FTC Offers $50,000 To Whoever Can Come Up With A Way To Stop 'Rachel From Cardholder Services'

from the stop-her-before-she-calls-again dept

The current administration has expressed interest in different kinds of "innovation prizes" for a while, so it's interesting to see the FTC offer up $50,000 to individuals or small companies if they can come up with a good solution to dealing with robocalls (automated telemarketing recordings that call tons of people). There are a few things that are interesting about this. First, the language on the FTC site about this really suggests that the FTC itself is exasperated by their own inability to stop the problem. They specifically call out "shady" practices, and highlight how "annoying" the calls are:
Current technology still allows shady telemarketers to cheaply autodial thousands of phone calls every minute and display false or misleading caller ID information. Among these are the famously annoying calls from “Rachel From Cardholder Services.”
The other interesting bit is that the prize is only available to small companies (less than 10 people) or individuals. If you're a big company, they'll give you an award... but no cash. Of course, the FTC also notes that anyone who solves this problem will receive some other benefits as well:
“We think this will be an effective approach in the case of robocalls because the winner of our challenge will become a national hero.”
That might be a slight exaggeration, but I do imagine a successful solution will lead to at least 15 minutes of press fame.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:27am

    15 minutes

    a successful solution will lead to at least 15 minutes of press fame.

    By coincidence, that's the same amount of time it will take for the scammers to route around the solution or find some other way to scam people.

    As long as there are people who will fall for Rachel from Cardholer Services, or John from the Auto Warranty Center, or a prince from Nigeria, or popups saying your computer is infected and you must run this tool and pay $50, or buy things from spam emails, we'll never solve the problems.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      anon, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

      Re: 15 minutes

      Easy actually, the way to solve this in no time is to make it possible to transmit a full video in a 5 minute call, then spread the news and get people to sign up for robocalls of there favourite movies.

      Then wait for Hollywood to use all of there power to lobby the government to spend billions on developing laws and software to resolve the problem

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

      Re: 15 minutes

      Well, look at how most ISP's work. They usually limit the number of outgoing E-mail messages/recipients per day and if you want to send out mass mailings you need to hire an online marking service. The practice has been so successful in blocking junk e-mail that perhaps something like this could be implemented for phone services, having phone companies limit the number of outgoing phone call recipients per day per phone number.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

        Re: Re: 15 minutes

        (and in case no one got it, this post was obviously sarcasm. Most ISP's do limit the number of daily outgoing e-mails and we are still bombarded by spam).

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:35am

    I'd like to enter.

    I call my method "00 buckshot."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Nate, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:43am

    My preferred response is to play an air horn into the phone (not kidding). I figure that eventually the telemarketers will all quit or go deaf.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:48am

      Re:

      That won't really do much to affect a recording. Which is what we're talking about. Because they don't have ears. Or feelings. But good luck with that.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Ruben, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:41am

      Re:

      I used audacity to generate a 3500 hz square wave tone. I use this to out-annoy anyone who annoys me.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

        Re: Re:

        If you have the right kinda speakers and sound card you can use it to create ultrasonic noises that fluctuate in frequency, blast it up real loud, and it can annoy the heck out of all the insects in your house and disorient them and reduce their numbers substantially.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Vidiot (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

        Re: Re:

        But when the target is at the other end of an IP-telephony trunk in Bhopal, your 3500Hz blast may fall outside the squeaky little, narrow-bandpass, 35Hz-wide voice channel. Only your family is annoyed.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

      Re:

      Robots feel no pain and will never stop.

      Dundundun dunun

      Dundundun dunun
      [Terminator theme]

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:44am

    Rachel and her Friends

    I generally ask Rachel if she's wearing any underwear. You can ask Herman this, too.

    But, seriously, folks, why don't they just follow the money? I'm presuming we know who's doing this, as the records of the call centers in Los Angeles and Florida can be subpoenaed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      ldne, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

      Re: Rachel and her Friends

      Most of this is run through the state of Colorado, where you can have a few hundred corporations filed for the same address in a residential nieghborhood with an "office" that's a filing cabinet in the basement. Combine that with using VOIP phone systems that let you have phone numbers from anywhere that show up on caller ID as anything you want and you have a recipe for an anonymous subsidiary based cold calling system that lets your records show you contract with a few dozen outfits that your cousins, inlaws, whiskers the cat, and your imaginary friend Dave own that all reside in one of those filing cabinets. Good luck with the paper trail.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    You will worship me if though I were a GOD!

