Author Topic: Indian phone scammers  (Read 5560 times)

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Offline MrMobodies

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Indian phone scammers
« on: November 05, 2018, 04:57:50 pm »
I get these calls sometimes everyday and it is always a different Indian sounding voice claiming to be from my ISP.
They think it is residential but they are business lines.
Typical claims of all sorts that there is something wrong.

When I ask or say like the following:
"Fair enough, if you know everything about me what is my name?"
"Okay, if there is something wrong with my broadband connection what is my IP address?"
"I don't see any problem on the logs, the lines are all up, no disconnections as of late, no delays, the ping is fine."
"Look, what's the problem?"
"Can you please turn that background noise down I can't hear you properly?" Sarcasm

They just hang up.

I had to block withheld numbers for the ones that were hiding behind it but they hide behind many others.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2018, 05:09:46 pm by MrMobodies »
 

Offline Raj

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2018, 05:09:33 pm »
just call them 'kutta'.they'll never call you again
 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 06:35:45 pm »
Can't do that.

They can have me arrested on some hate crime.
 

Online eugenenine

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2018, 10:54:38 pm »
I've gotten those calls a couple times.

"Hello, I've with tech support and your computer is having a problem"

"Thats funny, I'm from tech support too and your computer is having a problem"

I went back and forth with one of them from "Microsoft" for a good 10 minutes and had my kids ROFL.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2018, 10:56:27 pm »
Got a call yesterday that made me laugh...

The "number calling" was 00059047790 and my first thought was if I tried calling back, I'd probably get Emergency Services.  (000 is the Australian equivalent of America's 911)

I let it ring out, so I don't know what I missed out on.
 

Offline GeoffreyF

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2018, 02:23:18 am »
I tell them that I am with Pentagon Cyber Security and we already have a SEAL team on their way to them.  The guy snorts. I say, please stay on the line I want to hear you scream.
US Amateur Extra W1GCF.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2018, 02:38:25 am »
I tell them that I am with Pentagon Cyber Security and we already have a SEAL team on their way to them.  The guy snorts. I say, please stay on the line I want to hear you scream.
Maybe that story needs a little polish.
 

Online Gyro

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2018, 12:41:45 pm »
The last few I've received have been a synthesized voice claiming to be from my (unspecified) ISP. Presumably, if I let the message actually get to the end, it would ask me to push a button to speak to a scammer.

The call center must be downsizing their scamming staff!  >:D
Chris

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Offline rrinker

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2018, 06:05:26 pm »
The last few I've received have been a synthesized voice claiming to be from my (unspecified) ISP. Presumably, if I let the message actually get to the end, it would ask me to push a button to speak to a scammer.

The call center must be downsizing their scamming staff!  >:D

Fewer people falling for it, revenue is down, got to cut staff to maintain profit!
 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2018, 06:17:59 pm »
just call them 'kutta'.they'll never call you again

You can look up entire lists of Hindi swears to throw at them, some of which are quite creative and dastardly. >:D
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Offline MK14

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2018, 06:35:23 pm »
Raspberry PI 3 + some programming and then using VIOP, can phone them back (for free I think), at up to twenty calls, at the same time.

See it done here:

 

Offline Wilksey

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2018, 06:36:21 pm »
Got to give them points for persistence!

Bloody annoying, luckily they phone the house phone which has some shitty answer message and half the time it cuts them off.
 

Offline CJay

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2018, 06:49:05 pm »
I'm wonderng if you could patch two together and have them fight it out...
M0UAW
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2018, 06:53:40 pm »
I have once received a call from Federal Bureau of Investigating :horse:.
I then Googled the company and the phone, and it turned out to be a private detective company.
 

Offline MK14

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2018, 07:10:52 pm »
You can get "Lenny", software for the Raspberry PI. Which automatically answers the calls, and pretends to be a human (an old man's voice). It can be really funny to listen to.

Example call:

 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2018, 07:45:44 pm »
I'm wonderng if you could patch two together and have them fight it out...

Easy, use skype. Loads of people do it, it either results in chatting or Hindi swear wars, especially if you get a whole bunch of them.
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Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2018, 11:38:47 am »
I prefer a handset.
I can get one of those bridges for them.

You can get "Lenny", software for the Raspberry PI. Which automatically answers the calls, and pretends to be a human (an old man's voice). It can be really funny to listen to.

Example call:



I like that video. It sounds to me like John Cleese drunk.

I'll look at getting one and see how I'll set that up.
 

Offline Domagoj T

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2018, 09:29:58 pm »
I don't think I've ever received a phone call with an equivalent of an IRS, tech support or a comparable scam. The worst I've ever got were offers for a free dinner (usually for two). And, from what I've heard, it's not exactly a scam either, they sometimes even give you something to eat, but only after they force you to sit through a couple of hours of presentations for ridiculously overpriced silverware, mattresses, makeup,... It's certainly immoral and predatory, but not an outright scam.
And even those calls were not on my home landline, but workplace.
The only person that calls my home landline is my aunt, and not when she wants to talk to me, so I usually don't even bother answering the phone. :-//

Reading about your problems, I get the a feeling of being very lucky, but then again I don't hear other people around me complaining about those types of scams. Maybe it just doesn't happen over here.
 

