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(Boston Herald)   Ever fantasize about pulling the "I'll call you at all hours and see how you like it" game with telemarketers?   (bostonherald.com) divider line 91
    More: Interesting, Arlington, caller ID  
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12436 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Feb 2014 at 8:48 AM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



91 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-02-07 08:52:55 AM  
No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.
 
2014-02-07 08:53:10 AM  
A spokesman for Attorney General Martha Coakley said caller ID spoofing is hard to prosecute because the perpetrator is often from another state or country. The Federal Trade Commission has stated that no changes to its Telemarketing Sales Rule would prevent the practice.

Could not Congress enact legislation making explicitly legal the use of deadly force against telemarketrs who engage in such behaviour?
 
2014-02-07 08:55:05 AM  
It should be a form of identity theft and be condidered a felony
 
2014-02-07 08:57:36 AM  

EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.


You're no fun.
 
2014-02-07 08:58:25 AM  
I get calls looking for a Baptist church all the time.  In college I would fark with the people but I have toned it down.  I tried to get my number removed from the website where I am mistakenly listed but the guy who runs the site had a stroke or something.

/csb
 
2014-02-07 08:58:52 AM  

Whatchoo Talkinbout: EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.

You're no fun.


He's also not truthful.  Or trolling.  I'll accept the latter.
 
2014-02-07 09:02:08 AM  
I wonder what the conversion rate is for spam phone calls and emails selling weener pills.
 
2014-02-07 09:02:25 AM  
I got the "Cardmember Services" one recently (again) and they not only came over Caller ID as "Bank of America" but had indeed spoofed one of their legit numbers.

I tried alerting BofA, and it was a nightmare.  If you don't have an account with them, they don't give a fark.  Even though you are trying to help them.  By the time I got to the final person who gave me a fraud report email address (took 45 minutes), I told her if this is the way they behave then they deserve to be hacked and victims of fraud.
 
2014-02-07 09:03:11 AM  

El Dudereno: I wonder what the conversion rate is for spam phone calls and emails selling weener pills.


I get a TON of scam/fishing calls.  Surprisingly never one for broke dick meds.
 
2014-02-07 09:03:41 AM  
thank goodness for my phone's ability to block phone #s that aren't already in my phone.
 
2014-02-07 09:03:59 AM  

Diogenes: Whatchoo Talkinbout: EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.

You're no fun.

He's also not truthful.  Or trolling.  I'll accept the latter.


None of the above.

*sigh*

I'm EyeballKid, and I'm...a former telemarketer. For 3 or 4 months in 1999, I sold replacement insulated windows for a guy who used the name brand windows for demonstrations only and would then install the generic knockoff versions. I quit after working Martin Luther King Day when one of the people I had to call was named...James E. Ray. Looking for any reason to quit, I saw it as my convenient omen.

Trust me, anybody who's a telemarketer feels, at least for a small period of time, that they have to be a telemarketer to make due.

Sorry, return to your Orbitz soda and slap bracelets while discussing how sticking it to those telemarketers is SO FUNNY!
 
2014-02-07 09:04:19 AM  
I havent received a call from a telemarketer in years.  Who do you guys give your number to?

Diogenes: I got the "Cardmember Services" one recently (again) and they not only came over Caller ID as "Bank of America" but had indeed spoofed one of their legit numbers.

I tried alerting BofA, and it was a nightmare.  If you don't have an account with them, they don't give a fark.  Even though you are trying to help them.  By the time I got to the final person who gave me a fraud report email address (took 45 minutes), I told her if this is the way they behave then they deserve to be hacked and victims of fraud.


Why didnt you hang up two seconds into the call?
 
2014-02-07 09:04:34 AM  

EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.


They should try prostitution. It's more dignified.
 
2014-02-07 09:04:34 AM  
This is easily, if expensively fixed.  There are 2 Caller ID meta fields. One is customizable by the user and the one being presented. Also the one that shows "caller unknown" if you choose to block your Caller ID number.  The other cannot be customized and is used by the telco for routing calls and billing.  Force the telcos to screen for telemarketers and override customized Caller ID.
 
2014-02-07 09:06:09 AM  
If it weren't for telemarketers, I wouldn't have anyone to talk to.
 
2014-02-07 09:06:28 AM  

EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.

i1254.photobucket.com
Thanks you for your understanding
 
2014-02-07 09:08:53 AM  

EyeballKid: Trust me, anybody who's a telemarketer feels, at least for a small period of time, that they have to be a telemarketer to make due.


I feel sorry for you but I'm having a hard time finding sympathy for people who know they're complicit in scams and frauds.  And I see no reason to be polite about it.
 
2014-02-07 09:09:04 AM  

EyeballKid: Diogenes: Whatchoo Talkinbout: EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.

You're no fun.

He's also not truthful.  Or trolling.  I'll accept the latter.

None of the above.

*sigh*

I'm EyeballKid, and I'm...a former telemarketer. For 3 or 4 months in 1999, I sold replacement insulated windows for a guy who used the name brand windows for demonstrations only and would then install the generic knockoff versions. I quit after working Martin Luther King Day when one of the people I had to call was named...James E. Ray. Looking for any reason to quit, I saw it as my convenient omen.

Trust me, anybody who's a telemarketer feels, at least for a small period of time, that they have to be a telemarketer to make due.

Sorry, return to your Orbitz soda and slap bracelets while discussing how sticking it to those telemarketers is SO FUNNY!


Hey calling it your job ol' EyeballKid sure don't make it right
But if you want me to I'll say a prayer for your soul tonight.

/PS headline fail
 
GBB
2014-02-07 09:09:47 AM  

HenryFnord: This is easily, if expensively fixed.  There are 2 Caller ID meta fields. One is customizable by the user and the one being presented. Also the one that shows "caller unknown" if you choose to block your Caller ID number.  The other cannot be customized and is used by the telco for routing calls and billing.  Force the telcos to screen for telemarketers and override  eliminatecustomized Caller ID.

FTFY

 
2014-02-07 09:09:48 AM  

Gunny Highway: Why didnt you hang up two seconds into the call?


