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(NPR)   Getting Robocalls? If so, you could get $50,000 by reporting the menace   (npr.org) divider line 104
    More: PSA, Federal Trade Commission, robocalls, Voice over Internet Protocol, Kara Swisher, chalkboards, AllThingsDigital, David Vladeck  
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14199 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Jan 2013 at 4:50 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-02 02:24:14 PM  
Erm...no. No one is getting paid for reporting them:

So, the FTC is challenging innovators to find a solution. It's offering $50,000 to the individual or small company that presents the technology that will enable consumers or telecoms to block the assault of unwanted robocalls.
 
2013-01-02 02:44:55 PM  
The only one I get anymore is this cruise ticket giveaway thing.  It doesn't click in until you make some noise on your end.

So it's always, (hmmm, I don't recognize that number)  "Hello?"

*ship horn* AOOOOOOOOOOGAH!  Congratulations you've just won two complimentary tickets to...*click*.
 
2013-01-02 03:10:08 PM  
They have a gallery of the already submitted suggestions.

One was for a "call captcha"... oh yeah, because, we all love wesbite captcha's so much right now.

The one i did like was making "*86" forward a call to a federal call center that would pretend to be you and stay on long enough to get the information needed to fine the violators.
 
2013-01-02 03:39:11 PM  
So, the FTC is challenging innovators to find a solution. It's offering $50,000 to the individual or small company that presents the technology that will enable consumers or telecoms to block the assault of unwanted robocalls.

Google Voice has pretty good spam filtering.  The only problem is that the only way to implement it is to have two phone numbers.  One goes to google voice and the other goes directly to your phone.  If spammers get the direct number on your list, you're still winning a million free cruises a day.

So, make the telecoms integrate more tightly with Google Voice (or at least just their spam filter), then give Google the money.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-01-02 04:02:51 PM  
How about tracing the calls and putting the people who make them into PMITA prison?  It's not like they're coming from some guy in Russia, they are typically made by companies that advertise their services. .
 
2013-01-02 04:06:11 PM  

vpb: How about tracing the calls and putting the people who make them into PMITA prison?  It's not like they're coming from some guy in Russia, they are typically made by companies that advertise their services. .


I think the actual perps are offshore. You're right though, someone here is paying them to do this.
 
2013-01-02 04:19:17 PM  

dletter: The one i did like was making "*86" forward a call to a federal call center that would pretend to be you and stay on long enough to get the information needed to fine the violators.


They're catching on to that one. I can't get them to stay on the line long enough to get any information, much less stall them. I press the number to get a person, they say hello and ask if I'm interested in whatever bullshiat they're offering, and no matter what I say - "what?", "yes", "sure", even "hello, how are you" - they hang up. I think it's because they're listening for an old person's voice.
 
2013-01-02 04:41:44 PM  
I just got a call from Card Services this morning and have run out of numbers on my blocked caller list, so I'm really getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2013-01-02 04:48:30 PM  
It's offering $50,000 to the individual or small company that presents the technology that will enable consumers or telecoms to block the assault of unwanted robocalls.

i236.photobucket.com

Where's my $50K?
 
2013-01-02 04:53:32 PM  
Or, we could actually read the article
 
2013-01-02 04:56:03 PM  

brap: The only one I get anymore is this cruise ticket giveaway thing.  It doesn't click in until you make some noise on your end.

So it's always, (hmmm, I don't recognize that number)  "Hello?"

*ship horn* AOOOOOOOOOOGAH!  Congratulations you've just won two complimentary tickets to...*click*.


Ha. I've gotten that one at home, on my cell, and my work phone. It's ridiculous and hilarious.

Somebody you've done business with relating to a vacation has gone and sold your number.
 
2013-01-02 04:56:13 PM  
Here's my proposal:
Identify who's making the robocalls (especially the Rachel / Ann from Cardmember Services)
Kill them with Hellfire missiles launched from Predator drones

And that's it. I figure you'll only have to do this once or twice and the rest of them will fark off.
 
2013-01-02 04:56:35 PM  
1. Make robocalls
2.
3. Profit


Ahhh #2 is wait until someone offers reward for them to stop, then stop and collect reward on self.
 
2013-01-02 04:58:31 PM  
St_Francis_P: "someone here is paying them to do this."