Offline jhalar

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2018, 11:38:34 pm »
I had calls last night from a scammer with the same number, spoke on the first call, didn't speak on the next 3.  They said that they were from the "Telstra technical department". They asked to speak to a person that uses the Internet. I said that all members of my family use the internet, who do you want?

That shut him up, he didn't have anything in his script for that question.


 

Offline Circlotron

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2018, 12:56:26 am »
Seeing that they "know" that it is *my* computer that is sending out malware, I ask them what is my IP address. They say they can't tell me for privacy and security reasons.  :palm:
 

Offline MK14

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2018, 01:18:21 am »
I like that video. It sounds to me like John Cleese drunk.

I'll look at getting one and see how I'll set that up.

I don't know how to do it either. But found the "Lenny" thing, some time ago, when I also had a number of "SPAM" phone calls. So I searched the internet for solutions.

These following videos, seems to give clues about how to do it:



 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2018, 02:34:45 am »
Does this thing have an API? I would want to leave it running but have some interface that could do things during calls like have some LEDs flash or nixies count calls.
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Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2018, 02:45:06 am »
I usually just hang up, but sometimes decide to play with them for a while. 

"Windows?  My computer has windows?  OMG.  Where can I get blinds? I hate Windows without blinds!"

or "My grand-daughter does all the maintenance on my computer, and she is busy having her diaper changed.  Can you call back sometime after her nap time?"

or whatever strikes my fancy at the time.  Many of these guys don't have English as their primary language and something this far off script often throws them for a loop.  But you do occasionally run into one who realizes they are being counter-scammed.  I have been creatively cussed out for wasting their time!
 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2018, 03:00:50 am »
Yes, the last call I got was from a lady Indian this time "my pc".

Hello my name is Ryashc (I can't spell it.)
"We are getting alerts from your PC it has virus."
Me: "What?"
"PC with virus not good for broadband connection"

Me: "Can you turn the background sound down I can't hear you?"

Quickly hangs up.
 

Offline BradC

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2018, 03:30:47 am »
I have been creatively cussed out for wasting their time!

A couple of times now I've played along and done the "trap them in a VM" thing. I've managed to stretch it out to nearly an hour once (I had some time to waste).

Easy enough to do if you can spin up a windows VM quickly and it does give a good insight into what these creeps get up to. I can easily see how they trap the vulnerable or gullible into letting them in remotely and then watching while they "demonstrate" how the virus has locked up the machine and encrypted all their files. I even got as far as wanting to pay for the decryption but they kept stumbling at the fact an "old pensioner" doesn't have a credit card and does all banking over the counter at the local branch. They called back 7 times over 3 days trying to get me to pay up even *after* I'd made it clear it was a hoax on my part.

They did teach me some new swear words however when I asked one of them how proud his mother would be to know she'd raised a criminal. I figure the more time I tie them up, the less time they're preying on someone else, although I do realise they are not short of manpower.

In the end the other telemarketer calls were doing my head in, so I unplugged the home phone a couple of months ago and we now rely on our mobiles. Life has been much quieter without charity muggers, telemarketers and Indian scammers (that's probably racist as I don't really know if they are Indian or Pakistani).
 

Offline MK14

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2018, 04:11:58 am »
Does this thing have an API? I would want to leave it running but have some interface that could do things during calls like have some LEDs flash or nixies count calls.

I'm not sure, I don't know much about it.

But from watching the videos, I put into my post above this one. It does seem to have functionality along those lines.

I already have at least one Raspberry PI, and the exercise of installing "it", seems to be fun and educational, so I'm tempted.

But it seems to need other hardware, to get it working, at least the version in the videos I linked to. There could be a cheaper or easier way, I'm not sure.

****************************************************************************************

In the UK, you can also get phones, which include anti-SCAMMER/SPAM call minder type devices.
I have one/some, so if I was to get a lot of SPAM calls, I can switch it on (or you can enable it all the time).

One of the things it does, is insist that the caller tells it the name of whom they want to speak to. So that, instead of immediately answering the phone, you can check they at least know your name.
98%+ (guesstimate) of the time, they won't know your name.
Your phone doesn't even ring, unless they provide the name and have not been filtered out by a blocked phone number list.

For calls you want, it can recognize the phone numbers of friends/family etc, and let them through, unhindered.
 

Offline texaspyro

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2018, 07:02:01 am »
Just don't answer unknown numbers or hang  up on them.  If you try to play with them or piss them off you might find out that they will use your phone number as their spoofed number.   Some people wound up getting hundreds of calls from other irate victims of the scammer.
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2018, 07:52:24 am »
Muffled reply; "Hey (whatevername) start the trace, this is the ONE."