I've gotten real calls from BofA because someone was trying to get accounts and take out loans using my name.
 
2014-02-07 09:11:32 AM  

reubendaley: Hey calling it your job ol' EyeballKid sure don't make it right
But if you want me to I'll say a prayer for your soul tonight.


I may have been a telemarketer, but I've never been so low as to quote John Mellencamp.
 
2014-02-07 09:12:50 AM  

HenryFnord: This is easily, if expensively fixed.  There are 2 Caller ID meta fields. One is customizable by the user and the one being presented. Also the one that shows "caller unknown" if you choose to block your Caller ID number.  The other cannot be customized and is used by the telco for routing calls and billing.  Force the telcos to screen for telemarketers and override customized Caller ID.


Fark threads are often like a train wreck or car crash - you can't look away, but you get nothing useful out of them. However, nuggets like this keep me coming back. While there are legitimate reasons to mask caller ID (battered family shelters), THIS^^ needs to be looked at.

/Also, there is a "Jim Callahan" on Fark.
 
2014-02-07 09:14:32 AM  

grumpyoldmann: If it weren't for telemarketers, I wouldn't have anyone to talk to.


Yorue trying to be funny but there are a lot of old people out there that think that. I used to do sales auditing and would have to call the customer back to confirm their order and make sure all the info we had was correct. There was always an older person in the group of customers I would end up being on the phone with for a long time because they wanted to tell me about their grandchildren or something. I would entertain them for awhile because I knew I was probably the only person they had spoken to that day. I also called someone who, thought I was her doctor calling her back because she was having some medical trouble because she had run out of her meds and was having some issues. I kept her on the line and got on another phone and called 911 for her and stayed on the phone with her until help got there. That was scary but she ended up being OK
 
2014-02-07 09:16:18 AM  

Tyrosine: EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.

They should try prostitution. It's more dignified.


I knew a girl working as a telemarketer who was seriously considering that option. She thought it would be less trying on her soul. Thankfully she was able to take the half-step up the social ladder to retail.
 
2014-02-07 09:16:19 AM  

Diogenes: Gunny Highway: Why didnt you hang up two seconds into the call?

I've gotten real calls from BofA because someone was trying to get accounts and take out loans using my name.


Fair enough.
 
2014-02-07 09:16:40 AM  
My parents number was similar enough to an airport taxi service on Cape Cod.  We changed the message to explicitly state it wasn't the taxi company and tons of people still would leave irate messages (apparently they must suck at taxi stuff)

I can't even imagine the amount of shiat this guy is getting on his phone now

/csb
 
2014-02-07 09:16:58 AM  

odinsposse: Tyrosine: EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.

They should try prostitution. It's more dignified.

I knew a girl working as a telemarketer who was seriously considering that option. She thought it would be less trying on her soul. Thankfully she was able to take the half-step up the social ladder to retail.


No she wasnt.
 
2014-02-07 09:22:33 AM  

EyeballKid: Trust me, anybody who's a telemarketer feels, at least for a small period of time, that they have to be a telemarketer to make due.


Well, maybe, but if you're itchin' to call someone a vindictive and petty asshole, as you did in your initial comment, you may want to read the article and see if you can find someone more deserving of it than the guy who received the telemarketing call.
 
2014-02-07 09:22:46 AM  
voiceofbaltimore.org
 
2014-02-07 09:34:57 AM  
Funny I should see this headline.  Lately I've been getting telemarketing calls and instead of just telling them to get cancer and die, I've tried a new strategy - keeping them on the phone as long as possible in the hopes that by wasting their time they'll cross me off their list.

So yesterday I got a call about loan modification, I told the guy, sure, tell me all about it.  He says he'll have to call me back.  I told him no, tell me now or don't call ag-  too late, he hung up.  Calls me back a few minutes later.  I chewed him out for hanging up on me.  He hangs up again.  Then I noticed that the number he just used to call me was different, so I tried calling it back - and he picked up!  It was a legit number.  I berated him for hanging up on me, and I yelled at him some more.

But now I think I have his number.  Now if I can find the last working payphone, I could have some fun.  It's a California area code, so I'm thinking the best time to call is early in the morning here on the east coast.
 
2014-02-07 09:35:57 AM  

EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.


I'm a back alley abortionist. May I interest you in our frequent flyer plan? It'll just take a minute.
 
2014-02-07 09:38:44 AM  

Tyrosine: EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.

They should try prostitution. It's more dignified.


Pays better, too.

/used to write telemarketing scripts, but I tired of the goat sacrifices.
 
2014-02-07 09:41:33 AM  

EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.


They bought the ticket. I say "let 'em crash."

Should have paid more attention in class.
 
2014-02-07 09:41:38 AM  

Dimensio: A spokesman for Attorney General Martha Coakley said caller ID spoofing is hard to prosecute because the perpetrator is often from another state or country. The Federal Trade Commission has stated that no changes to its Telemarketing Sales Rule would prevent the practice.

Could not Congress enact legislation making explicitly legal the use of deadly force against telemarketrs who engage in such behaviour?


Perchance, although perhaps if thou dost reconsider thine imagining, it's vulgarity would become apparent. Unless thou jest? Oh, ha ha!
 
2014-02-07 09:42:53 AM  
He apparently also has a bad ear problem too... looks painful...
bostonherald.com
 
2014-02-07 09:47:21 AM  
And they fail to censor out the number and post it on the internet so now he can be spammed even more.
 
2014-02-07 09:53:05 AM  
idesofmarch: Funny I should see this headline.  Lately I've been getting telemarketing calls and instead of just telling them to get cancer and die, I've tried a new strategy - keeping them on the phone as long as possible in the hopes that by wasting their time they'll cross me off their list.

So yesterday I got a call about loan modification, I told the guy, sure, tell me all about it.  He says he'll have to call me back.  I told him no, tell me now or don't call ag-  too late, he hung up.  Calls me back a few minutes later.  I chewed him out for hanging up on me.  He hangs up again.  Then I noticed that the number he just used to call me was different, so I tried calling it back - and he picked up!  It was a legit number.  I berated him for hanging up on me, and I yelled at him some more.