    "'We think this will be an effective approach in the case of robocalls because the winner of our challenge will become a national hero.'

    That might be a slight exaggeration,"

    No. This is no exaggeration. I will bow down and worship the ground they walk on to whomever invents an anti-robocaller solution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Chosen Reject (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:55am

      Re: You will worship me if though I were a GOD!

      Hi, I'm John from phone support. We have a tool that can be used on your phone to stop robocalls. Send us your phone and a small one time payment of $50 and we'll fix you right up.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Baldaur Regis (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:53am

    Pirates to the rescue!

    1. Open ISP accounts using the "false or misleading caller ID information" from the robocallers.

    2. Seed really bad porn.

    3. Let the copyright trolls hunt down these miscreants.

    4. Profit!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Richard Licker, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:56am

    isn't it just a spam filter

    couldn't they just create a telephone feature code that can be dialled back either during or after receiving a call? If a source gets repeatedly identified then the phone number gets cancelled.

    Even if they fake the caller ID number, there should still be a source identifier underneath in order to make a connection, surely?

    Also, make falsifying caller ID numbers illegal,and look in the backpages for telesales job vacancies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:00am

      Re: isn't it just a spam filter

      Also, make falsifying caller ID numbers illegal

      Seriously? Fuck you.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        The eejit (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

        Re: Re: isn't it just a spam filter

        There's a difference between "ID Withheld" and "False ID".

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:34pm

        Re: Re: isn't it just a spam filter

        Why do you seem so in favor of keeping caller id falsification legal? weird AC likes to stalk local women?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: isn't it just a spam filter

          Because I've used CID spoofing for both business and harmless pranks, and outlawing such things is at the very least, fucking absurd. There are enough frequently abused bullshit laws on the books that you've got to be either a complete idiot or a complete asshole to support adding another.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: isn't it just a spam filter

            It's already illegal.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: isn't it just a spam filter

              So it is. What a crock of shit.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: isn't it just a spam filter

              It shall be unlawful for any pony within the United States, in connection with any telecommunications service or IP-enabled voice service, to cause any caller identification service to knowingly transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information, with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value."

              There's at least some protection in the bill, it seems. Still, to try to stop something already illegal by making it a little more illegal seems...fucking retarded. Seriously. A law to make breaking the law illegal. If this strikes anyone as a solution, they need to be quarantined immediately until science can adequately explain just how they manage to operate without a functioning brain and whether or not it's dangerous to society as a whole.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 10:56pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: isn't it just a spam filter

                I kinda agree, the law doesn't seem to do that much beyond banning activity that's already illegal, which is kinda pointless.

                 

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: isn't it just a spam filter

          Also, not sure how you would jump to a "stalk[ing] local women" conclusion, as CID spoofing has roughly fuck-all to do with such things.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        anon, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

        Re: Re: isn't it just a spam filter

        This is the best solution, make falsifying any data over the phone network illegal, go after all the miscreants that use the system illegally not just those that make robocalls.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: isn't it just a spam filter

          Hey, yeah! Maybe next we could make falsifying any data over the internet illegal too! Seriously, fuck yourself, your mother, your dog, and the back seat of the Oldsmobile 88 in which you were conceived. It's bullshit ideas like this that lead to laws being abused to ruin innocent peoples' lives. And you're willing to add another one just for a little fucking convenience. You're pathetic.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:08am

      Re: isn't it just a spam filter

      Yeah the whole outlawing bad caller id info...
      Women hiding form abusive spouses etc... they tend to rely on those services.
      The police like to use them as well...

      most telemarketing is done from outside the US now so they can use the do not call list as a rolodex.

      Oh I know lets use those nice NSA black boxes and keyword search cardmember services... betcha they get a telemarketer caught before a real terrorist.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

      Re: isn't it just a spam filter

      "Also, make falsifying caller ID numbers illegal"

      It already is illegal.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:04am

    Offer a bounty to find the scammers

    Okay, here's a way. Offer a bounty to the first to track down and provide proof of the identity of those behind the scams that results in prosecution. That would motivate the right person with the right tools, contacts, information, skills, etc to track down these scammers and collect the bounty.

    I don't care if they're in another country. If we can extradite a college kid for legally (in his country) providing links to tv shows (but not actually hosting the downloads), then surely we can extradite these scumbags.