Bang, scammer's phone goes down.  :-DD
 

Offline Pluscrafter

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2018, 02:59:03 pm »
Six years ago when I was 12:
Scammer : "Your PC has 100 Errors."
I:              "My parents aren't at home."
Scammer: "What's your name?"
I:              "I don't no my name."
Scammer: laugh

Hang up.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2018, 06:05:21 pm »
There is no safe response to scam calls.  Some of them are mapping when the phone is being picked up to identify unoccupied houses for burglary.  So do whatever entertains you. 

In the meantime we need to get our lawmakers to do things that raise the cost of these calls so that this massive spamming is not economical.  The costs are so low now that almost any nefarious activity is worth doing.  One idea would be a tax on carriers for each call.  The carriers can't duck out into another country as most of the spam callers do.  A small per call tax wouldn't be a significant harm to most normal people and businesses, and it would be easy to set up a deduction for businesses that proved they had a legitimate reason for a large call volume.

Other ideas welcome.
 

Offline texaspyro

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2018, 06:41:15 pm »
Other ideas welcome.

Nuke 'em from orbit... it's the only way to be sure.  >:D
 
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Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2018, 08:27:29 pm »
There is no safe response to scam calls.  Some of them are mapping when the phone is being picked up to identify unoccupied houses for burglary.  So do whatever entertains you. 
Other ideas welcome.

Including the ones that pretend to be from your bank and ask you call them back.
What you don't know is when they keep the line open and put a fake dial tone in it.
 

Offline Pluscrafter

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2018, 09:13:02 pm »
Other ideas welcome.

Nuke 'em from orbit... it's the only way to be sure.  >:D
Cut their phone and Internetlines.

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Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2018, 01:35:17 am »
So how do you cut their lines?  Obviously right now it makes economic sense for all the players to be involved in this.  The phone companies sell connections.   The scammers get enough hits to pay off.  The hit on carriers from illicit connections is not high enough to cause them to invest in countermeasures.

Somewhere the chain has to be broken or we will be inundated with this crap forever.  Anti-scam phones are just a temporary fix just like caller ID was only a temporary fix.
 

Offline MK14

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2018, 01:43:01 am »
So how do you cut their lines?  Obviously right now it makes economic sense for all the players to be involved in this.  The phone companies sell connections.   The scammers get enough hits to pay off.  The hit on carriers from illicit connections is not high enough to cause them to invest in countermeasures.

Somewhere the chain has to be broken or we will be inundated with this crap forever.  Anti-scam phones are just a temporary fix just like caller ID was only a temporary fix.

I don't know if you have played/experienced Amazon Echo (Alexa), or the competing Google version.

But, if you have, one can imagine, in the (hopefully) near future. Being able to have phones, with built in functionality like that, which can initially answer unknown/unexpected phone callers (via their phone number), and check them out. Using the speaking AI.

Then only ring your phone, if the caller checks out.

tl;dr
If a friend/relative/work phones, it lets the phone call straight through.

But if it doesn't recognize the callers phone number, it asks them questions (AI), to check them out.

I.e. A call screening device, with voice recognition and AI.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 01:44:58 am by MK14 »
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2018, 01:56:37 am »
So how do you cut their lines?  Obviously right now it makes economic sense for all the players to be involved in this.  The phone companies sell connections.   The scammers get enough hits to pay off.  The hit on carriers from illicit connections is not high enough to cause them to invest in countermeasures.

Somewhere the chain has to be broken or we will be inundated with this crap forever.  Anti-scam phones are just a temporary fix just like caller ID was only a temporary fix.

I don't know if you have played/experienced Amazon Echo (Alexa), or the competing Google version.

But, if you have, one can imagine, in the (hopefully) near future. Being able to have phones, with built in functionality like that, which can initially answer unknown/unexpected phone callers (via their phone number), and check them out. Using the speaking AI.

Then only ring your phone, if the caller checks out.

tl;dr
If a friend/relative/work phones, it lets the phone call straight through.

But if it doesn't recognize the callers phone number, it asks them questions (AI), to check them out.

I.e. A call screening device, with voice recognition and AI.

Call screening can be defeated by falsifying the Caller ID.  Already widely done.  The only added step needed is to identify each phone's white list.  With a cooperative network of thousands of random callers this can be built by brute force methods pretty easily.  I suspect this is also happening.  A limited form already is as the false Caller ID is often chosen from a list of local numbers.

It is sometimes hard to realize the total magnitude of the effort that goes into these scamming operations.  To think that the Amazon/Google AI will be up to the task seems overoptimistic.  It also seems the wrong way to attack the problem.  An ongoing technology war which means an ever increasing investment in the defensive end of this isn't a real win for us.