I did the "I'm really interested in this, tell me more" thing to a call once and they hung up on me, then called back and were rude, so I blocked their number.
After I blocked their number I continued to get calls from them because they spoofed the Caller ID to put a +011 in front of the number and AT&T has no provision on their web thing for UVERSE voice to block something like that.
When I called AT&T they were genuinely flummoxed about what to do about this.
But they figured it out and somehow manually put in the block.

Back to the guy getting 500 calls a day, if he has an iPhone, I'm pretty sure you can select the number in the list and choose "block caller".
This is why I use a Google Voice number for my business.  AT&T will only allow me to block up to 20 numbers, Google Voice is basically unlimited.
 
2014-02-07 09:54:10 AM  
I've done this. The company is called Progressive Bussiness Solutions. They actually sent bills to not one but two companies that I worked for asking for payment for magazines that we neither ordered or received. The funniest one was when the woman who claimed to be claling from a collection agency called on morning and after a breif back and forth about whether money was owed I asked her who had placed the order and she says, "DROxINxTHExWIND placed the order. Our representative has spoken to him several times and he confirmed receipt of the subscriptions." I calmy responded, "Sweetie, I'M DRO." She hung up on me. I Googled the company name and found a few consumer websites where people were complaining about having been duped by the company. One of the posts was from a disgruntled former employee of Progressive. He says that he was recruited out of a mall food court. They made all of these promises of high wages and opportunity for growth with the company. But, when he got to the office, it was a rundown building where he sat in a windowless room making the collection calls. He posted the phone numbers of his supervisors to the meesage board and told everyone who had been duped to call them directly. The guy who answered the phone tried to sound professional but you could tell he was clearly sitting at home somewhere on a cell. I called him a few dozen times over the span of a couple of weeks giving him shiat for being a lying scam artist. At first, he would passionately defend the company, telling me that I didn;t know what I was talking about. By the end of the two weeks he was losing it. Cursing me at the top of his voice. Once it even sounded like he threw his phone. Lol. I still have his number in my roledex in case I ever got another one of thise calls. But, when I just Googled them, I see that it appears their scam is up. At least, under that name.


http://dallas.bbb.org/article/bbb-alert-firms-say-progressive-busines s -publications-charged-them-for-unwanted-newsletters-35726">http://dal las.bbb.org/article/bbb-alert-firms-say-progressive-business -publications-charged-them-for-unwanted-newsletters-35726


/end CSB
 
2014-02-07 09:55:09 AM  

EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.


The problem here is a case of wrong identity, not of being a telemarketer.

Telemarketers know they are being offensive, I have no problems with someone being offensive back to them.  Being off target is another matter, though.

HenryFnord: This is easily, if expensively fixed. There are 2 Caller ID meta fields. One is customizable by the user and the one being presented. Also the one that shows "caller unknown" if you choose to block your Caller ID number. The other cannot be customized and is used by the telco for routing calls and billing. Force the telcos to screen for telemarketers and override customized Caller ID.


They won't be able to identify all the telemarketers.  What I think they need to do is have a * type number that you can call that says the last call was a do-not-call violation.  The FTC gets a report with the real number rather than the spoofed one.

EyeballKid: I'm EyeballKid, and I'm...a former telemarketer. For 3 or 4 months in 1999, I sold replacement insulated windows for a guy who used the name brand windows for demonstrations only and would then install the generic knockoff versions. I quit after working Martin Luther King Day when one of the people I had to call was named...James E. Ray. Looking for any reason to quit, I saw it as my convenient omen.


You should have been in jail.
 
2014-02-07 09:58:00 AM  

HenryFnord: This is easily, if expensively fixed.  There are 2 Caller ID meta fields. One is customizable by the user and the one being presented. Also the one that shows "caller unknown" if you choose to block your Caller ID number.  The other cannot be customized and is used by the telco for routing calls and billing.  Force the telcos to screen for telemarketers and override customized Caller ID.


That's not even expensive - simply stop using customized Caller ID except in very rare instances (e.g. shelters, witness protection, etc.), and just use the routing field for all IDs.

So why haven't they done it? Because the phone companies get paid by people using customized IDs, and they get paid for all those phone calls from telemarketers. They have a financial incentive to keep telemarketers in business.
 
2014-02-07 09:58:07 AM  

idesofmarch: Funny I should see this headline.  Lately I've been getting telemarketing calls and instead of just telling them to get cancer and die, I've tried a new strategy - keeping them on the phone as long as possible in the hopes that by wasting their time they'll cross me off their list.

So yesterday I got a call about loan modification, I told the guy, sure, tell me all about it.  He says he'll have to call me back.  I told him no, tell me now or don't call ag-  too late, he hung up.  Calls me back a few minutes later.  I chewed him out for hanging up on me.  He hangs up again.  Then I noticed that the number he just used to call me was different, so I tried calling it back - and he picked up!  It was a legit number.  I berated him for hanging up on me, and I yelled at him some more.

But now I think I have his number.  Now if I can find the last working payphone, I could have some fun.  It's a California area code, so I'm thinking the best time to call is early in the morning here on the east coast.


Likes the way you think.
 
2014-02-07 09:59:58 AM  

Loren: You should have been in jail.


But he only gets one call from there...
 
2014-02-07 10:25:49 AM  

EyeballKid: I'm EyeballKid, and I'm...a former telemarketer.


Hi EyeballKid!
 
2014-02-07 10:27:02 AM  
More true confessions of a past telemarketer.

I was a telemarketer for a few months in 2002. To be totally honest though, I never felt all that bad about it, although I suspect my situation was not the norm for the industry. It was a regular 9-5 and if you were good at it, which I was, the money was pretty respectable for a 20 year old kid. I liked my co-workers for the most part, and we had great ongoing nerf wars across the call center.

I never felt bad about calling people for a couple of reasons. One, we only called people in our time zone, and I only worked 9 to 5. Two, it wasn't a scam, and for a lot of people was actually a pretty good deal. I mean, the business as a whole might have been, but not my part of it.