If you're sitting in Russia, with the capability to robocall US numbers for profit, why exactly would you act as a stooge to the scam instead of running it directly?
Lists of phone numbers aren't exactly difficult to obtain. Any disreputable org is probably sitting on a giant pile of them from the many online service hacks.

A hypothetical "someone here" brings nothing to the equation.
 
2013-01-02 04:58:37 PM  
FTA:
"Turn your phone off or unplug it," says Naomi Walls of Aurora, Colo. Her submission includes turning your ringer off and recording a message similar to this one: "You have reached the Walls residence. Due to the number of robocalls I'm receiving, I've turned off my phone so that it won't ring."

WHY THE fark WOULD YOU HAVE A PHONE IN THE FIRST PLACE THEN
 
2013-01-02 04:59:29 PM  

brap: The only one I get anymore is this cruise ticket giveaway thing.  It doesn't click in until you make some noise on your end.

So it's always, (hmmm, I don't recognize that number)  "Hello?"

*ship horn* AOOOOOOOOOOGAH!  Congratulations you've just won two complimentary tickets to...*click*.


I get that same one too.
 
2013-01-02 04:59:51 PM  

Diogenes: I just got a call from Card Services this morning and have run out of numbers on my blocked caller list, so I'm really getting a kick out of these replies.


I get those calls all the time.  The problem with blocking their number is they use different ones.  All the time.
 
2013-01-02 05:02:48 PM  

ShepTR: FTA:
"Turn your phone off or unplug it," says Naomi Walls of Aurora, Colo. Her submission includes turning your ringer off and recording a message similar to this one: "You have reached the Walls residence. Due to the number of robocalls I'm receiving, I've turned off my phone so that it won't ring."

WHY THE fark WOULD YOU HAVE A PHONE IN THE FIRST PLACE THEN


To call out.
Maybe offering card services or free cruises...
 
2013-01-02 05:03:44 PM  
WTF is with these Card Services robocalls? I am getting them pretty regularly. It's been going on for MONTHS.

Once I happened to be home and answered. I hit the key to get to a human. When I guy answered I politely said "Please take me off your call list and do not call me again". He screamed "fark you" and some other stuff and hung up.

I seriously hate these farks. They need to DIAF.

Any tips?
 
2013-01-02 05:05:04 PM  

WalMartian: Diogenes: I just got a call from Card Services this morning and have run out of numbers on my blocked caller list, so I'm really getting a kick out of these replies.

I get those calls all the time.  The problem with blocking their number is they use different ones.  All the time.


Them and home security systems.  Both drive me up a wall.  I keep reporting them.  Nothing happens.
 
2013-01-02 05:06:39 PM  

St_Francis_P: Erm...no. No one is getting paid for reporting them:

So, the FTC is challenging innovators to find a solution. It's offering $50,000 to the individual or small company that presents the technology that will enable consumers or telecoms to block the assault of unwanted robocalls.


This. They're looking to pay a pittance, because that's what it is compared to the amount of money, time, and resources that would be needed to develop such a solution, to someone dumb enough to hand over the resulting intellectual property to the FTC. The FTC, oddly enough, doesn't understand the paradox of finding someone smart enough to develop a working mitigation model, but dumb enough to turn it over to the FTC for fifty grand.

Meanwhile, you'll still get inundated with robocalls, because simply making them illegal and then (and this is the big part) enforcing that law with substantial penalties (as in "a percent of the gross revenue of the company violating the law", not as in "a fee that would be an annoyance to a single person, but not even noticed by a large company") is somehow impossible to do.
 
2013-01-02 05:07:51 PM  
The 50 grand is for a solution not for reporting them. Thanks for showing us your dumb, Subby.
 
2013-01-02 05:07:56 PM  
If that's what a Robo-call might look like, it's a little cooler than I thought.
 
2013-01-02 05:08:17 PM  

Jument: WTF is with these Card Services robocalls? I am getting them pretty regularly. It's been going on for MONTHS.

Once I happened to be home and answered. I hit the key to get to a human. When I guy answered I politely said "Please take me off your call list and do not call me again". He screamed "fark you" and some other stuff and hung up.

I seriously hate these farks. They need to DIAF.