We need to look for analogies to the trap door functions used in cryptology.  Something which is really easy on our side, that make immense extra effort on the other side.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #36 on: November 11, 2018, 02:50:55 am »
I can't help but wonder if Lenny is a real elderly person, and that perhaps he doesn't know he's been immortalized in this way. If so, I hope his name isn't really Lenny. That would be really mean and evil.

That said, there need to be better solutions to stop scammers (which no country has a monopoly on) and robo callers especially.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 02:52:43 am by cdev »
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2018, 05:42:51 am »
We need to look for analogies to the trap door functions used in cryptology.  Something which is really easy on our side, that make immense extra effort on the other side.
Already solved in the form of the PoW function in cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #38 on: November 11, 2018, 08:42:49 am »
I can't help but wonder if Lenny is a real elderly person, and that perhaps he doesn't know he's been immortalized in this way. If so, I hope his name isn't really Lenny. That would be really mean and evil.

Ah no, I am pretty sure that Lenny's sentences were carefully scripted and specifically recorded for this purpose. The flow of the "conversation", and the carefully designed ambiguity of his statements (which makes them work for any caller's purpose, from fixing computers to pitching a political agenda), suggest that.
 

Offline MK14

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2018, 02:05:20 pm »
Call screening can be defeated by falsifying the Caller ID.  Already widely done.  The only added step needed is to identify each phone's white list.  With a cooperative network of thousands of random callers this can be built by brute force methods pretty easily.  I suspect this is also happening.  A limited form already is as the false Caller ID is often chosen from a list of local numbers.

It is sometimes hard to realize the total magnitude of the effort that goes into these scamming operations.  To think that the Amazon/Google AI will be up to the task seems overoptimistic.  It also seems the wrong way to attack the problem.  An ongoing technology war which means an ever increasing investment in the defensive end of this isn't a real win for us.

We need to look for analogies to the trap door functions used in cryptology.  Something which is really easy on our side, that make immense extra effort on the other side.

I guess it is similar to other on going battles.
Good vs evil.
Police vs Robbers
Anti-Virus software vs Malware creators
Bacteria vs Antibiotics/Antibacterials and other advances in medicine

In my case, I only currently, get such phone calls, very infrequently. But if that changes, it might press me to take action.
My phone(s), have options I can enable, which pre-screen phone calls (if the caller is not recognized as "friendly/known") , which I enable, if I have a spout/burst of SPAM phone callers.
Sometimes they start to phone every week, or every other day, and it begins to get very annoying.

I still wish that the Police, Governments (hence agencies which can fine the companies. But the fines are way, way too small at the moment. Give them teeth!  :) ), phone companies, Telephone manufacturers, and Electronic gadget device designers/manufacturers would get their acts together and solve/minimize this problem.

Although the "Electronic gadget devices" solution, would land, potentially in my court and/or other users of this forum. So, I have to take/accept some of the responsibility for this issue not being dealt with better.
I.e. In theory I/we could design something to help out, which screens (removes the SPAM) calls for everyone.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 02:12:14 pm by MK14 »
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2018, 02:54:42 pm »
In theory I/we could design something to help out, which screens (removes the SPAM) calls for everyone.

How would you do that? Unless you work at one of the telcos, where you could potentially disable the transmission of fake caller IDs, I don't see how you would identify spam calls?
 

Offline MK14

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2018, 03:10:13 pm »
In theory I/we could design something to help out, which screens (removes the SPAM) calls for everyone.

How would you do that? Unless you work at one of the telcos, where you could potentially disable the transmission of fake caller IDs, I don't see how you would identify spam calls?

I've already got one (it is not brilliant, but it partly does the job, when needed), and there are better (but more expensive ones), available.

Similar, to what I have (I may have an older or even different model, but what I have is very similar or the same). Is:  https://www.argos.co.uk/product/8203081

Quote
Powered by truecall's award winning technology offers users complete control over which calls they want to take and those they wish to block.

100% nuisance call blocking, mobile sync and answer machine means you'll never have to speak to another cold caller again.

What it basically does, is (as well as allowing known bad callers to be banned by telephone number), it has an answer machine like function. But the ladies voice (built in to the phones), insists on being told the name of whom they want to speak to.
Only after being given the name, will it let the phones ring. Then I can listen to what they said, and if they sound like an Indian call centre and haven't a clue what my name is (e.g. They may say my name is "The Broadband owner"), I can just let the machine reject/dump the call.
I'm not fully sure as to its operation, as I almost never have used it yet, as luckily, I very rarely get these SPAM calls, currently.

More expensive units (which I DON'T have), can get a list of known bad/SPAM phone numbers, via the internet (or however it works), and automatically reject them (and any calls which are withholding their numbers), without even your phone needing to ring.