I sold cheap vacation packages in exchange for the opportunity to be sold on a condo time share. The package I sold was $150 (I think I was allowed to go down to $100), and for that you were given 2 (I think, might have been 3) nights in a nice family friendly type resort (and a discounted rate I you wanted to add nights) and about $200 in gift cards to restaurants/gas station/golf/whatever. All you had to do was attend a probably high pressure sales thing that was guaranteed to last under 90 minutes.

And that's how I sold it. I usually just went off script and told people to go on a cheap/free (if you use the gift cards) beach vacation for the price of 90 minutes of saying no to some pushy salesman. Maybe people appreciated the honesty, but I did well.

//csb
 
2014-02-07 10:30:44 AM  
It's pretty much a given that if you get a call from one of these scumbags ("account services", Med-Alert scammers, Free diabetes monitor, Auto Warranty, etc) the number on the caller ID is 100% guaranteed to be fake, so simply calling back to give them hell won't work.

So instead, I just keep them on the line as long as possible. Listen to the pitch, ask questions, ask them to repeat themselves, speed-tap the mute button while talking, etc. If at all possible, I kept one guy on the phone for almost 40 minutes. Sometimes I try to get a number where I can call them back, but this is dicey - it's an automatic hangup about 75% of the time.

Their whole business model relies on the fact that they typically get a certain positive response rate (I have no idea what that is, but in direct mail marketing, 2% is considered very good). Since their payoff is based on churning through the losing calls as fast as possible to get to the "winners", simply having every single losing call take 3 minutes instead of 3 seconds would shut most of them down.
 
2014-02-07 10:38:29 AM  

odinsposse: They should try prostitution. It's more dignified.

I knew a girl working as a telemarketer who was seriously considering that option. She thought it would be less trying on her soul. Thankfully she was able to take the half-step up the social ladder to retail.


Prostitution is a form of retail.
 
2014-02-07 10:48:58 AM  

Theaetetus: That's not even expensive - simply stop using customized Caller ID except in very rare instances (e.g. shelters, witness protection, etc.), and just use the routing field for all IDs.

So why haven't they done it? Because the phone companies get paid by people using customized IDs, and they get paid for all those phone calls from telemarketers. They have a financial incentive to keep telemarketers in business.


That's exactly right. Oh, reminds me, anybody ever heard of phone bill cramming? This is another one that's pretty terrible. Basically, the scammer puts up a website that collects phone numbers for a chance for a free iPad or whatever, and hidden in the fine print, you're signing up for their newsletter and they'll charge you $0.30 a month for it. They tell the phone company that you're a customer and the phone company adds on the third-party billing to your phone bill, then forwards your payment on to the scammer. You don't notice a separate invoice, because it shows up on your phone bill. You call the phone company and biatch about it, they tell you that you have to talk to "IP Connection" or whoever is showing up as the third party biller. Meanwhile, thousands of people are funneling $0.30/mo to these jackasses, all because the jackasses have an in with the phone company.
 
2014-02-07 10:49:04 AM  

EyeballKid: reubendaley: Hey calling it your job ol' EyeballKid sure don't make it right
But if you want me to I'll say a prayer for your soul tonight.

I may have been a telemarketer, but I've never been so low as to quote John Mellencamp.


Who's to say the way a man should spend his days?
 
2014-02-07 11:00:26 AM  

Loren: EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.

The problem here is a case of wrong identity, not of being a telemarketer.

Telemarketers know they are being offensive, I have no problems with someone being offensive back to them.  Being off target is another matter, though.

HenryFnord: This is easily, if expensively fixed. There are 2 Caller ID meta fields. One is customizable by the user and the one being presented. Also the one that shows "caller unknown" if you choose to block your Caller ID number. The other cannot be customized and is used by the telco for routing calls and billing. Force the telcos to screen for telemarketers and override customized Caller ID.

They won't be able to identify all the telemarketers.  What I think they need to do is have a * type number that you can call that says the last call was a do-not-call violation.  The FTC gets a report with the real number rather than the spoofed one.

EyeballKid: I'm EyeballKid, and I'm...a former telemarketer. For 3 or 4 months in 1999, I sold replacement insulated windows for a guy who used the name brand windows for demonstrations only and would then install the generic knockoff versions. I quit after working Martin Luther King Day when one of the people I had to call was named...James E. Ray. Looking for any reason to quit, I saw it as my convenient omen.

You should have been in jail.


Having a "*" code to report the previous call as a Do Not Call violation and a second code for Phishing. Brilliant!

This is why I love Fark.
 
2014-02-07 11:02:03 AM  
Don't torture the wage slaves.

It's not their fault the only work going is close to minimum wage and involves pestering people to sell them crappy goods and services, hound them for donations, and sell them crappy politicians and parties.

They are victims of marketing and advertising, fraud and misleading propaganda just as much as you are.

Governments are complicit in this BS-mongering. They welcome call centres to economic devastated areas and crow about the jobs made. No wonder people are fleeing the call centre states and provinces. Even people in India and other English-speaking low wage countries would sooner do something else.

Call centres are little better than sweat shops, but in sweat shops you are making things everybody, even the poor, buy and needs, like shoes or t-shirts, or flip-flops or leather sandals.

You should be polite and firm to nuisance callers. A quick hang-up saves everybody waste time on these transactions. Personally I do not answer my telephone unless I hear a welcome voice on the answering machine. Yes, I screen calls from my parents. If I didn't I would spend hours of precious time trying to say "no way, José" politely.

Like drugs, tobacco, firearms and other nuisances, politicians make too much hay and too much lettuce out of fraudsters and shills for them to shut down the telemarketeers. Everytime you speak to a telemarketeer selling something crooked or stupid, call your Congresscritter and see if that helps! They are there to serve you but often serve only themselves or their real masters, the big corporate or rich individual donors.
 
2014-02-07 11:02:12 AM  
I keep getting this telemarketer who calls me and recites a poem by Robert Frost in a Russian accent.  And he calls me "Vladimir Ivan'ich", which isn't my name.

/I get strange urges after every call, though.
 
