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America's Debate _ General Social Issues _ ZAP RACHEL

Posted by: Curmudgeon Jul 27 2017, 12:49 AM

The second time today that I was awakened from sleep by the same recorded message, "If you fell while answering this message and you were wearing our emergency button, you could have pressed a button and we would have dialed 911 for you..." I turned as usual to report it to https://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx... Today I got a surprise. After filing my complaint, I was redirected to a contest: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/contests/zapping-rachel.

Winners had been declared, but work is still in progress... Ideas are welcome and someone in the government has put some money out there to prime the pump.

At work, we had pause and call forwarding. I used to be able to dial time, put the phone on hold briefly, dial the boss's phone number, hang up before the time lady answered and he would get a message: "At the tone, the time is 12:30 PM and 10 seconds... beep..." It did not show my phone number as the caller, it showed that the phone number for dialing the time was calling him directly.

I suggested, among other things that we should be able to create a conference call and dial *666, hang up and let the Do Not Call "Honeypot" capture the call while it was still in progress.

I am thinking that perhaps I should memorize a phone number for the FBI, provide the number, and tell the caller; "I have to run, please call me at work."

Any other suggestions would be welcomed as I want to keep my telephone available for emergencies...

Yesterday, my middle daughter called to say that she had been hit by a car and she was in the hospital. While still in the ambulance, she got a phone call from her boyfriend... They each carry durable medical power of attorney documents for the other. He had just been hospitalized with pancreatic cancer...

TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:

How do you handle nuisance calls?

What legal means can you recommend to discourage the behavior?

Posted by: AuthorMusician Jul 29 2017, 06:16 AM

How do you handle nuisance calls?

Right now I have the luxury of turning off my smart phone, let everything go to voice mail. When I can't do that, it depends on my mood:

Caller ID -- if unrecognized, don't answer. If waiting on an unknown caller, usually for a gig, inform the annoying unwanted callers that this is a business line and hit END. If wanting to have some fun, act real stupid. If in a dark mood, hit END without saying anything but hello? If angry at unwanted caller, string along until caller says something real stupid, laugh cruelly, hit END, pay karma later on.

Scams: Tell caller that it's a scam and why. That has always worked, so don't know of any other technique.

What legal means can you recommend to discourage the behavior?

The best one is to just shut off the phone. However, most people can't do this due to business and personal reasons, so annoyance goes along with communication tech. But then there might be an app for that, maybe blacklist the annoying callers?

I have to say that shutting off the smart phone is one of the most satisfying things to do. It affirms my control over tech, like shutting down the web browser when the kids try to tell me I need to contact MS to free my files. I don't think so Tim (obscure allusion to Home Improvement).

I also like to put a hunk of electrical tape across my camera and mic for whatever is trying to monitor me secretly. That's on the laptop. I don't use cameras or mics on desktops if I can avoid it.

Lots of times the solution to a high-tech problem is junk-drawer tech. Sometimes it's as simple as removing a battery.

Somewhat related, I recently discovered that Microsoft had gotten control of my gmail account -- not only could the corporation read everything, it could move stuff around and delete mail. I delightfully shut them out.

Doing crap like that should be illegal and punishable by hefty fines paid directly to me via electronic funds transfer in the amount of one followed by many, many zeros.

Posted by: Mrs. Pigpen Jul 29 2017, 12:33 PM

Hey! I remember when the Do Not Call lust first started. I posted on that thread (you can still view my pain):

http://www.americasdebate.com/forums/simple/index.php/t3428.html

I since discovered that if you donate to just about any (national) charitable organization online it excludes you from protection (at least, that's the way it was a few years back and I doubt anything has changed). I screwed myself several times by donating to the organizations of friends who requested it, and then the deluge of spam calls returned.

My answer was to get rid of my landline phone. We don't have one here anymore. I agree it sucks but the kids have their own cells now so it's not as bad as it might be. Just wasn't worth keeping as the calls began the moment we moved in. I don't get as many spammers on the cell and it is easy to silence if I don't recognize the number.

That's all I've got. Sorry, Curm. sad.gif

Edited to add:
I did have a very strange call a few months back that I should probably share.
Lately the Las Vegas tourist industry has been calling and telling me I "won" something because of my hotel stay.
One of the callers was very belligerent for a sales person. I said, "Sorry, I think you have the wrong number.." (as I'd never stayed at that hotel). He started arguing, "Who told you to think, Ma'am? WHO TOLD YOU TO THINK?!!!"
It was really weird. I hung up of course but I wondered if it was a tactic to collect voices on the phone for some potential future nefarious purpose.

I recommend just hanging up (or don't answer) never answer.

Edited again:
OH! One more..
Before I got rid of the landline there was a message from someone stating they were (insert whatever legal sounding title) and I owed money on taxes and I need to call right away. That
s a common scam too. The problem is, even though the IRS has a site to report that type of phone activity it then places YOU in their line of sight.
They ask a lot of specific questions on their website phishing report center that I wasn't comfortable answering. Really, why do they need MY tax ID number and so forth to report a phone scammer? So...I decided not to report.
Sharks everywhere, be careful folks!

Heh, on the bright side...
at least we get some funny commercials out of it. laugh.gif

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJ0OaiQk4AM

Posted by: AuthorMusician Jul 29 2017, 12:52 PM

Just a quick comment on land lines:

If your equipment doesn't have an OFF mode, unplugging works just as well as shutting off a smart phone. Here's where removing the battery from a handset might be the easiest solution.

Posted by: Hobbes Jul 31 2017, 05:45 AM

For anyone who has had issues with telemarketers...Tom Mabe has an awesome series of recording you need to listen to.

https://www.bing.com/search?q=tom+mabe+telemarketer+calls&FORM=HDRSC1

The Murder Scene one is the best, but all are great.

He keeps a recorder near his phone, and pranks on the telemarketers when they call. Things we probably all wish we could do....

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