*************************************************************************

But you are right. I may well not be able to come up with a solution and/or be in a position to get it put on the market.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 03:27:58 pm by MK14 »
 

Offline MK14

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2018, 03:20:38 pm »
Another tip:
I try and never, ever give out my "real phone number". Except to extremely trustworthy people. Or if I absolutely have to (give the real one out).

Because I think there is a danger it can leak out and get onto the SPAMers lists. Especially where the form requesting your phone number is online. They could get hacked or compromised one day.

The alternative number I give out, is still a "real number" for me. It just does not usually ring (my choice), and only accepts messages (normally, off-hand I'm not sure if it accepts messages).
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 03:25:13 pm by MK14 »
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #43 on: November 11, 2018, 03:22:09 pm »
How would you do that? Unless you work at one of the telcos, where you could potentially disable the transmission of fake caller IDs, I don't see how you would identify spam calls?
Intercept the call and play a voice prompt along the lines of "press or say 1 to leave a message or 2 to continue the call." (Customizable, of course.) And in the case it's a spam call from an actual person, some sort of on demand noisemaker (e.g. smoke detector in easy reach) also comes in handy.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2018, 03:56:10 pm »
Intercept the call and play a voice prompt along the lines of "press or say 1 to leave a message or 2 to continue the call." (Customizable, of course.) And in the case it's a spam call from an actual person, some sort of on demand noisemaker (e.g. smoke detector in easy reach) also comes in handy.

I must be missing something here. How do you distinguish between a spammer pressing '2' or a friendly caller pressing '2'?
 

Offline BradC

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2018, 04:01:00 pm »
Intercept the call and play a voice prompt along the lines of "press or say 1 to leave a message or 2 to continue the call." (Customizable, of course.) And in the case it's a spam call from an actual person, some sort of on demand noisemaker (e.g. smoke detector in easy reach) also comes in handy.

I must be missing something here. How do you distinguish between a spammer pressing '2' or a friendly caller pressing '2'?

Spammers don't generally hang around to press '2'. Having said that, a mate of mine put together a very nice and complex IVR with Asterisk that unless you choose menu 4, then menu 2 will lead you round in a very long and convoluted loop. Does the job and I never have trouble remembering which menus to press (you can shortcut the process with the correct menu entries up front).
 
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Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2018, 05:58:18 pm »
Intercept the call and play a voice prompt along the lines of "press or say 1 to leave a message or 2 to continue the call." (Customizable, of course.) And in the case it's a spam call from an actual person, some sort of on demand noisemaker (e.g. smoke detector in easy reach) also comes in handy.

I must be missing something here. How do you distinguish between a spammer pressing '2' or a friendly caller pressing '2'?

Spammers don't generally hang around to press '2'. Having said that, a mate of mine put together a very nice and complex IVR with Asterisk that unless you choose menu 4, then menu 2 will lead you round in a very long and convoluted loop. Does the job and I never have trouble remembering which menus to press (you can shortcut the process with the correct menu entries up front).

All this is fairly effective at preventing you from having to pick up the phone, or be annoyed by it ringing.  There are two downsides.  It can annoy friendly callers, and particularly those desired but not yet hooked business calls.  Second, in my case the spam calls are up to a dozen or more a day on my landline and one or two on my cell.  If the trend continues the spam calls will start making the phone busy a significant part of the time as it automatically deals with the spammers.
 

Offline texaspyro

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2018, 07:03:32 pm »
I LOVE the latest trick that 99% of spam calls are now using where the spoofed number has my area code and exchange.   Any call that comes in with caller id like that is ALWAYS a spam call and is NEVER answered.  Plus I never answer calls that are not from known numbers.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2018, 01:57:38 am »
Not responding to unknown numbers has its own penalties.  In the last month numbers that I didn't recognize turned out to be an A/C service technician calling to clarify directions to my house, my son calling for assistance using a friend's phone, a doctor calling with medical information for my wife and a reminder call of a dental appointment that I had forgotten.  You might have fewer of these but it is hard for me to accept that you know the phone numbers of everyone you want to hear from.
 
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Offline CJay

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2018, 10:06:34 am »
My Phone is rather clever (I believe it's a fairly common feature on Android phones?), if I receive a call from an number that's not in my contacts list, it works out who the caller is and shows me, for instance I called a new restaurant yesterday and it shows in my call list as 'Ming Moon', there's a mobile number it's flagged as 'Potential Fraud', it's rather clever and allows me to decide if I want to answer or someone back.

M0UAW
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2018, 12:37:59 pm »
My Phone is rather clever (I believe it's a fairly common feature on Android phones?), if I receive a call from an number that's not in my contacts list, it works out who the caller is and shows me, for instance I called a new restaurant yesterday and it shows in my call list as 'Ming Moon', there's a mobile number it's flagged as 'Potential Fraud', it's rather clever and allows me to decide if I want to answer or someone back.

Hmm, that's pretty neat. Although a bit scary from a privacy perspective, since it means that your phone is reporting all of your callers to some Google server, presumably... Does that work in real time, while the call is coming in, or only after the fact in the call log?