    That would stop Rachel. Can I collect my $50,000 now?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    My solution: Take Scissors and cut the phone line.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Paul Brinker, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:13am

    Helpful solution :)

    Lets apply spam filters to this problem.

    Step 1, Setup Honey pots that you know will get called (google voice numbers that have not been allocated yet for example).

    Step 2, Record responses looking for specific patterns, just like the audio finger printing used on youtube.

    Step 3, At the phone exchange level, record the first 10 seconds of any call to capture " Person from card holder services". If those first 10 seconds from the caller match the audio fingerprint, disconnect the call.

    Step 4, At the exchange level, find calls that are coming from the same system, or look for other patterns that result in an auto disconnect. Blacklist those calls and send them to your honeypots, if a call hits the honeypot fails to match current audio fingerprints, forward the call to its destination.

    Step 5, build whitelists of frequent call pairs.

    What this solution needs to work correctly:
    Access to vast arrays of numbers that are not given out.
    Access to exchange level phone data
    Access to audio fingerprinting tech
    People to opt into the system so that a computer can collect an audio fingerprint.
    An array of various phone greetings for the honey pots (google has this with google voice).

    None of the above tech is outside current technology, when you place it at the exchange level you have access to the entire call routing so you should be able to know who the outbound line or lines are (all the way down to the T1 or PRI trunk).

    Problems:
    Only Google or other phone company can even think of doing the above.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Bengie, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:17am

    Ummm

    "and display false or misleading caller ID information"

    Change the tech being used. Require caller ID info supplied by a validated 3rd party, like your registered phone company.

    If tech is the limiting factor, then replace the tech.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Flix (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:20am

    Set up a sting operation and follow the money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Christopher (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    This is ridiculous.

    The FTC can solve this tomorrow.

    Every single telephone carrier has the endpoints for all calls. *57 should be available for ALL CALLS, including the fake-legal charities, politicos, et cetera. At the end of the month, I click "opt out" to all reported/tracked *57 calls, and my telco can NEVER EVER connect a call from the entity, no matter how many phone numbers they have.

    Force the externality back onto the telcos where it belongs, and this ends today. Forget a 50k prize, start levying fines of 50k per incident to every telco.

    Oh, wait, that's right, the FTC doesn't actually work for ratepayers. Sorry.

    -C

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Gumnos (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

      Re: This is ridiculous.

      My first thought was to use the star+digits (e.g. *57 or whatever) for reporting after the call. Thich is both easy and reasonable for the telcos to implement. Issues I saw:

      - marketing that the feature is available. This can be addressed with money which the telcos certainly seem to rake in hand-over-fist. I still remember *69 from the telco advertising back in the 80s.

      - pranksters that report people. This could be mitigated by the telcos maintaining a "this phonenumber/source has received more than N complaints from more than M recipients" tally, and only take action against those that exceed a certain threshold.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:31pm

      Re: This is ridiculous.

      At the end of the month, I click "opt out" to all reported/tracked *57 calls, and my telco can NEVER EVER connect a call from the entity

      This doesn't sound very practical. "The entity" could be a foreign phone company with millions of subscribers. And even if you can convince every phone company in the world to pass end-user identification, it would be easy enough to create a new corporate entity every month. (It's probably not automated like in Accelerando, but it does happen. If you search for "eNom" in a domain registrar list, you'll find about 100 companies with names like "eNom623, Inc.", "eNom1014, Inc.", etc.)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:31am

    Where do I donate? These people are underestimating the power of such solution! National hero my arse, World hero!

    Ahem, on a more serious note, Josh might be spot on: how long would it take for the idiots to route around? The solution is to educate ppl and render such calls useless (and thus unprofitable to the perpetrators).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jake, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 11:48am

    An app for that?

    I can see an interesting solution on the smartphone side of things. Have an app set up that checks the listed caller ID against an online service where complaints can be registered. Use the complaints against a company to set up a star rating for incoming calls. That way, when an unknown number comes in, I have a better idea whether or not to pick it up.

