to get personal information out of me, for fraudulent purposes, I will "play that card".


Edited by Robbie Parry on 09 October 2018 at 10:52am
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 11:10am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The problem is that they spoof numbers. I've even seen them spoof my parents' phone number....while my parents were actually with me. This crap should be illegal, AND prosecutable. Forget fines, give them jail time.

I'm so sick of getting calls about credit repair, expired/expiring auto warranties, student loans, and scammers with foreign accents pretending to be Microsoft. F**K THEM ALL.

Another one that's confusing? I answer and get a recorded message that says "Please stay on line for our representative"...then puts me on hold! *click*

*edited to add* If I had my way, their punishment would be to be locked in a cell with a phone that rings at random moments. If they don't answer by the third ring, then they don't get to eat their next meal. Second time they don't answer? Black Eye City.


Edited by Brian Floyd on 09 October 2018 at 11:15am
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 11:11am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

 Phil Kreisel wrote:
...People can leave a message.  If they don't, it's a scam/telemarketer call...

Even if they do leave a message, it can be a telemarketer. In fact, the scammers I mentioned in my post above would leave messages. They are able to do it before the blocking of their number takes effect on my phone, too.

These telemarketers (most are the scammer variety) get worse all the time:

Block them, and they still bombard you with calls from multiple numbers filling up your phone's block list.

and...

They spoof their calls to appear to be from your area code, or, as I posted above, they appear to even be YOU calling yourself.

Obviously, the worst of them do not adhere to the "Do Not Call Registry."

Many of these telemarketers call to the point of harassment. Hopefully, some day there will be a way to bring them to task legally for their actions, but for now they seem to be getting away with it.



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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 11:18am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Matt, I\ve only had the you calling yourself happen once. 

The irritating thing about it spoofing other numbers? I've had a couple of people call me who had my number spoofed and didn't answer, who thought it was me calling them.

My rule is if I don't recognize the number, I either ignore it or answer and immediately hang up. ie, click on, click off. If it's important, I figure they'll call back. No skin off my nose if they don't. 

(Due to cable bundling, we have a land line. 90% of the calls we get on it are bs. The cell....only about 15 to 20%.)


Edited by Brian Floyd on 09 October 2018 at 11:19am
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 11:30am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I no longer have a landline because of that reason.

I got a call once from a company offering me preferential rates on pallets. It was the umpteenth call that week. I could not help but lose my temper and shout, "I live in a flat, I'm not a business!"

I get fewer scam calls on my mobile phone, but one is still one too many.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 11:32am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Robbie, I haven't had a landline for years, yet I have been getting these calls. It only takes one rotten scammer to get ahold of your number for this stuff to happen, sadly.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 11:40am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I have AT&T and have activated AT&T Call Protect, which automatically blocks known spam numbers and identifies suspected spam calls as such through Caller ID. It doesn’t catch everything, but the phone doesn’t ring as much as it used to and most unknown numbers come up as suspected spam.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 11:40am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Would I be breaking any laws if I play a trumpet down the phone?
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Gundars Berzins
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 12:19pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

For the amount telemarketers that have called me over the past few years, I'd have been penniless by now if I accommodated or answered them all.
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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 12:19pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I once got the call from a 'Microsoft representative' that called to tell me my computer had been hacked, and that for a low price they could remotely check my computer, yadayadayada...
I played along. Gave the caller a fake name and a false IP address to go into. Stayed on the phone for quite a while, actually. Built up a good natured rapport with him. At the point of the conversation where they were undisputably full of shit, I flipped on the guy, said I'd been tracing his call back to him, and that I was going to do some things to him and his extended kin in excruciatingly vile detail. Fire, excrement, various forms of penetration. You get the drift.
The guy didn't know whether he was coming or going. I got him so flustered that he hung up on me.
Haven't been called back since.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 12:22pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Oh, Michael, that's the kind of thing Batman would do!

I've had the 'Microsoft representative' call. On one occasion, I replied, "Not sure how I have a virus as I own a Google Chromebook - and they don't get viruses!'
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 12:56pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

 Robbie Parry wrote:
...Would I be breaking any laws if I play a trumpet down the phone...

I can't say for certain about the exact law, U.S. or, in your case, the U.K., but it could leave you open to some sort of lawsuit. I must confess, I have been tempted to use something like an air horn on a telemarketer, but even as scummy as they are, I'd hate to cost someone their hearing.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 1:06pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Yes, tempted is the keyword here. ;-)

EDIT: As ever, I am referring to fraudulent individuals or individuals who misrepresent where they are from, not people sincerely trying to sell breakdown recovery insurance or whatever (they are simply doing a job, unwelcome though it is).


Edited by Robbie Parry on 09 October 2018 at 1:09pm
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 1:45pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

I keep receiving calls "You recently contacted us about
your accident"

No you didn`t you liars! If i have the time, i string
them along before revealing that my accident was
trusting a fart, and that i would like to claim for new
trousers!

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Mario Ribeiro
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Posted: 09 October 2018 at 1:47pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

There are those honest people who try to sell stuff. My response depends on my mood, it is usually polite, sometimes rude, and occasionally pornographic.

Then there are scammers. One thing that's quite common down here is your crying child who got kidnapped. In those cases, I simply hang up.
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