2014-02-07 11:05:04 AM  
As long as these companies are allowed to cold call the elderly, the elderly will be falling for con artists. Because much of this business is straight and simple fraud and the elderly are vulnerable because their judgment declines, they may be non compos mentis (Alzheimer's sufferers have been known to fall for patent frauds time and again if they are allowed access to a phone), and because they are lonely and just like to have somebody to talk to, which makes them easy pickings for con artists of all sorts, religious, political, or illegal.
 
2014-02-07 11:10:08 AM  
You can't prevent people from using the telephone to commit crimes, but you can punish them when they do. It's the same with guns--the gun lobby owns the country but you can still punish people for using a gun in connection with a crime, and also confiscate their car, equipment and supplies,  if you are a fish or game warden.

No doubt if the telephone becomes unusable by criminals, they'll switch to the web or door-to-door tin men cons. There's always a market and there's always a con game. One line of fraud declines, another rises.

But we are not powerless.

Hey, the NSA records every communication, as do its allies in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. If you banned a con artist from using the telephone, voice recognition could tell you when he breaks the ban. Con artists would have to flee to the Third or Second World if they couldn't work in the First. Yaaaaay! Go outsourcing!
 
2014-02-07 11:11:59 AM  

brantgoose: As long as these companies are allowed to cold call the elderly, the elderly will be falling for con artists. Because much of this business is straight and simple fraud and the elderly are vulnerable because their judgment declines, they may be non compos mentis (Alzheimer's sufferers have been known to fall for patent frauds time and again if they are allowed access to a phone), and because they are lonely and just like to have somebody to talk to, which makes them easy pickings for con artists of all sorts, religious, political, or illegal.


This. I've tried to do the "keep the telemarketer on the phone for as long as possible to kill their average call time rating" game, but as soon as I say "yes, I'm interested in your service" in my strong, youthful voice, they hang up. If, however, I fake a wavering old man voice, they stay on the line and immediately start pressing for a credit card number.

/Last time I did the "hold on, sonny... my credit card is in the car... I'll be back in just a minute" and put the phone down. Took him five minutes to hang up.
 
2014-02-07 11:12:10 AM  

dittybopper: I keep getting this telemarketer who calls me and recites a poem by Robert Frost in a Russian accent.  And he calls me "Vladimir Ivan'ich", which isn't my name.

/I get strange urges after every call, though.


Don't pay any attention to that rubbish. Instead, take a look at this card:

m0vie.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-02-07 11:19:24 AM  
One thing that I recently discovered that I found quite worrisome is that Cardmember Services knows who I am.  I'm less of just a machine-dialed number.

Got the person on the line.  They asked me who they were speaking to.  I gave them a fake name and they immediately hung up.  Apparently they already know some information about me.  I found that disturbing.
 
2014-02-07 11:21:49 AM  

Slam Bradley: My parents number was similar enough to an airport taxi service on Cape Cod.  We changed the message to explicitly state it wasn't the taxi company and tons of people still would leave irate messages (apparently they must suck at taxi stuff)

I can't even imagine the amount of shiat this guy is getting on his phone now

/csb


I got someone while I was working HSI support at Comcast who actually waited on hold, through the outgoing messages, and then seemed genuinely surprised that we weren't AT&T.

/resource half full
 
2014-02-07 11:25:57 AM  
I got a call from some long distance carrier switcher person.

Them: Sir, how much do you spend a month in long distance?
Me: Oh about 2-3 thousands dollars.
T: Well I got some great news- wait did you say 3 *thousand* dollars?
M: Yeah, about that.
T: Uh....sir where are you calling?
M: Oh ...China, Libia,Pakistan, North Korea, Iran, the usual.
T: This is business?
M: Yep.
T: Uh....what kind of business are you in?
M: I sell missle guidance systems.
T: Seriously?
M: Yep. They go crazy for those things.
T: Wow, I imagine they'd like to get ahold of the good tech we have.
M: Are you crazy? I don't sell them good guidance systems, that would just be stupid. Mostly it's just an old Tom-Tom that I soldered to the circuit board of a cheap remote control car. Frankly I am surpised their missles even get off the ground.
T: Arn't you afraid they will get angry and do something about it?
M: What can they do? Shoot a missle at me? Please. They'd be lucky to hit the ocean if they launched it underwater.
T: Isn't that illegal to sell that kind of stuff?
M: I dunno. Never asked.
T: Oh...okay. Well have a nice day.

Apparently he forgot why he called.

Another favorite:
T: Hi sir! I am selling coupon books. For the low price of $25 dollars you can get over $150 value in coupons that you can use at your favorite stores.
M: Not interested.
T: But you can get free pizza, free movies, free-
M: Not. Interested.
T: Why not sir?
M: I can't use them. I can't go outside.
T: Why's that?
M: I'm under house arrest.
T: uh...
M: Did you know it's actualy a crime to sexualy molest ducks in the park?
T: ...
M: I didn't know that.
T: How do you even-
M: With my penis.
T: I see. *click*
 
2014-02-07 11:26:23 AM  
You know how to keep this from happening? Simple. Stop answering your home phone unless you are expecting a call from a number you know. I never answer my phone. Most of the time, the ringer is turned off. If the call is for real, the caller will leave a message.
 
2014-02-07 11:26:50 AM  

MythDragon: I got a call from some long distance carrier switcher person.

Them: Sir, how much do you spend a month in long distance?
Me: Oh about 2-3 thousands dollars.
T: Well I got some great news- wait did you say 3 *thousand* dollars?
M: Yeah, about that.
T: Uh....sir where are you calling?
M: Oh ...China, Libia,Pakistan, North Korea, Iran, the usual.
T: This is business?
M: Yep.
T: Uh....what kind of business are you in?
M: I sell missle guidance systems.
T: Seriously?
M: Yep. They go crazy for those things.
T: Wow, I imagine they'd like to get ahold of the good tech we have.
M: Are you crazy? I don't sell them good guidance systems, that would just be stupid. Mostly it's just an old Tom-Tom that I soldered to the circuit board of a cheap remote control car. Frankly I am surpised their missles even get off the ground.
T: Arn't you afraid they will get angry and do something about it?
M: What can they do? Shoot a missle at me? Please. They'd be lucky to hit the ocean if they launched it underwater.
T: Isn't that illegal to sell that kind of stuff?
M: I dunno. Never asked.
T: Oh...okay. Well have a nice day.

