The FCC just changed the Robo-call rules

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
30,303
Also, apparently, the Federal "Do Not Call" list and sanctions against illegal callers have been a complete bust. We also get a lot of paper junk bulk mailings and my email account is daily about half spam and scam mail. I highly recommend NEVER responding to any Facebook advertisements as most are scams.
I don't know that I can say that they are a complete bust. Back before they came in, it was far more out of hand. I was getting upwards of twenty spam calls a night on average and some nights it was over fifty. Then Colorado No Call came in (several months ahead of the Federal No Call list) and that dropped almost immediately to a handful of calls a week. It dropped even further when the federal program came in. The problem was that both programs made big promises about the penalties that spammers would face, but never actually did much in the way of pursuing them and enforcing them, so over time, the spammers realized that they were paper tigers and, now, largely ignore it. But legitimate telemarketers generally do honor it. I get almost no calls for well-established businesses, whereas before that was a significant fraction of the calls. So, without these lists, the situation would be even worse.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,723
Hello again,

Yes, I believe some progress has been made, and with this new set of rules it should help at least a little. Then as time goes on, the FCC may get even more feisty about it so over time it may be nearly eliminated ... hopefully.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,723
Also, apparently, the Federal "Do Not Call" list and sanctions against illegal callers have been a complete bust. We also get a lot of paper junk bulk mailings and my email account is daily about half spam and scam mail. I highly recommend NEVER responding to any Facebook advertisements as most are scams.
Oh yes I forgot to mention my email spam too.
I have a spam folder that gets an enormous number of emails every day. Even that is just the tip of the iceberg here. About 90 percent or more of my emails are spam, no kidding, so it takes me a while to go through the daily stuff.
This is partly because I was very active politically, so I get a lot of politically based emails also, which I do not have to read most of the time because I already know what is being discussed and the different points of view.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,723
This problem needs to be addressed at the infrastructure level. There is little more useful from the user side than the already mentioned call interception and interaction idea that has already been mentioned several times.

I love having my own VoIP phone system. It is like being the phone company. I can decide how to route calls, and use automated attendant to control access, and to have as many phone numbers from as many places as I want.

Because the PSTN and phone stuff has been a nearly lifelong interest, I even have an 800 number (really, just because I can, since today long distance isn’t even a thing, and international calling is going that way. But, back in the day… So, an 800 number is a fun nostalgic thing).
Hi again,

What do you mean you can have as many phone numbers as you want? You can make up your own phone numbers?
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,265
Hi again,

What do you mean you can have as many phone numbers as you want? You can make up your own phone numbers?
No, there is a pool of numbers, called “DID”s. DID stands for Direct Inward Dialing. These are the phone numbers that can be assigned as “addresses” on the PSTN to reach a particular terminating switch—in this case my VoIP provider.

I pay about $1.00 a month for each address I want to maintain. For that, I get to configure the VoIP provider‘s switch to route the call where I want. This includes sending them to my own VoIP enabled premises switch, a stand alone VoIP telephone set, a stand alone ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) which has an FXO (Foreign Exchange Office) and one or more FXS (Foreign Exchange Subscriber Ports).

The FXO port is an Ethernet port for connection over the Internet to the VoiP provider. The FXS port(s) are RJ-11 ports that appear to be POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines to ordinary analog phone sets. The POTS phones interact with the VoIP system in the way that old Centrex systems did. Through the switchhook and DTMF signaling (with calls to special numbers, for example to get voicemail, and special ”star codes“ (e.g.: *69, etc.) to invoke features like DND, call forwarding, and the like.

I can also forward the numbers to soft-phones running on computers or smart phones. I can also forward to other DIDs on the network (that is, any phone number) though I will pay for the airtime. However, that is a fraction of a cent per minute in 6 second increments.

There are also a bunch of tools at the VoIP provider to let me manage the calls beyond a one-to-one relationship. For example simultaneous ringing of more than one phone, or forwarding; building IVR (Interactive Voice Reponse, ”automated attendant”) trees to allow for all sorts of self-service call routing, voicemail, and more.

So, you have to purchase DIDs, but depending on where you are buying them they can be as low as $1.00 a month in single quantities. Some sources charge a ”setup fee” but that’s a bit outdated. Once you own that DID, it’s yours until you dump it or stop paying. You can port it out from the current provider to… whatever—even a mobile phone, and you can port in landline or mobile numbers to the VoIP provider at the same rate as buying them.

