Demand the major telephone companies block robocalls before they get to you, and learn what you can do in the meantime to stop these maddening calls.
This from Consumers Union. They have been known to commit a bit of the nasty themselves. In this though they have (finally) brought up a point I’ve strained to get across myself.
How does call-blocking work?
The technology uses computer programs to check and block incoming phone numbers against a list of confirmed spammers, or it requires callers to confirm they are humans before giving you the choice to connect the call.
I used to do the (Telecom) software programming for many commercial companies to permit individuals and departments to change the outgoing caller-ID digits attached to their calls. They had perfectly good reasons to do so; substituting the main company number for individual internal phone extensions, Department numbers to display for callback instead of lines going to individual agents who might not be working when the client called back. Reasonable.
Substituting your mothers home number into the caller ID so you would answer the call is not reasonable. Or nice. This is the basis of “Swatting”
Here’s the point to remember and the basis of CU’s petition, the setup of any voice call requires that the company you are using to make that call must first receive and interpret the numbers you send them to correctly route the call, they attach coding that allows the call to be billed and they provide the caller ID information. In the case of Verizon and a home line, that information is going to be the name they list the phone number under and the complete phone number. No Substitutions. Spammers that use digital or VoIP service to insert the false digits into the caller ID field of the call data. In this the CU is not going after the right target, it is the miss-match between the originating caller and the Caller ID that is where the problem is. To get around CU’s petition target of blocking lists of known spammers, the spammers would jump to new numbers. It is easy (though more expensive) to buy very large blocks of numbers. Or they would steal the existing numbers of valid firms or utilities. (They are dishonest, remember?)
Now, a company like Verizon could (if they were interested in fixing the problem) easily compare the call routing, billing and Caller ID data in software and block any calls there that data didn’t match up. They could do it in software and once that “patch” was written it wouldn’t cost them a dime. Companies that have a valid reason to manipulate the Caller ID field would register those changes and could continue operating as before. Some of their vendors Telecom Engineers might get some extra work but that’s not a bad thing. (I’m not free but I’m available!)
Perhaps Verizon would like to get back some of that revenue they lost when people like me looked at the wave of bogus calls on my Caller ID and dropped the service. It might slow down the momentum of losing home/land lines.