Telezapper. My parents got one of these years ago (before the do not call list) and their telemarketing, over the span of a few months, dropped to almost nothing. It’s basically a little phreaking - it plays an out of service signal when you answer the phone. Most dialing computers listen for tones like this, so a huge number of those computers end up taking you off the list and dropping the call, and sometimes flag you as disconnected, which propagates to other call databases.
I imagine there are tons of products like this out there, but this is the one I’ve seen in action.
I had one of those, and it did work pretty well, but I had a problem with legitimate calls, particularly those from government agencies, getting blocked. Once I got on the Do Not Call Registry, I got rid of it.
I have Primus VOIP and they have a feature on their web portal that lets you prescreen calls based on the number. You can even do wildcarding. I’ve got a rule that any number beginning with “00” gets a virtual ring, as well as a bunch of specific numbers from telemarketers. I haven’t gotten a telemarketing call in months.
It’s just another way to employ work-study kids. I’ve had to do it, it’s pretty boring. “Oh really, you had a great time at college? Well, gee, I totally care! Now hurry up and tell me no so that I can go take a piss.” Also I sucked at it.
It seems that telemarketers here aren’t using the same sort of unlisted numbers as
regular people can have. I can have a number which won’t give any hits if I search the
online phone directory, but telemarketers will be listed with something like:
“The owner of this number is unlisted. Furthermore, it has been registered as used for
phone marketing purposes.”
If it’s “number withheld”, I don’t answer. If it’s an unfamiliar number, I can look them
up. They won’t ever get as far as talking to me.
I just got two telemarketing calls on my cell phone today. Never have before. One I reported to the FCC (made me so happy I could do that, although my brain tells me it won’t do anything). The other I didn’t because I’m guessing they spoofed the number (I googled it and it was someone’s private line, I called it back and it said it was disconnected).
The “legit” one, that I reported, was a carpet cleaning company that played a recorded message and then when I asked the person that finally came on the line to talk to her manager, hung up on me. The other was the car warranty one.
So, I have two questions. One, is the car warranty a scam, and if so, what do they get out of it? Two, since in either case this is illegal (telemarketing to a cell phone, and also using autodialers and/or the phone equivalent of a dictionary attack, which they must be doing because cell phones are unlisted), is it OK for me to get mad about it? It makes me mad, I don’t know why, and I really wanted to be a dick to the car warranty guy (although I wasn’t, I just tried to get the company name and asked how they got my number). Is it weird to get mad about this? Are the people who work for these companies just clueless, or do they know they are assholes/law-breakers/scam-artists (whatever they are)?
The calls, which the FCC said violated U.S. telecommunications laws, appeared to offer vacation deals from companies such as Marriott International Inc, Expedia Group Inc, Hilton Inc and TripAdvisor Inc.
This guy has been pissing me off for years.
EDIT: Literally 15 seconds after typing this, I get a call. “Thank you for choosing Marriott hotels…”
Speaking of Telemarketers, I found a nice program called Hiya for iOS (android version available too, I believe) that maintains a blacklist of telemarketers/spammers. Really nice to see my phone ringing with a “Telemarketer” under the number so I can ignore it.
Does anyone get called around 10 times a day from a telemarketer / scam caller with Texas phone numbers? I think they identified themselves as some Texas Solar Panel company. After answering once, and then one more time after a while to curse them out I just block them as they come. Of course they get new phone numbers daily. If I don’t block it quick enough they will call back 3-5 times in a row.
Edit: After realizing that the call didn’t trigger Google Fi’s call screening I checked my Fi call log. The call wasn’t there. I’ve been getting 10+ calls per day from this one telemarketer on the hidden sprint number that Fi uses. I contacted support and they changed my invisible number, so hopefully the calls will end.