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Perfect Phone SPAM solution

ano

Senior Member
So I'm sure like lots of you, you receive many SPAM calls per day. You name it auto warranties, window replacement, virus software, the list of scams goes on.  
 
I use Ooma which supposedly has all these filters, but they don't usually work. So I came across Jolly Rogers Phone company. You basically get a private phone number to simultaneously ring their phone when someone calls yours. They look at the phone number and if they think it's a SPAMMER, they answer the call with an AI Robot. Their goal if keep him/her on the line as long as possible. My record is about 7 minutes. And you can listen to the calls, its so funny. They even have a mobile phone app. to listen to the calls. They have about 20 robots and you can pick them or use random. Their spam detecting seems much better than Ooma. And cost, about $12/year per line. Cheap. (I have no financial interest in this company, only a customer.)
 
A few telemarketers have caught on to the calls, but most haven't.  The robots are so funny. Most are senile seniors. 
 
Here is a video from a few years back: https://www.today.com/video/jolly-roger-bots-this-invention-is-fighting-off-telemarketers-1343532099654
 

sic0048

Senior Member
We've switched to running a PBX phone system in our house.  That seems extreme, but it is actually pretty handy. 
 
First, the software is free (I use FreePBX, but there are some other options out there).
Second, I pay about $30/yr for unlimited US calling (incoming and outgoing) including e-911 service. Basically I pay for e911 service (works out to $2.50/mo) and the calling is free. (911 service is why we have kept our "landline" phone all these years).
Third, we don't answer the home phone - ever.  People are sent to a voice mail system where they have to press a number for the individual they want to leave a message for (1 for me, 2 for wife, etc). I have never had a telemarketer leave a message having the system set up like this.
Fourth, we actually use the "intercom" functionality of the phone system all the time.  This allows instant "two way" intercoms by connecting to the destination(s) speaker phone.  My parents have an old analog intercom system where you have to press the button on the box to reply which is super annoying.  With this, we can call the kids to dinner and they can simply say "OK" without having to get up from where they are.  Of course they never want to respond, but that is a different story (typical teenagers). A typical scenario plays out like this: "Me:  "Dinner",  Kids: "..................."  Me: "Hello?"   Kids: "......................."  Me: " I can hear you breathing you know."  Kids:."................................... O......K.........".
 
The PBX system has a functionality called "Lenny" which is probably that the Jolly Rogers Phone Company is actually using.  You can have the system forward these calls to the "Lenny" extension where the system picks up the call and optionally records it.  The system plays a fixed recording to the caller, but it is designed to try to keep the caller on the line as long as possible.  "What's that, I can barely hear you", etc, etc, etc.  While I've never turned this functionality on in my system, it is just a free addon that is simple to set up.
 
So long story short, you could set this up yourself if you wanted to.
 

tonyquart

New Member
ano said:
So I'm sure like lots of you, you receive many SPAM calls per day. You name it auto warranties, window replacement, virus software, the list of scams goes on.  
 
I use Ooma which supposedly has all these filters, but they don't usually work. So I came across Jolly Rogers Phone company. You basically get a private phone number to simultaneously ring their phone when someone calls yours. They look at the phone number and if they think it's a SPAMMER, they answer the call with an AI Robot. Their goal if keep him/her on the line as long as possible. My record is about 7 minutes. And you can listen to the calls, its so funny. They even have a mobile phone app. to listen to the calls. They have about 20 robots and you can pick them or use random. Their spam detecting seems much better than Ooma. And cost, about $12/year per line. Cheap. (I have no financial interest in this company, only a customer.)
 
A few telemarketers have caught on to the calls, but most haven't.  The robots are so funny. Most are senile seniors. 
 
Here is a video from a few years back: https://www.today.com/video/jolly-roger-bots-this-invention-is-fighting-off-telemarketers-1343532099654
Thanks! I think this might be a good option for me to deal with these scammers and illegal telemarketers. Until now, I always ignore any calls if I'm not familiar with the numbers. Sometimes I look up the numbers on some complaint boards like http://phonebook.ai and block them if I see people have reported those numbers as scam. I will try this app right away.
 

pete_c

Guru
Here for many years have been using a Way2Call (X2) box for two lines.  If the call is on the block list it doesn't ring the phones or if the CID is unknown or blocked on the other end it doesn't ring the phones.  I can also dial out with the two Way2Call boxes with any CID I choose (not legal but all these spammers do that).
 
I have switched two copper lines over to 2 VOIP lines here and one number has been the same now for over 20 years.  The Homeseer software passes the call with an announcement or blocks the call with an operator / tone telling the caller the line is disconnected. For known CID callers here change the incoming CID.  Well this is similiar to what the 2-Line Panasonic phones do.
 
Using Ooma and a Polycom Obihai OBi202 2-Port GV number box.  Wired to another line is a CPE with a T-Mobile SIM card that is used as a failover phone line and internet connection.  The Ooma / Obi lines are free.  The CPE is one of 5 SIM cards.  I do keep my cell phone off and have it configured not to take messages and to say the line is disconnected if some one calls it when it is off.  (The cell phone is off when in the house).
 

ano

Senior Member
I think the biggest mistake people make is assuming a block list works. It doesn't.  I have close to 330 "block" numbers on my list, and maybe 1/3 of new numbers are on the block list, 2/3 aren't and are new. It's a loosing battle, especially since the phone system is such a poor design that anyone can spoof any number. Maybe some day they will fix that, but it's not fixed presently. A white list works, but of course you miss new people, but once they add a message, I add them to the list, pretty easy.

The bad part is, not answering the calls doesn't work because they use autodialers and don't care how many people they dial. If less people answer their phone, they just dial 5X as many. It must work because they still do it. We are just a side effect of the process. So the answer is have the phone answered and waste as much of their time possible.
 
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