That’s how it works. I find it very satisfying to be ”my own phone company”. If I wanted to take it further, my provider offers white box reselling—I could set up a phone company and sell services to others with a portal and highly configurable access to configuration for the customers. They provide an interface to set rates, add numbers, and a branded portal for the customer activities. They even offer billing management.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,723
No, there is a pool of numbers, called “DID”s. DID stands for Direct Inward Dialing. These are the phone numbers that can be assigned as “addresses” on the PSTN to reach a particular terminating switch—in this case my VoIP provider.

I pay about $1.00 a month for each address I want to maintain. For that, I get to configure the VoIP provider‘s switch to route the call where I want. This includes sending them to my own VoIP enabled premises switch, a stand alone VoIP telephone set, a stand alone ATA (Analog Telephone Adapter) which has an FXO (Foreign Exchange Office) and one or more FXS (Foreign Exchange Subscriber Ports).

The FXO port is an Ethernet port for connection over the Internet to the VoiP provider. The FXS port(s) are RJ-11 ports that appear to be POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines to ordinary analog phone sets. The POTS phones interact with the VoIP system in the way that old Centrex systems did. Through the switchhook and DTMF signaling (with calls to special numbers, for example to get voicemail, and special ”star codes“ (e.g.: *69, etc.) to invoke features like DND, call forwarding, and the like.

I can also forward the numbers to soft-phones running on computers or smart phones. I can also forward to other DIDs on the network (that is, any phone number) though I will pay for the airtime. However, that is a fraction of a cent per minute in 6 second increments.

There are also a bunch of tools at the VoIP provider to let me manage the calls beyond a one-to-one relationship. For example simultaneous ringing of more than one phone, or forwarding; building IVR (Interactive Voice Reponse, ”automated attendant”) trees to allow for all sorts of self-service call routing, voicemail, and more.

So, you have to purchase DIDs, but depending on where you are buying them they can be as low as $1.00 a month in single quantities. Some sources charge a ”setup fee” but that’s a bit outdated. Once you own that DID, it’s yours until you dump it or stop paying. You can port it out from the current provider to… whatever—even a mobile phone, and you can port in landline or mobile numbers to the VoIP provider at the same rate as buying them.

That’s how it works. I find it very satisfying to be ”my own phone company”. If I wanted to take it further, my provider offers white box reselling—I could set up a phone company and sell services to others with a portal and highly configurable access to configuration for the customers. They provide an interface to set rates, add numbers, and a branded portal for the customer activities. They even offer billing management.
Hi,

That sounds very interesting.
So if you wanted to ask for that kind of service from your provider what would you ask for when you called them?
 

joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
5,410
I don't know the degree to which I buy this. From the FCC's website:

"Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Scammers often use neighbor spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is coming from a local number, or spoof a number from a company or a government agency that you may already know and trust."

Neighbor spoofing is spoofing the call recipient's area code and prefix. There are upwards of one million such combinations, so it seems a bit unlikely that they are going to buy DIDs in every such combination.

I know the FCC is trying to make it harder to spoof IDs, but there are legitimate uses for being able to use IDs other than the one the phone was registered to, such as resellers. Plus, international billing makes it almost impossible to trace back a call to a particular account of the sender -- phone providers in one country essentially pay a single aggregated bill to providers in another country.

The only way I can think of to get a handle on it, given the current billing landscape, would be to have some special key combination (star-something) that a recipient can use when they get a spam call. Those get tabulated and, if above a certain threshold, a nuisance surcharge is placed on the country from which the calls originated. If the surcharge gets high enough, the providers in those countries will become motivated to clamp down on the spammers operating out of their country.
I run my own phone system (FreePBX) on a couple of SIP trunks. I can set the CID of my outgoing calls to anything I want.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,723
I run my own phone system (FreePBX) on a couple of SIP trunks. I can set the CID of my outgoing calls to anything I want.
OH, so that was YOU that called here yesterday with one of your robomatic calling CID's :)
Sorry I am not interested in buying any light bulbs, insurance, or car warrantee extensions, and I do not know if one of my neighbors owes money to your collection agency :)

I actually had a collection agency call me asking information about one of my neighbors, and they kept calling even after I answered and told them. I had to threaten with legal action.
 
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