My iPhone decodes the incoming area codes, but nothing beyond that. I don't think there is an option to have callers fully identified (unless they are in my contacts, of course).
 

Offline nali

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #51 on: November 12, 2018, 01:01:53 pm »

Including the ones that pretend to be from your bank and ask you call them back.
What you don't know is when they keep the line open and put a fake dial tone in it.

My bank cold calls me - then asks me to confirm my identity by answering a couple of security questions!
It's normally a very short call...

A bit ironic, as they're running a national advertising campaign based on security :palm:

 

Offline texaspyro

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #52 on: November 12, 2018, 06:17:20 pm »

Including the ones that pretend to be from your bank and ask you call them back.
What you don't know is when they keep the line open and put a fake dial tone in it.

My bank cold calls me - then asks me to confirm my identity by answering a couple of security questions!
It's normally a very short call...

A bit ironic, as they're running a national advertising campaign based on security :palm:

You have probably been scammed.   That's a very common trick these days, and they are VERY good at making the calls look / sound legit.   NEVER EVER give any personal / security info to ANYBODY that calls you.  Always call back the bank first to verify they made the call.  NEVER call back using phone numbers / caller ID that the caller provides.
 

Offline nali

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #53 on: November 12, 2018, 06:36:51 pm »
No it's definitely the bank. They ask for me by full name and the phone's smart number lookup that someone mentioned earlier up the thread confirms it.

The standard response I give is "You cold called me and want my security answers? No." The last one offered to send a secure message so I could log on to my account and check. For a marketing call. I don't think so...
 

Offline boB

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #54 on: November 12, 2018, 06:54:18 pm »
Not responding to unknown numbers has its own penalties.  In the last month numbers that I didn't recognize turned out to be an A/C service technician calling to clarify directions to my house, my son calling for assistance using a friend's phone, a doctor calling with medical information for my wife and a reminder call of a dental appointment that I had forgotten.  You might have fewer of these but it is hard for me to accept that you know the phone numbers of everyone you want to hear from.

Yes, those calls you just have to take on an individual basis.

I only have a cell phone now.  I can't believe all the unwanted calls I have been getting lately !  I don't even bother adding them to my blocking list anymore.

Sometimes I will get a call from the doctor's office and it is either already in my contacts OR it is  "unknown" or something like that.  ALL the spammers as of lately seem to come from a number out of area which I don't answer or spoofed to be something that looks like it is from my area.  I just have to let it go to voice mail.  If it's important they will hopefully leave a message.  Otherwise, if it's a number I don't know and I am expecting a call, then I will usually answer it.

So far this works well for me.

I also recently got a voice mail from someone in my cell phone prefix telling me to "STOP CALLING ME !". He obviously did not know about the call spoofing method and evidently the spammers had used MY cell number spoofed to call him.  I called the guy back, introduced myself and told him how the spoofing worked.

A lot of people don't understand I guess
K7IQ
 

Offline texaspyro

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #55 on: November 12, 2018, 07:04:13 pm »
No it's definitely the bank. They ask for me by full name and the phone's smart number lookup that someone mentioned earlier up the thread confirms it.

That just means that they have access to some copy of a database with your name/number in it and a caller ID spoofer.
 
https://krebsonsecurity.com/2018/10/voice-phishing-scams-are-getting-more-clever/
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #56 on: November 13, 2018, 12:28:48 am »
I have recently received a couple of phone calls of the sort that are looking for a recorded "Yes" answer for their nefarious purposes.  A call comes in and asks for me by name  "Is this Joe Blow?".  Since this scam came out I always answer such questions with "You are talking to him" or "That is I" or some variant.  On at least two occasions that has resulted in an immediate hang up.
"
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #57 on: November 13, 2018, 02:16:26 am »
Most of those phone marketing services use fully automated servers to handle huge numbers of phone calls without "wasting" human resource. If the machine gets sufficient cues that they got someone that is likely to be the person targeted and likely to answer the call, they will pass it to some human usually working in very low-paying countries.

All this annoying spam may seem not only annoying, but also irrelevant in our Internet world. After all, it's much easier to just mass-mail, use various means of online advertisement, etc.
But they still use phone calls, because through a well known and pretty basic psychological effect, it's a whole lot easier to trap someone while directly talking to them than if they receive advertisement that they can read whenever they see fit or not read at all without having to justify themselves to anyone...

This "conversational" effect is so powerful, I'm thinking that as more and more jobs can be and will be automated, the jobs most likely to remain for humans are sales jobs.
 

Offline Housedad

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #58 on: November 16, 2018, 08:31:31 am »
I reduced the idiots that called my house by half.

I answer the phone, and as soon as I identify them as spammers, I start doing naughty dirty sounds on the phone, telling them what and how I like it. 

They usually last to about the third or fourth moan and grunt before they hang up cussing.

