Telephone solicitation

yellowdog51July 29, 2014

Not really a disaster I admit, but . . .

We have seen an increase in unwanted telephone solicitation - the kind of stuff the "do not call" registry should prevent, but these guys apparently ignore the law (and many of the calls come from obviously "spoofed" numbers so they're probably hard to catch even if the FTC had the resources to go after them).

Any good ideas on how to handle these calls? I often just don't answer, but that means they call again, repeatedly. Sometimes I answer and tell them they're breaking the law as I'm on the do not call registry - they just hang up. Sometimes I politely ask them to hold on a moment, then I put the phone down and return to whatever I was doing (and hang it up later).

If I answer and it's a recording I immediately hang up. I never "press x to be removed from our call list" as that simply verifies to them that mine is a valid number.

Any better ideas?


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Maybe get a recording of a fax machine and play that when they call. But then maybe you'll get added to a faxing spam list. So that might be counter productive.
I think just not answering or hanging up immediately is the only thing you can do. If you have caller ID and know it's a spam call, just answer and immediately hang up without allowing them to say anything. Anything else just encourages them. Nothing you do will solve the problem for good.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:05PM
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You know that pause you get when you answer the phone? It's because they are using a computer system to dial many numbers at once, then a live person picks up when you answer. So when I answer "Hello" and get a pause, I never say anything else but I hang up right then. If it's someone mangling my name, I hang up (My name isn't that strange, but amazingly it gets mangled all the time). When someone calls and asks for my husband by James, I hang up, he's Jim to everyone who knows him. If the caller asks for him by his academic title, it's the old alma mater asking for money, I hang up.

I do not engage in any discussion. I never repeat myself, I just hang up.

On rare occasion, I reply "May I help you?" Every once in a great while (2 or 3 times a year?), it's a real call. Otherwise I hang up. Surveys, whatever, I hang up.

The number of calls I get has gone way down. They seem to come in spurts, And caller ID no longer means anything.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:09PM
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Not sure if you are talking about a landline or a cell phone or both. I used to screen all of my calls via answering machine when I had a landline. I'd come home from work and be amazed how many hang ups we'd get because the more sophisticated out dialing systems can detect a fax machine or an answering machine. Don't hate me, but I used to sell that technology before I retired. LOL.

DH and I pulled the plug on the land line (literally) and now he and I only have cellphones. We have distinct ringtones programmed on our cell phones for most of our close friends/businesses and a generic ringtone for anything else. That helps us decide how motivated we are to pick up.

Most of our friends and family text more than call. If I don't recognized the number, I rarely pick it up. A legitimate business will leave a message and rarely has to speak to you that very minute.

If someone is calling me repeatedly from the same number, I'll add them to my contacts as TRASH so that number will appear in the CLID next time around. But that doesn't really work if a machine or even a real person is calling you and their system is pushing out random or spoofed numbers.

Same as sushipup said...............for us, they seem to come in spurts. It really hasn't been anywhere near as prevalent to us as it was with the land line. And I realize yanking a land line is not a good option for everyone.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:51PM
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Like sushipup mentioned, a lot of these calls are dialed by computer from a list. If the computer hears what is called a SIT tone (the beeping tones you hear when you call a disconnected number, i.e., "doo-doo-doo The number you have dialed has been disconnected or is no longer in service...") it will delete the number from their computer because it thinks it has dialed a disconnected number. Use this YouTube link to get it:

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:49PM
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There is a company that (for free) will disconnect those automated calls after one ring. Before caller ID, (20 years ago?) I would answer and say "Sorry, we are not interested" and hang up. Once I hung up on my Dr! Luckily, she called me back.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:59PM
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I love the disconnected number message! Cool idea. I've also heard of keeping a whistle next to the phone and blasting their ears out, which is kinda rude, but effective. Then tend to take you off their lists. I've also considered asking them for their company name and address, and if they ask me why, tell them it's for the form to file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office since I'm on the state and national do not call lists and it's actually illegal for them to call me and they will be fined. I've never pulled that one out yet but I'd love to!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 1:15PM
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We have our land line on the Do Not Call List. We get calls anyway, because these companies don't check it or ignore it. You can go to the Do Not Call website and add those phone numbers as violating it. It's time consuming, I know. But after I go thru my call log and add 5 or so, the calls slow down or stop for 2 or 3 months.
When adding those numbers, don't forget to get the time and date. When I do mine, I put them all down as robo calls. Good luck. I never answer them, either, that just lets them know it's a valid number to call.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:48AM
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When my goofy brother-in-law gets a solicitation call, he lowers his voice and asks in what he thinks is his sexiest voice "What are you wearing?"
He says the male callers usually hang up faster than the females!!!


    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 10:09PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

he lowers his voice and asks in what he thinks is his sexiest voice "What are you wearing?"

I love it! Maybe I will try that on Rachel from card member services or whatever company she is with.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 10:54AM
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Chemocurl, you can google Rachel from card services and the literally thousands of people who want to find out about this company.
So far we've found it's a scam from India. They NEVER will give the name of the company.
You can blow a whistle in their ear, you can talk dirty to them, you can threaten them, nothing works because a computer does all the dialing.
Now they have the software so they disguise the number on caller ID. One time my OWN phone number showed up!
"Do not call" list? Totally ignored by them.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 8:00AM
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About six months ago we were getting calls every day from the people saying you have a package coming from senior medical alert push one to verify your address or something like that. I finally pushed one and spoke to a kindly gentleman I was very nice and said I was interested but just had my grandson ready for a bath could I call him back. He gave me the phone number and name of the company so I immediately looked it up on the computer found an address in Florida. I then went to the FCC website and filed a complaint with that information.

I didnâÂÂt call them back but the next day when they called I again pressed one to talk to someone ask them if they had pencil and paper I told them to take down my case number from the FCC and said if the called again I would file another complaint to the FCC. She said well I guess you go on the black list and I never got a call from them again.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 10:45PM
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