OT Harassing calls

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On Sat, 04 Aug 2012 10:28:33 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

If you're using an Android smart phone there are several ring blocking apps that turn off the ringer (not the call). That way at least you're not disturbed and the call ends on its own. One (if I recall right) you can turn off whole area codes which if you don't know anybody there might be helpful. Though my spam calls differ in number they are often from the same 300 or 600 area code. Currently I'm using an app called Ring Manager which only lets certain numbers through, every other number is blocked. Works for me since I only take calls from family. But of course YMMV.
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Doesn't help for SMS messages. They still cost real money.
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The ONLY solution is to forget the concept of 'blocked' calls and instead institute a system of 'allowed' calls.
Automatically add to the 'allowed' list any number to a call you made and maybe allow a few area codes and prefixes.
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On Sat, 04 Aug 2012 12:44:41 -0400, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

I always thought using white lists with email would be a good idea. I still think it would be a good idea if email programs gave a permission only option. If that ever caught on, I think it could also be done with phones.
With email, anyone in your contacts would automatically pass. A reply from anyone you sent an email to would pass.
For everyone else, you could use your first name for a password (or anything else). Someone not on your list could put your first name in the subject or body to pass.
Reject everything else.
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Sure, whitelisting emails is pretty easy. Any decent email program will have filter capability.

That's an easy filter to set up, sure.

Email is a little special in that it's rare to get unsolicited email from someone I really want to converse with. Though I do get some. Phones are different. For instance, emergency emails are pretty rare as are pay-email stations. ;-)
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On 08/04/2012 11:33 AM, Metspitzer wrote:

I find it's far easier to just use a dedicated email account that is only used by family and friends, and a few throw-aways for everyone/everything else.
I've been doing it this way for a decade or so now, and I just don't get any SPAM in my real accounts anymore.
Jon
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On 8/4/2012 10:37 AM, Robert Macy wrote:

One of the problems with a whitelist is that all of the planets need to be aligned all of the time. So in the case of a whitelist how do you allow for when someone you wish to "allow in" calls from a different number?
A similar example. Friends have the reject unknown caller option set on their line. They called me about something important while I was on the road. I retrieved the voicemail and tried to call back only to keep getting "this person does not accept blocked or unknown callers". I was using my cell phone. I called another friend and he reported he wasn't getting caller ID.
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On 08/03/2012 04:47 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Call up Verizon and tell them you would like to cancel your service. When they send you to the department that tries to convince you to stay, tell them that you are cancelling your service because you refuse to pay for unsolicited SMS messages.
They will fix the problem for you.
Jon
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"None over 18."
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I have a rarely-used cell phone which I utilize to block land-line (well, ATT Uverse) incoming calls.
I never had caller ID until UVerse, and found that it also gives you a "caller forwarding" feature. Only 20 numbers total, but that's a start. I didn't really want the numbers "blocked" (with a message stating as much), but rather, I just wanted to "aim them" to a number where they would essentially "ring forever".
Since my cell phone is ALWAYS turned off (it's for emergency and absolutely-necessary outgoing calls ONLY), when I get an unwanted call, I ascertain its number with caller ID, and then enter it into my specified call-forwarding log, with my always-turned-off cell phone as the number.
Never hear from those callers again!
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wrote:

Wouldn't work for me since virtually all my spam calls are from *different* numbers. One call from each number. So after awhile I got tired of adding them to the black list. I read that these are probably robo-dialed with munged caller IDs using voip from out of country and there currently appears to be little defense either legally or technically.
My solution was to use a white list Android app with all other numbers banned but that likely wouldn't work for most people.
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Since this is a scam os the sort you described, the OP should contact their state attorney general and file a complaint. The FBI also has on their web page where complaints can be filed online. They ask categories before giving you the proper complaint form, for example, is this an online scam? Is it on the phone, or snail mail, or an actual brick and mortar business, etc....
It's good to post this stuff on a newsgroup so that others know, but if people really want to stop these scams, they need to report these scammers to the officials. If the OP is on the DNC (do not call) list, and got calls, go to the DNC website and file a complaint against Card Holder Services. The fine is up to $700 per call that they make.
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Calling the state AG does little good. Here is what the Ohio AG sent me back about the one that calls herself Rachael.
The Ohio Attorney General's Office is in receipt of the complaint you recently filed regarding unsolicited telephone calls. Specifically, you filed your complaint about unsolicited telephone calls you have been receiving from representatives of card holder services and/ or card member services. Unfortunately, you do not know much information about the callers other than a few names and/ or the telephone numbers reported on your Caller ID display. You would like these calls to stop.
The Ohio Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section is charged with enforcing Ohio's consumer protection laws on behalf of our state in its entirety. Telemarketing and sweepstakes fraud and other scams are a persistent problem in not only the State of Ohio, but the entire United States. It has been our experience that individuals who experience these fraudulent activities are often contacted again by fraudsters. We understand your frustration regarding these nuisance calls, but unfortunately our office will not be able to directly assist you in stopping these calls.
While the federal do not call registry (http://www.donotcall.gov /, 888-382-1222) is oftentimes useful in stopping unwanted telemarketing calls, it is important to recognize that this registry is only effective when companies check their calling lists against the registry, and only law-abiding companies will do that. Consequently, the do not call registry is not effective in stopping unwanted calls from fraudsters.
When fraudulent callers use public telephone lines to make calls, Caller ID can positively identify the call. Unfortunately, today's technology with cell phones and internet telephones, callers can disguise their identity in an effort to defraud or harass consumers. Obviously, when callers are scam artists preying on unwary consumers in an effort to harass them and/ or take their money the state and federal do not call laws will not stop these fraudulent and deceptive business practices. However, complaints such as yours are the source of much of our information and are often an indication of a problem that may warrant investigation. Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 1345.05(A)(7), once the Ohio Attorney General's Office opens an investigation against a particular business, the investigation and the facts developed under that investigation are not public record, so the Ohio Attorney General's Office cannot confirm whether or not a business is under investigation, or one of our potential litigation targets. Investigations will not become public until the Ohio Attorney General's Office takes legal action against that business.
The information you have provided has been recorded in our complaint retention system. Thank you for taking the time to write to our office with your concerns, as the information identified in complaints from consumers like you is invaluable to our office.
We regret that we cannot assist you in stopping these calls, but we hope that the information contained in this letter has better explained the role of the Ohio Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section.
Respectfully,
MIKE DEWINE Attorney General of Ohio

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wrote:

I furnished my name and email to the National Do Not Call Registry at least once a week for months listing the new numbers they use and the times they called.
If the National Do Not Call Registry can't do anything about the calls, it would be nice to get an email saying.........we feel your pain, instead of just letting people file complaint after complaint.
If anyone out there, and I know there are, get these calls, just hang up. You can't win.
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On 8/3/2012 11:26 AM, Metspitzer wrote:

Like the attorney general's letter said: the National Registry is effective in stopping legitimate businesses, or even illegitimate ones, who have a brick and mortar presence in this country. If they can be located, they can be punished.
The problem is going after the people who aren't located in the US, or who have no permanent presence here. They are nearly impossible to trace and catch because they are constantly on the move and are concealing their real identities and whereabouts. They don't need a physical presence to convince you to give them your credit card numbers, SSN, and bank account number, and that's what they're after when they phone you.
Not only are certain law enforcement agencies looking into this, so are the fraud squads of nearly every major credit card company, because the crooks are using their names and phone numbers to persuade people they're legit.
Part of the investigation that my friend's husband is involved in is just collecting bits and pieces of information from these calls and putting them together to try and trace the perps. Everyone gets these calls, so when the investigators get them, they play along, engage the scammers in conversation, and ask certain innocuous-sounding questions. They're gradually tracing these people that way, but it's slow and frustrating, because as fast as you shut one down, three more go into business. It's like whack-a-mole. It's also the phone equivalent of the Nigerian emails.

Exactly. You can't stop the Nigerians, either. By the way, did you know the Nigerian fraudsters have expanded their operations into the US? They use Nigerian immigrants to the US, paying for their college education, then have them get jobs in financial institutions. These people then stole funds via electronic transactions and stole credit card and banking data and sent it all to the gang. One of these rings was busted in the Twin Cities last year.
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On 8/3/2012 10:12 PM, Hell Toupee wrote:

And obviously the reason they keep on doing it is because it works. So when they ask for your credit card or personal info as a representative of some bank or financial institution if everyone responded "you called me so prove who you are" they just may go away.

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That's a good idea. However, if they called me, I just hang up. Why would I want to deal with any company that spams? I really don't understand cold-calling, either. I am *very* unlikely to deal with someone who calls me out of the blue. I'm far more inclined to respond to junk mail, and that's pretty low on the list.
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On 8/3/2012 10:12 PM, Hell Toupee wrote:

I've won $2.5 million dollars twice in the last month.
They sounded like Nigerians and even gave me a phone number: 1-876-881-0225 to get back to them. Of course I called them crooks and hung up.
Looking up the number, others had the same. The scam is to give them money to release funds from customs. The second call, yesterday, they said they were Publishers Central Clearing house.
Incredibly stupid but if one in 10,000 fall for it, it is probably worth their time.
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Metspitzer <Kilowatt charter.net> wrote:

I get the same useless feeling about the Do Not Call List. I don't believe the claim that nothing can be done about it. Where there's a will, there is a way.
So I do the same, I just add the number to a contact that has a quiet ring tone. It works okay. Easier than filing a "complaint" for nothing.
--









>
> Card Holder Services still call from different numbers. I have
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I've found this seems to discourage repeat offenders.
http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query nned+air+horn
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