Apparently he forgot why he called.

Another favorite:
T: Hi sir! I am selling coupon books. For the low price of $25 dollars you can get over $150 value in coupons that you can use at your favorite stores.
M: Not interested.
T: But you can get free pizza, free movies, free-
M: Not. Interested.
T: Why not sir?
M: I can't use them. I can't go outside.
T: Why's that?
M: I'm under house arrest.
T: uh...
M: Did you know it's actualy a crime to sexualy molest ducks in the park?
T: ...
M: I didn't know that.
T: How do you even-
M: With my penis.
T: I see. *click*


Winner
 
2014-02-07 11:31:06 AM  
Direct marketing is trespass and should be illegal.
 
2014-02-07 11:45:42 AM  

EyeballKid: No, but maybe I'm weird in not being vindictive and petty enough to be an asshole to somebody whose only available employment opportunity is in telemarketing.


I don't get people who make the "I was just doing my job" excuse. I thought we collectively decided that excuse wasn't valid anymore sometime last century, at some meeting in  Nuremberg I think it was.

Fark people who's excuse is "just doing my job". You had the opportunity to be a decent person, or to throw away every last bit of morality and character you had for money. And you said "well, I might think this is wrong, but I want the money so who cares?" All the worst things in the world come from moral-less pawns just doing their jobs. Hell, I would say doing something bad for money is even worse than just doing it!
 
2014-02-07 11:53:51 AM  

That Guy Jeff: All the worst things in the world come from moral-less pawns just doing their jobs


Really?
 
2014-02-07 11:57:13 AM  

That Guy Jeff: I don't get people who make the "I was just doing my job" excuse. I thought we collectively decided that excuse wasn't valid anymore sometime last century, at some meeting in  Nuremberg I think it was.


CONGRATULATIONS!!!! YOU  godWIN!!!!!
 
2014-02-07 12:05:35 PM  
Uh, I have done that actually, only it wasn't telemarketers, it was the scam artists at the "debt collection" agency Takhar Group. I told them the first time they called that I do not have debt with anybody and that my information drew a blank when I put it into their website. They continued to call, and to not block their numbers as they did so, and since I was unemployed and very pissed off at them at the time, I would set aside blocks of time in my day in which to keep them on the line while I played some very shiatty music for them.

This was in addition to filing (albeit, useless) BBB reports against the bastards.
 
2014-02-07 12:05:42 PM  

EyeballKid: That Guy Jeff: I don't get people who make the "I was just doing my job" excuse. I thought we collectively decided that excuse wasn't valid anymore sometime last century, at some meeting in  Nuremberg I think it was.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! YOU  godWIN!!!!!


farm6.staticflickr.com
 
2014-02-07 12:07:33 PM  

Diogenes: One thing that I recently discovered that I found quite worrisome is that Cardmember Services knows who I am.  I'm less of just a machine-dialed number.

Got the person on the line.  They asked me who they were speaking to.  I gave them a fake name and they immediately hung up.  Apparently they already know some information about me.  I found that disturbing.


I hate that one -- a stern female voice saying that "This is your final warning.!"  Then it goes on to say that this is my final warning to get a low percentage on a balance transfer or somesuch.

IAC, I don't tell people that I won't pick up, but if I don't recognize a phone number, or it's blocked, I don't pick up.  The exception is any time I get a call that could be plausibly from someone whose number I don't know who might have reason to call me, and 90% of the time it's someone trying to sell me solar panels or persistently asking if I have any work needed on my house anywhere.  They get assigned to "Ignore1" or "Ignore2," both contacts whose ring tone is silence and personal photo is a big red X.  And they continue to call, many from the same number, even though they've already talked with me once and haven't picked up in eight or nine calls over a week or so.

At this point, they've all figured out better scripts, like a typical MLM person, phrasing questions that can't possibly be answered without hanging up on them.  "We're offering you a free thing and there's absolutely no way you can refuse it without lying."  "Well, I've thought it out, and there is absolutely nothing I intend to improve on my house for the rest of eternity, and I've already got six layers of solar panels installed, and my brother in law is a contractor and is already PAYING ME to add a chimney to my house, after which he'll be building me a fireplace underneath it."
 
2014-02-07 12:08:29 PM  

EyeballKid: I'm EyeballKid, and I'm...a former telemarketer.


I used to do telemarketing too, kiddo. It's a worthless career and people deserve to be abused until they get out of it and find something better.

You have zero right to call up and harass people in their homes, even if you are "just following orders."
 
2014-02-07 12:11:56 PM  

brantgoose: They are victims


Who don't get to turn around and victimize others, full stop.
 
2014-02-07 12:43:08 PM  
A few years ago I got one of those spam travel-deal faxes. I called the number (which was answered by a nice receptionist) at least 15 times in a row, asking her how she liked having her time and phone lines tied up. She was begging me to stop and I told her that if I ever got another one I would set up the comp to tie up their phone lines (by calling every minute) for the next 2 weeks.

/Never got another spam fax
//Yeah, 'm old.
 
2014-02-07 12:46:45 PM  

mofa: I hate that one -- a stern female voice saying that "This is your final warning.!" Then it goes on to say that this is my final warning to get a low percentage on a balance transfer or somesuch.


I keep getting "This is our second *and final* attempt to reach you"

I've gotten that about 10-12 times now.
 
2014-02-07 01:13:09 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: EyeballKid: I'm EyeballKid, and I'm...a former telemarketer.

I used to do telemarketing too, kiddo. It's a worthless career and people deserve to be abused until they get out of it and find something better.

You have zero right to call up and harass people in their homes, even if you are "just following orders."


MaBell ist MaBell, nicht wahr?
 
2014-02-07 01:15:40 PM  
"Hi, would you like a free home security system?"
"I rent. I can't authorize the installation even if I wanted it."
"Oh, no problem. We'll just call you back every farking day for the next several weeks with the same offer, hoping that you've magically purchased your home in the meantime."

Seriously, you'd think they'd update their database once it was clear that they were wasting their time with someone.
 