    There would be issues with scammers spoofing reliable numbers, but then it would give legitimate companies a good reason to track down the scammers who are giving their number a bad reputation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    I want to buy a cheap gadget for between my wall plug and my phone that I can program with a code that callers have to put in in order for the call to go through and my phone to ring. I'll give that code to my human friends and robo callers won't get through at all. Kinda like a captcha to prove the caller is real. But I know this can't happen since the phone companies rely on spam callers to pay them for access... Or the phone company will make me pay $9.95 a month for that service through them that they of course can circumvent if they want...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

      Re:

      I think you could buy a small laptop, a modem, and possibly a splitter for your phone line. Connect your phone to/through the laptop, and there's free software that'd let you whitelist your friends and block any other incoming calls.

      I helped my parents set up something like that. Of course, these days they're starting to wonder if they still even need a landline...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Yeah Right, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

      You got it

      Exactly, an audio captcha. Use any old pc to use as an exchange/phone menu. Fight fire with fire and use their own shit on them.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

        Re: You got it

        Unfortunately my technical skill level would require serious handholding to set this kind of system up. And I'd prefer a pass code type system just because I'm hearing impaired and might never get through to someone else if I have to hear a captcha and then say it appropriately. I wonder if TTYs get a lot of Rachel calls....

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

      Re:

      This was the first thing that came to mind, but with actual audio captchas, rather than a passcode.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      VLN, Sep 28th, 2013 @ 3:33pm

      Re: Had One

      Best telephone I ever had until it died. You either entered the privacy code or call was redirected to answering machine. Phone died and isn't made anymore. :-(

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    TheOldFart, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    Definition of Utter Bullshit

    The federal government gives the phone companies a blank check to turn over to government agents every record of every phone call you ever make, without so much as a warrant.

    They claim that by doing so they can identify specific individuals engaged in criminal activity.

    But they can't find the source of these particular calls? Calls, that just so happen to be a big part of their raison d'Ítre

    Guess which branch of the government or the other is bullshitting you.

    The correct answer would be "both"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Rex Karz (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 12:56pm

    A solution could emulate the anti-spam technology

    Just a thought:

    A facility implemented by the telcos and enabled by default would put every phone number served by the telco on a DoNotRoboCall list. Consumer could un-subscribe to the DoNotRoboCall list by using a *xx facility the telcos use to let consumers tweak their own telco service options to enable or disable this feature.

    Telcos would implement an out-of-band signaling mechanism where a signal is sent to the originator of the all calls. RoboCallers would have to implement technology to recognize the out-of-band signal and terminate the call immediately before the call rings through to the consumer; a timeout facility is implemented by the telco that if the call does not terminate in (2 seconds (pick a number)) then the telco puts the call through to the consumer. The consumer on detecting a RoboCall presses a *xx number on the telephone keypad. The remainder of the call is recorded by the telco. The telco is required to listen to each call recorded by the DoNotRoboCall facility and determine its validity. RoboCall operators would have to upgrade/replace their existing RoboCall equipment immediately; no grandfathering of existing equipment is allowed. If the RoboCaller lets a call go through to someone on the DoNotRoboCall list, then the RoboCaller is considered in violation of the law.

    National legislation would be necessary that says that any RoboCaller that dials a phone number with anti-robocall enabled is liable for payment, say $10,000 per call, via the telco to the consumer. The telco is permitted to take a small portion of the payment to implement the DoNotRoboCall feature.

    Violation of the DoNotRoboCall mechanism is also a criminal offense where the officers and directors of the robocalling entity are strictly and personally liable for each and every violation. Financial penalties become the personal liabilities of the owners, officers and directors of the RoboCalling entities and are not shielded by normal "corporate shield" law. After a first conviction, mandatory sentencing of 20 years for ALL owners, officers and directors is the law of the land. Fines cannot be discharged by bankrupcy. Community property laws do not shield spouses under the principle that the spouses benefitted from the ill-gotten gain of the RoboCaller. The US Marines may be deployed to any nation that shields assets of a RoboCaller.

    ... No prisoners.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Rex Karz (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

      Re: A solution could emulate the anti-spam technology

      An addendum to my proposal:

      Political and not-for-profit RoboCalls are not exempt from the DoNotRoboCall law.

      Penalties for political RoboCalls are the imprisonment of the candidate for 20 years, no exceptions. In the case of RoboCalling on behalf of ballot initiatives the the vote goes against the desired outcome of the RoboCaller. The officers and directors of the payor for the RoboCall are presumed to be the initiators of the RoboCall; penalties are the same as commercial RoboCallers. In the case of "front" organizations, strict liability is passed through to the real backers of the initiative.