Any tips?


www.twinsrecreation.com
 
2013-01-02 05:08:27 PM  
obligatory

images1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2013-01-02 05:08:35 PM  
I keep getting one for some guy selling something about diabetes. You can only get off their calling list by pressing 5. They always call while I'm at work so every day I get 3 different voice mails from 3 different numbers. Never have the numbers repeated either.

I've had the same robocall come in, 3 times a day, for over a year. I'd love to hang everybody involved with that outfit.
 
2013-01-02 05:11:42 PM  
TeddyRooseveltsMustache The 50 grand is for a solution not for reporting them. Thanks for showing us your dumb, Subby.

And thank you Teddy for showing us the difference between "your" and "you're"
 
2013-01-02 05:13:13 PM  
IF we can send a seal team illegally into another country to kill someone (something I don't have a problem with). I think we could do the same for the offshore call places. Should stop it right quick.
 
2013-01-02 05:14:58 PM  

Diogenes: WalMartian: Diogenes: I just got a call from Card Services this morning and have run out of numbers on my blocked caller list, so I'm really getting a kick out of these replies.

I get those calls all the time.  The problem with blocking their number is they use different ones.  All the time.

Them and home security systems.  Both drive me up a wall.  I keep reporting them.  Nothing happens.


I got a bunch of calls from security companies after my house was broken into. Apparently, they check crime reports and then offer their services to shaken-up victims after the crime. After I caught on to it, I made an appointment with each one for the same day and time. I wasn't home to witness it, but I like to think they all got there at the same time and had a good laugh.
 
2013-01-02 05:18:44 PM  
I signed up for Google Voice. Whatever Google is doing to filter spam calls works just fine, although I bet Google would charge the FTC more than $50k to license their technology.
 
2013-01-02 05:19:20 PM  

Jument: WTF is with these Card Services robocalls? I am getting them pretty regularly. It's been going on for MONTHS.

Once I happened to be home and answered. I hit the key to get to a human. When I guy answered I politely said "Please take me off your call list and do not call me again". He screamed "fark you" and some other stuff and hung up.

I seriously hate these farks. They need to DIAF.

Any tips?


I did the same thing. Except I was the one who screamed "TAKE ME OFF YOUR FARKING LIST YOU C*CKSUCKING DOUCHEB-" and then they hung up on me. I still get a call about once a week, but it amused me.
 
2013-01-02 05:20:16 PM  
I've was getting calls for some political survey that "rewards" you with a "free cruise." That stopped a few months ago thankfully.

Now I get calls from numbers from various area codes but the weird thing is, my phone doesn't ring. It only shows a missed call and they don't leave a message.
 
2013-01-02 05:21:04 PM  
brap The only one I get anymore is this cruise ticket giveaway thing.

That, & a lot of vent cleaning services

Re Jument; last time I got a string of random obscenities from droney-sounding boiler-rooms so I figured they're behind 7 Proxies

/had a clown from a class in freshman year send a Kirby Salesman to my door
//When they called to "schedule" they refused 2 cancel
///said "screw it" & told the guy when he got there no dice, but go ahead & clean my couch anyway
 
2013-01-02 05:22:00 PM  

Jument: WTF is with these Card Services robocalls? I am getting them pretty regularly. It's been going on for MONTHS.

Once I happened to be home and answered. I hit the key to get to a human. When I guy answered I politely said "Please take me off your call list and do not call me again". He screamed "fark you" and some other stuff and hung up.

I seriously hate these farks. They need to DIAF.

Any tips?


I've found the best thing to do is to simply not answer any calls that show up from a number that isn't already in my phone's contact list. By answering the phone when they call and attempting to push whatever to talk to whomever about being removed from their call list, ALL you've done is tell their computer making the calls that it has dialed a working number. It then knows to keep calling it over and over again because it knows a human is on the other end. A few months back I was getting calls daily from the "card member services" douches. I knew who was calling because I would google the numbers later and find page after page of folks raging about being called by the same numbers. After not answering any of them, the calls eventually stopped after a few weeks. So there you have it, just don't answer calls from unknown numbers. If it's a legit or important call form a real person, they'll leave a message.
 
2013-01-02 05:22:57 PM  

Jument: WTF is with these Card Services robocalls? I am getting them pretty regularly. It's been going on for MONTHS.

