A way to block spoofed spam callers -- Feature request

Fusion Voice service, features and help.
11 posts Page 1 of 2
by allene » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:54 am
Feature request.

Lately we get robo calls that spoof local numbers. Every time "Dave" calls, he uses a different number. Our area code, our exchange, then four random digits. Some are real businesses but not air duct cleaners. Once I checked the number and it was the local dry cleaner. NoMoRobo is not stopping them and of course it can't.

My suggestion is to add a service to screen out these calls. I request something like the following.
There would be three classes of calls.
1) White list and public service numbers such as hospitals, police, schools, just rings
2) Black list, hangs up
3) All others are greeted with a recorded message: "Please enter the extension of the person you wish to talk to or stay on the line to leave a message". Or "For Allen press 203, for Gayle press 507, to leave a message press 0". The message is recorded by the subscriber and can be anything. The subscriber also supplies Sonic a list of numbers, like the 203 and 507 in the example above that if entered make the phone ring. Any other entry goes to voicemail.

An added feature could be that each number can be associated with a different email address so that the voice mail message can be emailed to a different person depending on who the caller wants to talk to.

This would be a very valuable service for Sonic to provide and should completely eliminate the new and increasingly annoying robocalls.
by ankh » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:01 pm
I wish for this or something that works the same way.
I don't know anyone with a phone number identical to the first 6 digits of mine.

In other news, "ringless voicemail" is a new problem:

https://www.manatt.com/Insights/Newslet ... cision-Sid

RVMs are a relatively new technology, typically seen in the debt collection context, whereby messages are sent directly to the consumer’s voicemail, with the intention that the consumer’s phone does not ring (though sometimes it may). The technology generally works by sending a signal to “busy” the phone line, which causes the message to be routed directly to the voicemail server, which is generally separate from the telephone line. Companies that sell and utilize the technology have argued that RVMs are not “calls” pursuant to the TCPA because the message is sent directly to the voicemail server, as opposed to the phone line. Voicemail servers are not “common carrier” services, but “enhanced information services,” which are exempt from the TCPA. Opponents argue that RVMs are just as invasive as phone calls, not functionally different from a text message, and cost the consumer the same time and money to access as regular phone calls. Until Judge Quist, no federal or state judge had weighed in on the controversy, at least not in a published opinion, though there have been other TCPA cases involving this technology.
by virtualmike » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:04 pm
ankh wrote:
In other news, "ringless voicemail" is a new problem:

Actually, RVM complaints started in 2014.
by awhitzeman » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:50 pm
I've seen this too, where spammers seem to be calling from a number the same as mine except for the last four digits. It happens all the time now. One guy called me three times on the same day, each time with number similar to mine but with the last four digits randomized.

I notice that when these calls come, they are marked as non-local calls on the "Voice Usage" page, so it's pretty clear that these are long-distance calls masquerading as local calls. It seems to me that Sonic has all the information it needs to block these calls, so why not add a way for users to block them?

My suggestion would be to add another checkbox to the "Voice Options" page that says something like "Block non-local calls masquerading as local calls." If the call is long distance but the caller's number is local, the call would be blocked.

I would certainly take advantage of a feature like this if it were offered.
by wresnick » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:40 am
I've seen this too. One of the first times it happened, the caller ID and number were for a place that makes stone counter tops. The problem is that it's a legitimate business, I've done business with them, and I did business with them after the spoofed call happened. At the time it happened, I hadn't dealt with them in years, so it was surprising to get a call apparently from them, but simply blocking based on NPA-NXX won't do it for me, since there are a handful that are legitimate. I might be able to white list them if they are legitimate, if such a means existed. But I'd want them to go to voice mail. Almost 100% of spoofed calls that go there don't result in voice mail.