      Penalties for not-for-profits is the same as previously stated for [presumably] for-profits. In addition, the not-for-profit is dissolved with all proceeds from its liquidation going to the US Treasury.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

        Re: Re: A solution could emulate the anti-spam technology

        Penalties for political RoboCalls are the imprisonment of the candidate for 20 years, no exceptions.


        OK, you seriously do not have anywhere near enough experience with security. You have to think like a bad guy. How would a bad guy use a law like this?

        "I want Barack Obama to get reelected. Let's set up a bunch of pro-Romney robocalls!"

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Lori Lanham, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:08pm

    It wouldn't be that hard ...

    Or expensive, either. I've worked on dialers in call centers for almost 20 years. Who do I talk to at the FTC?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Mark Gisleson (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    How can I contribute to that reward?

    She's called me literally hundreds of times over the last ten years ON MY RESIDENTIAL LINE.

    It's gotten to where I'm beginning to involuntarily hate everyone named Rachel.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    toerings, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    Call blockers

    Check these and similar items out at Amazon:
    TeleBouncer Blocker TB1000 Block Telemarketing Calls
    T-lock Incoming PRO Call Blocker with LCD Display and Blacklist

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 4:09pm

      Re: Call blockers

      If these are simple blacklists, they are not a satisfactory solution; fake a random phone number every time.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    "(less than 10 people) " - the writer (ha, ha, ha) means "FEWER than . . .)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    telemarketers

    Telemarketing scum divide people into 3 types:

    1. Gullible idiot (i.e. you followed their instructions)..Your info will be used over and over in future scams.

    2. People who said No and generally hung up. Telemarketers believe they can 'grind' you down into doing what they say just to make them go away.

    3. Time wasters. A typical telemarket agent has to call HUNDREDS of people a day to get the 1 or 2 that are gullible enough to fall for the scam. If you waste 10-15mins of their time, which could have been spent speaking to more people, then admit at the end of the call what you did, they won't want to waste time with you again.

    -- side note --
    My favorite thing to tell telemarketers is that it's against my deeply held religious beliefs to use the telephone.....do they a) Agree and hang up the phone or b) call me a lying piece of crap - in which case they've lost me anyway?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    also

    For the last comment about religion you have to go ALL the way.

    If they ask you "in that case, why are you on the phone now?" - become angry and indignant and say you've never used a telephone in your life, you aren't using one now and you never will because thats dirty/sinful and those that use telephones will BURN IN HELLFIRE!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Beta (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    basic economics

    My solution: a toll barrier. A caller who wants my phone to ring must pay an amount set by me, say $1. That money goes to me, not the telco or anyone else, and I can remit it with the touch of a button.

    I can adjust the barrier. I can make a whitelist of numbers that my sentry will let in without payment, or a blacklist of suspicious numbers that must pay a higher toll. I can put in a standing order to remit payment on any call I don't actually pick up. Anything else I can think of, that the open source community can code up.

    If Rachel wants to beat this, she'll have to either get much better at the Turing test, or break every online finance system yet invented.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    One word: CLICK. When anyone I don't know (including telemarketers, survey takers, etc.) calls me, I hang up on them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

    Simple

    As an Anonymous Coward said on Slashdot, just use the technique applied in the French Revolution "pour encourager les autres" - just hunt down and execute a few of the owners of these companies, and the rest will find better careers...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

    Where I live if a stranger enters my house without my permission and looks through my cupboards and closets, reviews my reading material,reads my mail,checks out my audio visual collection, copies my address book, looks at my bank and credit card statements and pay stubs, they would be subject to arrest or being legally shot and killed by the home owner.

    We all have to protect our homes with security devices such as locks,alarms,dogs,extra personnel,bars on the windows and neighborhood watches.

    But if strangers or the government want to invade your computer or phone and track your movements read your emails and texts, watch where you shop and what you buy, listen to your phone calls,look through your contacts for associations and believe that you're a thief or terrorists because of your political or religious beliefs, thats OK and perfectly legal!


    With all of us being bombarded and harassed and having to continually protect ourselves from unscrupulous governments and marketeers, this is what everyone is worried about?

    RACHAEL!!! Really!

    BLOODY FUCKING HELL!

    The feds can find anyone anywhere anytime, and they can't find some telemarketers?

    But I'll play the game anyway.Just remember you heard it here first.