Once I happened to be home and answered. I hit the key to get to a human. When I guy answered I politely said "Please take me off your call list and do not call me again". He screamed "fark you" and some other stuff and hung up.

I seriously hate these farks. They need to DIAF.

Any tips?


I honestly don't understand how the cardmember services scam can have gone on this long; it's just that they're so damn incompetent. I've been getting calls from them for a year and a half. I waste as much time as possible of their operators and they're STILL not smart enough to take me off their call list.
 
2013-01-02 05:27:20 PM  

ozzie_stu: TeddyRooseveltsMustache The 50 grand is for a solution not for reporting them. Thanks for showing us your dumb, Subby.

And thank you Teddy for showing us the difference between "your" and "you're"


I used the possessive your to show his ownership of it. As in "on purpose". Go away now.
 
2013-01-02 05:36:14 PM  

TeddyRooseveltsMustache: ozzie_stu: TeddyRooseveltsMustache The 50 grand is for a solution not for reporting them. Thanks for showing us your dumb, Subby.

And thank you Teddy for showing us the difference between "your" and "you're"

I used the possessive your to show his ownership of it. As in "on purpose". Go away now.



So your mistake wasn't in the "your/you're" swap, it was in thinking "dumb is a noun".

Also, this is the internet. If you write "show us your dumb", you MUST know that someone will call you out for it, even if it is "on porpoise".
 
2013-01-02 05:36:16 PM  

Theaetetus: I press the number to get a person, they say hello and ask if I'm interested in whatever bullshiat they're offering, and no matter what I say - "what?", "yes", "sure", even "hello, how are you" - they hang up. I think it's because they're listening for an old person's voice.


This is my response of choice when I have time and are feeling mischevious. I try to sound as old and addled as possible, making them repeat themselves over and over again and telling them I have to go get a pen and whatnot ("no, sorry, my credit card only has 6 digits. I'm looking at it right now! Maybe I just repeat them each twice? Oh, hold on, there's a number on the back, too... let's see: 1-8-0-0-c-t-i-t-b-a-n-k."). They are relatively savvy, though, and won't stay on the line for too long if they sense you're dicking them around, but I take that as a challenge.

vpb: How about tracing the calls and putting the people who make them into PMITA prison?  It's not like they're coming from some guy in Russia, they are typically made by companies that advertise their services. .


There aren't too many legitimate businesses doing this, so you can't really trace the money back to a business you can go after. It's almost all scammers, and they're behind international borders and no-see-'em card processors and such, so there's not much even the FTC could do to shut all of it down, even with a big enforcement budget.
 
2013-01-02 05:42:11 PM  
I just check caller ID. "Oh, it's from some number I've never heard of before. Won't be answering that". Though I've seen spoofed numbers too. I like the ones where the number is 000-000-0000. Though my absolute favorite call I've gotten is where the caller ID said "PHONE SCAM". I figured there was some disgruntled employee there who switched it right after getting fired. Made my day when I saw that.
 
2013-01-02 05:42:15 PM  

brap: The only one I get anymore is this cruise ticket giveaway thing.  It doesn't click in until you make some noise on your end.

So it's always, (hmmm, I don't recognize that number)  "Hello?"

*ship horn* AOOOOOOOOOOGAH!  Congratulations you've just won two complimentary tickets to...*click*.


I will find them and murder them. I work nights, that call in the middle of the afternoon completely screws up getting back to sleep for me and then I'm cranky and pissy until I can get a full eight hours the next day.

/yes, I know, but my cell phone is my alarm clock
//it's the only one that I've found that actually wakes me up on time, so I'm sticking with it
 
2013-01-02 05:44:57 PM  

Dalek Caan's doomed mistress: brap: The only one I get anymore is this cruise ticket giveaway thing.  It doesn't click in until you make some noise on your end.

So it's always, (hmmm, I don't recognize that number)  "Hello?"

*ship horn* AOOOOOOOOOOGAH!  Congratulations you've just won two complimentary tickets to...*click*.

I will find them and murder them. I work nights, that call in the middle of the afternoon completely screws up getting back to sleep for me and then I'm cranky and pissy until I can get a full eight hours the next day.