Some people just can't take a joke, it seems.
At least I'm still older than my test equipment
 

Offline Raj

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #59 on: November 16, 2018, 09:00:21 am »
I reduced the idiots that called my house by half.

I answer the phone, and as soon as I identify them as spammers, I start doing naughty dirty sounds on the phone, telling them what and how I like it. 

They usually last to about the third or fourth moan and grunt before they hang up cussing.

Some people just can't take a joke, it seems.
:-DD
Oh boy...Cause you've brought an Indian taboo subject, let me tell you, the people of India have to discover all about s#x ed either on their own (via older friends or internet),or via pundits(religious guides) at the age of 26.
 

Offline CCitizenTO

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #60 on: November 28, 2018, 08:32:30 pm »
There is no safe response to scam calls.  Some of them are mapping when the phone is being picked up to identify unoccupied houses for burglary.  So do whatever entertains you. 

In the meantime we need to get our lawmakers to do things that raise the cost of these calls so that this massive spamming is not economical.  The costs are so low now that almost any nefarious activity is worth doing.  One idea would be a tax on carriers for each call.  The carriers can't duck out into another country as most of the spam callers do.  A small per call tax wouldn't be a significant harm to most normal people and businesses, and it would be easy to set up a deduction for businesses that proved they had a legitimate reason for a large call volume.

Other ideas welcome.

So many homes don't even have land lines anymore so ringing the phone to identify when houses are unoccupied doesn't really work these days. Most of the phones being spammed these days are cell phones.
 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #61 on: November 28, 2018, 10:23:12 pm »
Yes like the third party charges.

I was buying prepaid sims over a couple of years. I don't use it for others to contact me and every time I get spam messages I wait for it to run out and get another.

Good news from a couple of months ago EE has brought out call barring against third party charges as it has gotten so bad.
I phoned them up and put on a bar and so far so good with the number I have now.

I was put off before.

I brought a Vodafone sim in 2011 for a Blackberry that was given to me.
Broadband wouldn't work on it and I did what the help desk told me to but I found out later on that it was a problem on their end.

I reset it to factory settings when I got it and never got any spam messages.
I didn't install any addons. I used it for a year to make calls and I switched it off most of the time.
A year later I put in £20 and £12 mysteriously disappeared.

I phoned up Vodafone and got through to an Indian man.
He said that it is correct it is showing third party charges to a service that I subscribed to, I should already know I signed up for it and it had nothing to do with them. I said I get no spam messages otherwise I would have replaced the sim than put another £20 on it after and the broadband doesn't work and I don't give out this number. It was for emergencies. You allowed them to bill me through you without my permission and I am telling you that now, how is that legal?
"Sir, nothing to do with us."
"So you allowed them to bill me, I am telling you I got no text message, I did not authorise this charge, and how is that nothing to do with you now?"

I asked for the third party's details and the man said they can not hand such details out and that data protection limits them.
He said "Just read the text message you got from them and reply there to unsubscribe and make complaint."

So furious I raised my voice and said:
"Look! Listen! I did not receive any text message be subscribed! I use the built in tools for find the remaining balance and they are only text messages I get. How am I suppose to MAKE A COMPLAINT let alone CANCEL if I don't have the message that you allegedly said I subscribed to?" Show me a text message that confirms that I did sign up for it?"

"Sorry, I can't do that sir."

Can I speak to a manager please?
"There is nothing you can do"
Why?
"Sir I am telling you that they is nothing you can do have a good day"

Me: "We'll you are just useless you THIEVING    ...."
Indian: "Hey hey..."

I hanged up and I crushed the sim out of rage.
I shouldn't have done that.

Small claims court is where I should have gone.
£12 isn't much but it is the principle and that phone was mostly switched off for emergencies.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 10:26:05 pm by MrMobodies »
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #62 on: November 29, 2018, 03:39:26 am »
Some members of the upper classes in India have such a ferocious sense of entitlement, its scary.

But most Indians are not like that. They are generally good people.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 08:00:05 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline Raj

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2018, 05:37:15 pm »
Funny, that i've met a guy who went on to become a scammer. He was a typical lower-middle class punjabi village dweller who really kept struggling to make a few bucks, repairing computers. Never met him again, but I do know that he was arrested a while ago, for scamming multiple people.
I also know that he had to  give his 10th std. exam twice, to pass and no school/college would accept him.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #64 on: November 30, 2018, 12:34:56 am »
What I was trying to say is that most Indians don't deserve a bad rap.

A moral deficit among the elite isn't unique to India, although it seems as if its a particularly extreme problem there (and here in the US). Many other countries too.

Unfortunately, its actually common throughout the world.  << See this paper at PNAS and some of its authors' other works.

Are we going in the right direction to be trying to encourage people to emulate a group of people who every indication tells us people would be better off (i.e. happier, saner, smarter) not becoming?