    This appears to be a land line issue...so forward your calls to your cell phone and unplug your landline telephone.CID spoofing will most probably trigger the default ringer.Assign different ring tones to all the contacts that you want to receive calls from.

    Alternatively just have everyone call you on your cell phone
    and disconnect your landline.

    I'm sure there will be an APP for this soon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    OldGeezer (profile), Oct 19th, 2012 @ 5:55pm

    I average at least one call from Rachel a week. At first it was just my cell but now it is my land line too. I don't have caller ID on my land line but on my cell it shows up as a different number with a different area code every time. Because of them I have to turn off my phone when I sleep. If a family member needs to contact me about some emergency I guess they will have to come over and knock on my door. I hope they catch the bastards behind this scam!! If I wasn't on a fixed income I would be glad to donate to the reward!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Digitari, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 7:09pm

    Re:

    when robo callers call I play recorded dial up tones at them, confuses the hell out of them, they think it's a fax line

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 7:34pm

    maybe the FTC should use kickstarter? I bet the bounty would exceed 50,000 in zero internets time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 19th, 2012 @ 8:41pm

    Captcha for sounds, to complete the connection the person making the call must repeat a word or words LoL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Christy, Oct 20th, 2012 @ 2:41am

    Rachel must be stopped!!!!

    Looks like a desperate attempt to stop Rachel. But sad to say, I feel the same way about these robocalls. I've had calls from this credit card services and there's no way to make them stop because I never got to speak with a live person. It's always automated message.

    Even at consumer complaint websites such as www.callercenter.com, "Rachel" rules the place with her most number of complaints. I wonder why the authorities, with the help of telephone companies, can't do something about her.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Tex Arcana (profile), Oct 20th, 2012 @ 7:36pm

    There's a fast solution...

    Just contact subscribers to 2600, and watch them hack the robodialers into dumb servers for domo kun kitten anigifs...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 21st, 2012 @ 11:51am

    FTC should fine the telcos $50,000 everytime one of those calls get through.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    dfed (profile), Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 2:17am

    Wonder what it would take to write an app for smartphones to check the incoming number against 800notes.com and block accordingly?

    Certainly a web-enabled device on a land line could do similar (voip/sip phones, etc.)

    Time to fire up eclipse and see what I can code...

    (These guys have been calling my cell for years, drive me nuts.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Charles LeDog, Oct 23rd, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    Rachael at Card Holder Services

    The solution is severe pain in the ears, but it's probably against the law.

    Install a device on your phone what upon its button being pressed, closes down the speaker so you can't hear, (and you can go back to whatever you were doing), but keeps 'Rachael' 's robotic voice on the line. The device then presses the keys to bring a real human on the line, and then, having confirmed a human, plays a very high decibel, ear-spitting (literally) shriek into the microphone.

    Yes, this is painful for the poor telemarketer, but when it is installed on enough lines, and enough telemarketers begin showing up with hearing problems, then Rachael's boss will have a tough time finding people to work the boiler rooms.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Charles LeDog, Oct 23rd, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    Killing Rachael

    I like the suggestion above that puts a bounty on Rachael and her boss. The New Orleans Saints players who are suspended could simply be informed of her whereabouts, and told that they get to come back to the NFL as soon as they take care of Rachael and her boss. The telemarketer who works for the company that sends out these calls can be incentivized through a massive marketing campaign to rat them out. Pay the peons the $50k, let the Saints take care of business, everyone wins (except Rachael).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Todd, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 9:59am

    This is a sick waste of govt money and time

    It's call SS7 code. Caller ID is easy to spoof and the increasing use of software call handlers vs. true PBX system makes the spoof easier. The use of telcoms using SIP trunking vs. PRI trunking, again makes this problem harder to solve as they are IP address vs. true trunking numbers or DiD's associated to a circuit ID associated to a physical address. The best, fastest way to end this is to follow the money. The federal govt is the best at securing communication and monitoring it. They need NO help from civilians. If they did, we'd be in a very very scary place. All we need is an extremely powerful punishment for both owners and telecoms for knowingly, that is a single bill and a check paying for the service and hardware, operations like this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Daeryk, Feb 28th, 2013 @ 5:28pm

    Stopping bad callers

    I use a call blocker called T-Lock (google it) and then use a website called badnumbers.com to check if the numbers are known bad ones to help me them to my list. My line is quiet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This