Discuss: Drop in Robocalls

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May 6, 2020 at 05:02:59
Specs: Windows 10, 1.4 GHz / 5610 MB
Hi all,

This week's poll question is about news that robocall volume is down almost half due to the coronavirus outbreak and lock-downs. Discuss here if you have gotten a reprieve from the calls lately, and, if you like, the poll results themselves.

Thanks,
Justin


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#1
May 6, 2020 at 11:39:16
Hey Justin,

Thanks for bringing this up! I do feel happy that I don’t receive any of those annoying and long Robocalls, which has dropped drastically due to CoVID-19. In certain ways I feel satisfied that I don’t get disturbed, but at times, I feel lonely since I am used to receiving those calls on a regular basis. I kind of miss the Robot actually, LOL!

This is kind of a mixed feeling that I have on this front. You might have a different opinion! Talking of the poll results, I’d like to know what everyone thinks about this issue as well.


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#2
May 6, 2020 at 14:29:14
I had sort-of noticed the drop in the number of calls.
It looks like I've only got six calls since mid-March.
A whole bunch just before mid-March.

Why would they drop off? Do the callers actually work
in offices? I would think each person in a scam operation
would be on his own. If they are able to work as a team,
they should be able to do so as a legitimte business.
Does illegal fraud pay better than legal business fraud?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#3
May 6, 2020 at 18:10:42
I haven't noticed. But then it's even hard for legitimate callers to hear my voice. My cell is off most the time and the ringer is off on the landline phone. Exquisite silence!

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#4
May 6, 2020 at 21:46:19
I think I asked this question before, and I think I got an
answer, but I don't recall where I asked, who answered,
or what the answer was...

When one of these robocalls comes in, the phone rings,
the caller ID displays, I read it while the phone rings again,
the "answering machine" part of the phone answers (and
presumeably the outgoing message starts playing, but I
never hear that), and then the caller hangs up.

On the increasingly rare occassion that I pick up the phone
(maybe I'm expecting a call and either don't recognize the
caller ID or don't wait for it to display), the robocaller has
hung up right after I answer.

So, what do they get out of these calls? Was there just no
human caller available at that moment to harrass me, so the
machine hung up and went on to the next number? Or what?
Do the machines get a kick out of calling and then hanging
up as soon as someone (or another machine) answers?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#5
May 7, 2020 at 01:06:15
Seems like it's only an issue in the USA? nothing in the netherlands, never had one of them calls either.
i do get the occasional mobile profider, but they tend to not call back if you tell them you got the subscription in this and that way for a reason.

specs: https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserR...


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#6
May 8, 2020 at 08:49:51
Well, I am glad to hear that some of you are getting less robocalls. I had three on by cell phone already today and it isn't even noon.

Forgot to mention the two calls for extended car warranty on my land line. Also this morning.

message edited by OtheHill


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#7
May 8, 2020 at 12:37:41
OtheHill,

Your time zone suggests that you are in the eastern
USA (though it could be western South America...)
Aren't you on the "Do Not Call" list? It works well
for me. Soon after I registered, years ago, sales calls
stopped completely. I'm sure it didn't reduce the scam
calls, but legitimate businesses have respected the
Do Not Call list very well in my experience.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#8
May 8, 2020 at 13:22:40
Jeff, All my phones have been listed on the do not call list for so long I had to renew the listing. That list is a joke. If I ask someone why they are calling me when I am on the do not call list, they just hang up. I have on three separate occasions submitted complaints to the proper authorities with no acknowledgement. BTW, I am in Michigan.

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#9
May 10, 2020 at 05:30:38
Jeff,

I believe the hang-up calls are from companies that sell lists to other companies. They are verifying the number so that it is worth more when they sell the list.

Let's say I own a company that installs windows and I want to make cold calls. I want a list of all *homeowners* in a particular zip code so I don't waste time calling apartment dwellers. So I pay someone to scrub the list so all I get are homeowner's numbers. That's a legit service.

Then there are those companies that set up computers to dial, dial, dial. If the computer hears a live voice, that number goes on a list of numbers that have a greater possibility of being answered. Numbers that go to voicemail go on a different list, numbers that just ring are scrapped. Verified lists are worth more to companies that actually have call centers with live people calling, legit or otherwise.