A good general solution to this problem will do little since it would merely get them to switch tactics. What we really need is for the government to treat this as identity theft and lock people up. Fines don't help, but I think that people would me more hesitant to take these jobs if they found out that doing so could land them in jail.
by bradusr » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:19 am
I'm also receiving spoofed calls using the same area code and prefix as my number, but also numerous spoofed calls using different area codes but all ending in -1476. There does not seem to be any way to block such robocalls, both because the numbers would be blocked for all users (potentially blocking legitimate calls) but also because the robocallers are using technology that hijacks these numbers, so that the originating number (which may even be in a foreign country) is masked.

Clearly this is a national problem and it is incumbent upon the major telecom providers to develop a solution (which we need to agitate for), but in the meantime, it would be helpful if there were a way to segregate long distance calls appearing as local calls (as suggested by awhitzeman below), which could then be treated similar to "graymail". What would really also help is to provide greater granularity such that individual users could block all calls coming through using the same area code and prefix. The Nomorobo people need to get on this!
by wresnick » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:56 pm
All I can do with those is not answer. Or I can pick up the phone and hang up immediately.
by ankh » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:56 am
wresnick wrote:
All I can do with those is not answer. Or I can pick up the phone and hang up immediately.

Fortunately our landline/wireless phone handsets (ATnT) allow us to mute the ring. It's the red "Off/Cancel" button.

I don't want to pick up even to hang up as that validates our number as one that reaches someone, so the jerks can resell it as good to other phone parasites.
by ankh » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:06 am
Arrrrrgh. Hat tip to Soylent.
Sonic staff please read footnote [6] re this:

... the attorneys general wrote. The FCC should encourage all service providers "to aggressively implement" the STIR (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN (Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) [6]protocols

STIR (Secure Telephony Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN (Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) are the frameworks that promise to prevent the completion of illegally spoofed calls.


Robocallers "Evolved" to Sidestep New Call Blocking Rules, 35 State AGs Tell FCC |
| from the No,-I-do-NOT-want-to-hear-you-now! dept. |
| posted by Fnord666 on Thursday October 11, @10:22 (Business) |
| https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=18/10/11/0347213 |

[0]martyb writes:

[1]Robocallers "evolved" to sidestep new call blocking rules, AGs tell FCC:

The Federal Communications Commission should let phone companies get more aggressive in blocking robocalls, 35 state attorneys general told the commission yesterday.

The FCC last year [2]authorized voice service providers to block more types of calls in which the Caller ID has been spoofed or in which the number on the Caller ID is invalid. But the FCC did not go far enough, and robocallers have "evolved" to evade the new rules, the 35 attorneys general wrote in an [3]FCC filing:

One specific method which has evolved recently is a form of illegal spoofing called "[4]neighbor spoofing." A neighbor-spoofed call will commonly appear on a consumer's caller ID with the same area code and local exchange as the consumer to increase the likelihood he/she will answer the call. In addition, consumers have recently [5]reported receiving calls where their own phone numbers appeared on their caller ID. A consumer who answered one such call reported the caller attempted to trick her by saying he was with the phone company and required personal information to verify the account, claiming it had been hacked.

The attorneys general said they "encourage the FCC to adopt rules authorizing providers to block these and other kinds of illegally spoofed calls."

The industry can also make progress simply by using existing frameworks to authenticate legitimate calls and identify illegally spoofed calls, , they wrote.

Discuss this story at:
https://soylentnews.org/comments.pl?sid ... 11/0347213

0. https://soylentnews.org/~martyb/
1. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/201 ... -tell-fcc/
2. https://arstechnica.com/information-tec ... you-extra/
3. https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/1008308062 ... %20AGs.pdf
4. https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/sp ... -caller-id
5. https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2018/ ... ber-calls/
6. https://transnexus.com/whitepapers/stir ... -overview/
by nhbriggs » Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:41 pm
In SJ Mercury News Robocalls it's reported that AT&T and T-Mobile have been testing SHAKEN/STIR and are on track to launch it next year. I hope that Sonic is planning to deploy SHAKEN/STIR as soon as possible also.
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