2014-02-07 01:17:01 PM  

MythDragon: mofa: I hate that one -- a stern female voice saying that "This is your final warning.!" Then it goes on to say that this is my final warning to get a low percentage on a balance transfer or somesuch.

I keep getting "This is our second *and final* attempt to reach you"

I've gotten that about 10-12 times now.


Yeah, amazing how it's been my final opportunity for like 6 years now.

3.bp.blogspot.com

...that it's a scam.
 
2014-02-07 01:20:16 PM  

Theaetetus: "Hi, would you like a free home security system?"
"I rent. I can't authorize the installation even if I wanted it."
"Oh, no problem. We'll just call you back every farking day for the next several weeks with the same offer, hoping that you've magically purchased your home in the meantime."

Seriously, you'd think they'd update their database once it was clear that they were wasting their time with someone.


You should call the real GE.  They are really pissed about that one.

I figure if the authorities can't do anything about it, annoying the real businesses these guys are pretending to be will get something done.
 
2014-02-07 01:25:40 PM  

poe_zlaw: It should be a form of identity theft and be condidered a felony


Yes, because not enough petty crimes are felonies.


The telcos could easily put a stop to this.  It just takes some effort on their part.   They just need to require the upstream provider to not allow 'spoofing'.  All of the systems to not allow this has been in place for decades.
 
2014-02-07 01:25:44 PM  
When they call, whisper 'oh my god, they're in the house... You gotta help me...'
 
2014-02-07 02:15:13 PM  

Theaetetus: That's not even expensive - simply stop using customized Caller ID except in very rare instances (e.g. shelters, witness protection, etc.), and just use the routing field for all IDs.

So why haven't they done it? Because the phone companies get paid by people using customized IDs, and they get paid for all those phone calls from telemarketers. They have a financial incentive to keep telemarketers in business.


*MANY*  businesses use it legitimately--they assign the caller ID to the main line rather than the line they called from.

brantgoose: It's not their fault the only work going is close to minimum wage and involves pestering people to sell them crappy goods and services, hound them for donations, and sell them crappy politicians and parties.


Crappy is one thing, scams are another--and note that the guy I said belonged in jail knew the customers weren't getting what they were paying for.
 
2014-02-07 02:18:35 PM  

Dimensio: A spokesman for Attorney General Martha Coakley said caller ID spoofing is hard to prosecute because the perpetrator is often from another state or country. The Federal Trade Commission has stated that no changes to its Telemarketing Sales Rule would prevent the practice.

Could not Congress enact legislation making explicitly legal the use of deadly force against telemarketrs who engage in such behaviour?


I agree, even if they are in different countries, stiffen the penalty to public hanging.
 
2014-02-07 02:20:43 PM  
I never get telemarketer calls.

I use a prepaid cell and an Ooma VOIP device. Neither gets robo calls or anything I don't want. It's nice.

/OK, so rarely I get some dude with the wrong number asking me if I'm his "n♣gga Tyshawn".
 
2014-02-07 03:02:44 PM  

MythDragon: *whole lot of awesome*


I'll try those next time. I prefer the "I'm really busy but really I'm interested in your wares" tactic. My favorite is the babysitting one, where I pretend I'm looking after two little kids prone to getting into things. It gets progressively worse and worse, starting from "No, please don't touch my cell phone honey!!!", and by the time I get to "Timmy! NO NOT THE KNIFE DRAWER! Get away from your sister with that honey they're sharp!!! THAT HURT!" Last time that happened, it only took a few minutes of random interruptions for the guy to go "Uh, you sound really busy..." and hang up on me. You win when the telemarketers hang up on you.
 
2014-02-07 03:22:04 PM  

EyeballKid: I sold replacement insulated windows for a guy who used the name brand windows for demonstrations only and would then install the generic knockoff versions.


So you were an accomplice in fraud?
 
2014-02-07 03:33:47 PM  
The FTC needs to crack down on the "this is your last chance to participate in the financial stimulus" robocalls. Bunch of wankers.
 
2014-02-07 03:50:33 PM  
Others I've done.

Telemarketer: I'm calling from the Richmond Times Dispatch
Me: I don't want a paper.
T: But they've got sports and coupons
Me: Don't want a paper
T: Well we just have the sunday edition
M: I really don't want a newspaper
T: May I ask why
M: ....*sobbing* because I can't read!
T: I, Uh...
M: *sobbing* I've tried so hard you know? But the letters don't make sense! There's too damn many of them, and they keep changing how they go!
T: I....
M: Do you know how hard it is not being able to read? *sniff* When I go to a resturant all I can ever get is a hamburger because I don't know what else they've got.
T: Sir...
M: *sniff* I hate being not able to read, I've tried to learn but I just can't do it *sniff*
T: Maybe I should-
M: I'm not stupid! I'm not!. *small childlike voice* You don't think I'm stupid, do you?
T: No sir! I'm  sure lots of people of trouble with it.
M: Maybe...you could teach me?
T: I...uh....don't think I am qualified for that
M: Maybe I could try going back to school?
T: That sounds like a good idea...look, I....I have to go.

I had some Indian guy call from from AT&T asking about long distance (so you have to read his lines in an Indian voice)

T: Good evening sir. I am calling from AT&T. How much does your long distance cost every month?
M: About 2 cents an hour
T: Sir...2 cents an hour, Good God sir, what kind of plan are you on?
M: No plan. I Just pay two cents every hour wether I call out of State or out of Country.
T: *highly incredulous*. Sir, how is such a thing possible?
M: Well my brother is the CEO of Sprint.
T: Oh my God! *sounds like he stands up in his chair* Everybody! Everybody! I have called the Chief Executive Officer of Sprint's brother! *to me* Oh my God sir, I cannot believe I have called you. This is really amazing!
M: Yeah, I get that a lot
T: But sir, I am calling from AT&T and your brother is the CEO of Sprint! This is crazy!
M: Yeah, I am aware of the irony.
T: So....I imagine you will not be wanting to switch to AT&T?
M: Well, actualy I might. He's kind of an asshole. What do I have- Oh shiat! here he comes, I can't let him know I am talking to you *click*
 
2014-02-07 04:27:37 PM  
BTW, technically, this is incredibly easy to do.  It is also incredibly easy (yet difficult) to police.  The problem is similar to hosted platforms in the cloud.