The company that sells the "homeowners" list might buy a verified list from the company that verifies numbers then scrub the lists that they sell so they can charge more by labeling the lists as "verified".

message edited by DerbyDad03


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#10
May 10, 2020 at 16:21:44
I hadn't heard or thought of that one.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#11
May 10, 2020 at 18:18:22
Of course, I could be wrong. ;-)

message edited by DerbyDad03


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#12
May 10, 2020 at 23:03:13
If somebody can think of it, somebody will do it.

I doubt it accounts for many of calls I've got, but it might.

Oooh! I just thought of one specific caller that I must have got
at least a dozen calls from: "RNC". As in "Republican National
Committee"? Or pretending to be? Over and over I got calls
where the caller ID said "RNC", and I listened to hear anyone
or any machine at the other end say anything to my machine.
Never. Not once. If I heard a message saying it was an opinion
poll or the like, I'd have picked up in a millisecond. Whether it
really was somebody from the Republican party or just a scam,
I'd have liked to have a conversation with them. On the other
hand, I know there are (or have in the recent past been) scams
involving long distance charges, where the mark pays for a call
to Bimini or Mumbai or someplace, not knowing until he sees
the charge on his phone bill.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#13
May 11, 2020 at 05:12:28
Jeff

Robocalls wait to hear someone on the other end speak first. Most of those calls are automated. If you are interested then you may be transferred to a live person. The major exception to that rule, in my experience, are the calls for health insurance. Some of these automated calls are so good that you think you have a live person on the phone.


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#14
May 11, 2020 at 06:59:00
Are the "robocalls" that this page originally referred to
implied to be by legitimate businesses? Being on the
"Do Not Call" list, it has been so long since the last time
I got such a call that I don't remember which decade or
even which millenium it was in. Long time.

I get lots of robocalls, but they are all scams. The most
common one is for a free medical brace. The mark says
"yes" to receive one, and the scammers send him some
thing that might have cost $5 to make in Bangladesh, and
send Medicare or his insurance company a bill for maybe
$199.99. I got lots of those calls last year.

So the robocalls you are referring to wait for a live human
to answer. They only want to make sales pitches to people
who don't have a job (otherwise why are they home?) and
can't afford caller ID or an answering machine. Huh.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#15
May 11, 2020 at 08:17:44
They only want to make sales pitches to people who don't have a job (otherwise why are they home?)

A lot of them prey on the elderly.
My mother-in-law gets at least 3 or 4 calls every day.
She has finally learned to wait till someone identifies themselves on the answering machine before she will pick up.
Call ID is nice, but I have gotten several phone calls with spoofed caller ID where the phone number was mine.

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#16
May 11, 2020 at 09:24:14
Switching the discussion from Caller ID to Voice Mail Greeting, does your home and/or cell phone voicemail greeting identify you by name?

I made mine generic in both cases as the number of spam calls (especially to my cell phone) increased.

Going back to what I said in #9, if some of the calls are indeed what I call "verification calls", I don't want them to hear my name and have it associated with my number. Why make their life easier/more profitable?

Short and simple:

"Hi! We're not available to take your call right now. Please leave a message."

(My home phone is only to have a number to use when a number is required to purchase something or register for a site or for people who I don't want to call my cell or even worse, share/sell my cell phone number. I also have fake names and email addresses that I use for those times that I don't want to hand out my real information. It keeps the spam separate from the important stuff.)

message edited by DerbyDad03


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#17
May 11, 2020 at 21:47:54
DerbyDad03 inquired:

> Switching the discussion from Caller ID to Voice Mail
> Greeting, does your home and/or cell phone voicemail
> greeting identify you by name?

If you were addressing me (or even if not)...

I inherited the phone and telephone number I am currently
using. I recorded outgoing messages on my previous phones
and answering machines, but the one I'm using now just had
the default outgoing message, and for reasons completely
unknown to me, I never changed it. I need to listen to it again.
I think it is insipid to the point that I forget what it says.

Might be word-for-word the same as yours. It's in an electronic-
sounding voice. Do you have an electronic-sounding voice?

I have a cell phone, but it hasn't been activated yet. That's why
I was asking about the relationship between TPC and ISP in
another thread. So I can figure out whether I have any options.
I couldn't tell whether the replies there answered my questions
or not.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#18
May 12, 2020 at 17:06:53
My question was for the collective.

I'm interested about how others (including you) feel about personal vs. generic voicemail greetings.


message edited by DerbyDad03


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