Let me just reiterate here that most Indians that I have met (here in the US, most of whom are Americans now) are really nice people. The phone scammers people in this thread are assuming are from India may not even be Indian also.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 07:57:36 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline Raj

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #65 on: November 30, 2018, 10:43:51 am »
Cause and effect...
I'd say, they are in the high class cause they were ready to do anything and take risks to get there. The data you're showing, i'd interpret it differently. Honest workers are never richer than the one controlling them, the one who pays them. You need to be a special kind of unethical, barbaric individual to order people around to go dig a mine or use carcinogenics to make something, while being fully aware of it.

The only reason, criminals aren't rich, cause they can't ride along the territory of illegality.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 10:46:14 am by Raj »
 

Offline grumpydoc

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #66 on: November 30, 2018, 11:27:44 am »
I have recently received a couple of phone calls of the sort that are looking for a recorded "Yes" answer for their nefarious purposes.  A call comes in and asks for me by name  "Is this Joe Blow?".  Since this scam came out I always answer such questions with "You are talking to him" or "That is I" or some variant.  On at least two occasions that has resulted in an immediate hang up.
In this way you are at least confirming your identity. I don't even give that much out - my stock response being "why do you want to know", or "who wants to know".
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 11:30:24 am by grumpydoc »
 

Online bd139

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #67 on: November 30, 2018, 12:48:03 pm »
My stock response is usually "fuck off" even if it is the bank.
 

Offline grumpydoc

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #68 on: November 30, 2018, 01:16:29 pm »
My stock response is usually "fuck off" even if it is the bank.
:-+
 

Offline grumpydoc

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #69 on: November 30, 2018, 01:22:55 pm »
Three often phone the mobile to offer me services that I neither need or want.

The last one started promisingly "we'd like to offer you more data on your current contract"

OK I said until it transpired that all they wanted to do was switch me to a new, more expensive, tariff which happened to have more data. The only way it was "on my current contract" was that they were offering to do this without altering my notice period. The poor woman on the end of the phone really did not understand the distinction.

In her case I am prepared to be slightly lenient as English was manifestly not her first language (and I know from my feeble efforts in French how difficult it can be for even accomplished speakers of a 2nd language to "get" nuance) but she was selling this stuff so should really understand it a bit.

But, generally, why the heck do people not understand the difference between "contract" and "notice period" - this crops all the time in phone and broadband service provision and it really annoys me.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 01:25:40 pm by grumpydoc »
 

Online bd139

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #70 on: November 30, 2018, 01:34:00 pm »
Yeah BT just did that one to my mother. Get free super fast broadband without changing contract.

£7 more expensive a month  |O

I got that sorted. But it took 3 hours of arguing with third line dumbasses first. She now has it for £7 less a month and unlimited calls.
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #71 on: November 30, 2018, 01:55:54 pm »
We get them in waves on my landline, and they all started about 3 weeks after my mother donated to a phone charity using it....

at this point I can only assume they double dip and as well as getting your money they also sell your profile to third parties.

The "Microsoft" and "Tech Support" ones where common, but we have started to get some "Tax office" ones and a stupid amount of survey calls as well.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #72 on: November 30, 2018, 01:56:50 pm »
I would like to find something to add to my office "Skype for Business" (and my cell phone) that would send the SIT (Special Information Tone) for disconnected numbers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_information_tone
 

Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #73 on: November 30, 2018, 07:26:42 pm »
We get them in waves on my landline, and they all started about 3 weeks after my mother donated to a phone charity using it....

at this point I can only assume they double dip and as well as getting your money they also sell your profile to third parties.

The "Microsoft" and "Tech Support" ones where common, but we have started to get some "Tax office" ones and a stupid amount of survey calls as well.

I use to get them as well.

I had a similar call with them pretending to be from a government organisation then shortly after they say they are not and start asking to do surveys.
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #74 on: November 30, 2018, 09:31:29 pm »
I would like to find something to add to my office "Skype for Business" (and my cell phone) that would send the SIT (Special Information Tone) for disconnected numbers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_information_tone
All you seem to need is a "click", at least in the US.  I put in an Asterisk phone system (open source software, runs on a PC and connects to POTS copper lines with an FO interface card).  One of the features of this is it listens between ring periods for Caller ID, then ANSWERS the line (which causes a click) and then produces synthetic ring tone while waiting for one of us to pick up the line.

When the boiler rooms call, their automated dialer logic hears the click and begins hanging up.  If I answer the call, I usually hear them actually drop the call a second later.  Well, slightly annoying to answer all these hang-ups, but at least I don't actually have to TALK to the morons.

Jon
 

Offline darrellg

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Re: Indian phone scammers
« Reply #75 on: November 30, 2018, 09:45:46 pm »
https://nomorobo.com/ kills about 75-80% of incoming unwanted calls on my landline. It's very effective. AT&T Call Protect does the same for my cell phone.
 


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