On an VoIP transaction w/ almost any carrier you're allowed to insert your own CID onto the INVITE.  In some cases this is COMPLETELY LEGITIMATE.  For example, let's say that you're calling me at my office from your cell and I want to fwd that call out to my cell and I want the CID of YOUR PHONE to go along with it.  Perfectly legitimate and extremely useful.  Similar situation often w/ digital circuits (PRIs).

However, it all falls down even if I block such things as a carrier when people start buying chunks of CIDs and then reselling them.  So lots of mid-level groups will buy number blocks, run them over their "circuit" then resell them to others.  This has been done historically on a variety of platforms for good and evil.  So even if I get a bad call from # X, that same company has 1000 other numbers to call from.  And even if you traced it back to the "circuit" then you'd just be pointing a finger at a middle man who might have hundreds of companies utilizing it.  So blocking or punishing that organization hits lots of other companies who didn't do squat (see hosted VMs when the FBI raids to confiscate another companies data).

Plus the carriers who allow it now get to sell the legitimate feature above (which has value) which of course makes it easier for "fraud" but then they get paid more soooo they aren't in a hurry to fix it.

Personally, I always ask to call someone back who wants to sell me something.  I won't listen to the pitch if they don't give me a #.  And yes I keep them on the phone as long as possible.

I will admit that on occasion, I've been tempted to unleash a hoard of calls on someone.  Usually they come clean and I don't have to threaten that I have >1000 circuits at my disposal and that I can...with minimal effort...ruin their day, week, month, etc.

I did especially enjoy one guy tough (trying to sell me an extended Auto warranty) who kept telling me how I couldn't do anything to him and how they'd just keep calling while I kept daring him to hang up on me and that it would prove he'd lost our argument.  I would sporadically ask him small questions in the middle of it re: weather, time, supervisor, etc.  Then at the end of 25 minutes or so of back and forth I told him he should go have a beer across the street at X.  He panicked and hung up.  Funny thing is, I was just guessing based upon some social media hits I'd gathered and a couple of IP searches resuting in other companies that were hosted at the same IP Address and had addresses for their businesses vs. just vapor for his.

On a completely unrelated note, did you know that CID/circuit info is still embedded in BLOCKED calls?  It's not legal of course to unpack it unless it is an emergency...
 
2014-02-07 06:30:20 PM  

Gunny Highway: Who do you guys give your number to?


They buy them from various companies that sell lists of their customers names.

Also, some telemarketing companies use auto-dialers. Area codes and prefixes are imputted and the auto-dialer randomly generates the last 4 digits of the phone number. That's one of the reasons why businesses and unlisted numbers get telemarketing calls in addtion to the general population.

In short you can never give out your phone number and you can still get telemarketing calls.
 
2014-02-07 07:04:38 PM  
Come on NSA, finally a chance to do something useful.
 
2014-02-07 10:18:39 PM  
My mom gets a few dumbass calls a day (drastically reduced, believe it or not, since we put her back on Do-Not-Call). If it's not my number, Mrs. Phamwaa's number, or the grandkid's number, she gently lifts the handset enough to trip the button, then puts it back down.

They get really inventive with CID. Long strings beginning with a couple of letters, "Rush Limbaugh", "Mitt Romney"; the list goes on.

I thought about investing in one of those in-line whitelist devices, but she's not overly tech savvy. Besides, TWC's phone service sucks so bad that half of those calls probably get dropped before they reach her phone.

/Did I mention that TWC's phone service sucks?
//And their cable too?
 
2014-02-07 10:47:47 PM  

Theaetetus: /Last time I did the "hold on, sonny... my credit card is in the car... I'll be back in just a minute" and put the phone down. Took him five minutes to hang up.


I'd go with I'm in my jammies and my card is in my pants... wait... hang on, sonny, I'm looking for them... I knew I left them somewhere... MARTHA! Where did I leave my pants this time... the same place, you old fool...

Or variations thereof.
 
2014-02-07 10:54:36 PM  

MythDragon: I got a call from some long distance carrier switcher person.

Them: Sir, how much do you spend a month in long distance?
Me: Oh about 2-3 thousands dollars.
T: Well I got some great news- wait did you say 3 *thousand* dollars?
M: Yeah, about that.
T: Uh....sir where are you calling?
M: Oh ...China, Libia,Pakistan, North Korea, Iran, the usual.
T: This is business?
M: Yep.
T: Uh....what kind of business are you in?
M: I sell missle guidance systems.
T: Seriously?
M: Yep. They go crazy for those things.
T: Wow, I imagine they'd like to get ahold of the good tech we have.
M: Are you crazy? I don't sell them good guidance systems, that would just be stupid. Mostly it's just an old Tom-Tom that I soldered to the circuit board of a cheap remote control car. Frankly I am surpised their missles even get off the ground.
T: Arn't you afraid they will get angry and do something about it?
M: What can they do? Shoot a missle at me? Please. They'd be lucky to hit the ocean if they launched it underwater.
T: Isn't that illegal to sell that kind of stuff?
M: I dunno. Never asked.
T: Oh...okay. Well have a nice day.

Apparently he forgot why he called.

Another favorite:
T: Hi sir! I am selling coupon books. For the low price of $25 dollars you can get over $150 value in coupons that you can use at your favorite stores.
M: Not interested.
T: But you can get free pizza, free movies, free-
M: Not. Interested.
T: Why not sir?
M: I can't use them. I can't go outside.
T: Why's that?
M: I'm under house arrest.
T: uh...
M: Did you know it's actualy a crime to sexualy molest ducks in the park?
T: ...
M: I didn't know that.
T: How do you even-
M: With my penis.
T: I see. *click*


Nice.
 
2014-02-07 11:38:33 PM  
This is the weirdest Fark story ever. Oh, not the article, but apparently somewhere out there is a man who can write and submit a headline, but can't fugging read the damned article. Subby is a failure before he even started.
 
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