/yes, I know, but my cell phone is my alarm clock
//it's the only one that I've found that actually wakes me up on time, so I'm sticking with it


If you're running with a newer iPhone (or newer OS), you can turn on the Do Not Disturb, which silences any calls between specified times (unless you select specific people to still get through), but also lets your phone blare it's alarm setting. I've got it set to go silent after midnight until 8 and have never had an issue.
 
2013-01-02 05:45:49 PM  
I can only imagine the cardholder services scam is either a premade scam in a box that someone drives around selling... or a ploy directly from the phone companies to waste minutes.
 
2013-01-02 05:46:03 PM  

Dalek Caan's doomed mistress: /yes, I know, but my cell phone is my alarm clock
//it's the only one that I've found that actually wakes me up on time, so I'm sticking with it


Putting your cell phone next to your bed and then complaining when it rings is, um... well, pretty damn stupid. Buy a Timex (or other) sports watch. Mine has three different alarms, and there is zero chance the battery will run down (well, maybe in 3-5 years) and it will fail to wake me up. As a bonus, telemarketers have never once called me on my Timex. It also tells time.
 
2013-01-02 05:47:40 PM  

Oprah's Minge: If it's a legit or important call form a real person, they'll leave a message.


Yep, after struggling with telemarketers (human and robo), I ditched voice mail and went back to an answering machine so I can screen calls the old-fashioned way. Human telemarketers usually hang up during the outgoing message. Some robo-dialers leave messages automatically, but I just delete them.

On my cell phone, the safest bet is to not answer calls that come from unknown phone numbers.
 
2013-01-02 05:47:53 PM  
Simple solution.

If you call me and you're in my address book I get to decide what happens to the call. Typically it just rings normally and I get to pickup.
I also get to pick a default behavior if you're not in my address book. Probably straight to VM.
If you hide you're number nothing happens. No ringing. No VM. Just a straight up disconnect.

This problem has already been solved in firewall software that has existed for decades. It just needs to be implemented in phones. I don't understand why it hadn't been yet. It could even be done at the level of the phone so it doesn't require the cooperation of the telcos.
 
2013-01-02 05:48:43 PM  
What I do is push the number to talk to an operator, place the phone down, and resume my activity*. I enjoy the little faraway voices saying "hello? hello? is anyone there? hello?" I figure if I (and all of you) start wasting their people's time it will cost more to do it than they make doing it.


/*if not doing anything is an activity then I'm covered
 
2013-01-02 05:49:34 PM  

Embden.Meyerhof: TeddyRooseveltsMustache: ozzie_stu: TeddyRooseveltsMustache The 50 grand is for a solution not for reporting them. Thanks for showing us your dumb, Subby.

And thank you Teddy for showing us the difference between "your" and "you're"

I used the possessive your to show his ownership of it. As in "on purpose". Go away now.


So your mistake wasn't in the "your/you're" swap, it was in thinking "dumb is a noun".

Also, this is the internet. If you write "show us your dumb", you MUST know that someone will call you out for it, even if it is "on porpoise".


I love that old trolltastic t-shirt that says "Your Retarded" on it... works like a champ
 
2013-01-02 05:52:30 PM  

Britney Spear's Speculum: I've was getting calls for some political survey that "rewards" you with a "free cruise." That stopped a few months ago thankfully.

Now I get calls from numbers from various area codes but the weird thing is, my phone doesn't ring. It only shows a missed call and they don't leave a message.


This. Get rid of the exceptions for political campaigning and surveys.
 
2013-01-02 05:53:23 PM  
Subby states "...you could get $50,000 by reporting the menace." NOT SO. Did subby even read the article or does he/she have difficulty comprehending the written word? The article reports a monetary reward given to the solution to robocalls and not to merely reporting them.
 
2013-01-02 06:03:36 PM  
Here's my technical solution: Set up a team of cyber-investigators to start trying to find the jerks who make robocalls. It can't be that difficult and if it is just give them some power with the telcos and force them to help. Then, when a perp is identified, execute everyone who had a hand in making the calls. The owners of the company, the people who set up the robocall software, the janitor (ok, well maybe not the janitor), etc. Kill them all in some horribly public way. Of course, only one or two such execution will be necessary and the problem will correct itself.

Please send me a check for $50k.
 
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