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Cell Phones and Spam/Bot Blockers

ZiprHead

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I've had Robokiller on my android phone for a little more than a year. Lately it has been blocking regular numbers and even sending numbers on my contacts list straight to voicemail. This has been a problem identified by RK well more than a year ago and still no solution in sight. I finally today just uninstalled it.

Can I get recommendations for what you use for spam/bot blocking?
 

Ford

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Back when I still had a land line, I recorded an outgoing message that made it sound like my number was a business. "Thanks for calling! All our representatives are busy helping other customers at this time! But your call is important to us. We're available to take your call between (regular business hours,) but if you're calling outside of those hours, please leave your name and number after the beep and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for your business and have a nice day."

I even put some generic on-hold music underneath.

After about a month, the telemarketing/spam calls stopped. Apparently if they think your phone number is a business, they remove you from their list.
 

ZiprHead

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Back when I still had a land line, I recorded an outgoing message that made it sound like my number was a business. "Thanks for calling! All our representatives are busy helping other customers at this time! But your call is important to us. We're available to take your call between (regular business hours,) but if you're calling outside of those hours, please leave your name and number after the beep and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for your business and have a nice day."

I even put some generic on-hold music underneath.

After about a month, the telemarketing/spam calls stopped. Apparently if they think your phone number is a business, they remove you from their list.
I'm liking that idea for our landline. Our block list has been full for a couple years.
 

ZiprHead

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On my Android phone I just turn on "Do Not Disturb" and set it to allow incoming calls from contacts only.

Don't get spam.
Won't work for me. Numerous doctors with differant phone and office numbers, not to mention calls from differant hospital departments. No way to know them all beforehand to add them to my contact list.
 

Gospel

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I am shocked bots aren't exploiting SMS groups on Android phones. There seems to be no way to remove yourself from an SMS group and all the bots have to do is generate groups from a list of numbers and then start spamming messages. In order to make it stop you can only either turn off notification (which you'd have to do for each number in the group) or report it as spam and it gets automatically blocked by your carrier (which still requires you do that for each number in the group).
 

ZiprHead

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I am shocked bots aren't exploiting SMS groups on Android phones. There seems to be no way to remove yourself from an SMS group and all the bots have to do is generate groups from a list of numbers and then start spamming messages. In order to make it stop you can only either turn off notification (which you'd have to do for each number in the group) or report it as spam and it gets automatically blocked by your carrier (which still requires you do that for each number in the group).
Don't give them ideas. ;)
 

Loren Pechtel

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On my Android phone I just turn on "Do Not Disturb" and set it to allow incoming calls from contacts only.

Don't get spam.
Won't work for me. Numerous doctors with differant phone and office numbers, not to mention calls from differant hospital departments. No way to know them all beforehand to add them to my contact list.
This. Not answering unknown numbers is not an option for a lot of people.
 

TV and credit cards

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I get a political SMS text that always starts “Hi Elizabeth”. I’ve been blocking various numbers on that one for about a year now. I think Act Blue screwed me there. Either them or Pete Buttigieg. Pete wouldn’t do that though so I blame Act Blue.

Most of my spam calls come from the area code of my phone which is not where I live so while I do have to listen to it ring, it is still a good filter as no one from that area code is going to call me who is not in my contacts. I would suggest getting a North Dakota number and seeing how that works out for you. I hear they’re so lonely, they don’t even get spam. It seems they were tying up the lines keeping the telemarketers on the phones for want of someone to talk to.

I block unknown callers. It forces anyone calling from a large institution to leave a message with an extension which can be a great time saver for future use. I’m talking to you, Cleveland Clinic.
 

Copernicus

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I use Hiya and T-Mobile's Scam Shield service. It doesn't do much good to block numbers in your local area code, because they are usually automatically generated spoofs that change all the time. Scam shield can do a lot more, but they charge extra for services that don't actually cost them anything significant to offer. Now that we have a Democratic administration running the regulators, they may take some larger baby steps to make the phone providers do more to block spam calls. I use Textra for SMS, and they provide a blocklist function for the few spam texts that get through to me.
 

ZiprHead

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I use Hiya and T-Mobile's Scam Shield service. It doesn't do much good to block numbers in your local area code, because they are usually automatically generated spoofs that change all the time. Scam shield can do a lot more, but they charge extra for services that don't actually cost them anything significant to offer. Now that we have a Democratic administration running the regulators, they may take some larger baby steps to make the phone providers do more to block spam calls. I use Textra for SMS, and they provide a blocklist function for the few spam texts that get through to me.
I used Hiya for quite a while and liked it. Then it started screwing up and I couldn't get any support from the company.
 

Copernicus

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I use Hiya and T-Mobile's Scam Shield service. It doesn't do much good to block numbers in your local area code, because they are usually automatically generated spoofs that change all the time. Scam shield can do a lot more, but they charge extra for services that don't actually cost them anything significant to offer. Now that we have a Democratic administration running the regulators, they may take some larger baby steps to make the phone providers do more to block spam calls. I use Textra for SMS, and they provide a blocklist function for the few spam texts that get through to me.
I used Hiya for quite a while and liked it. Then it started screwing up and I couldn't get any support from the company.
That's been my experience, too. T-Mobile rolled out its bare bones version of Scam Shield to all its subscribers last year, so I've been using that tool along with Hiya. The sad fact is that I have to live with the annoyance of frequent spam attacks or pay more money to get better protection. I keep hoping that the government will finally come down on the telecom companies to get the problem under control, but my cynical gut tells me that Congress will move to block any serious efforts, even if the administration makes the effort. Telecoms are big campaign donors, and spam/scam calls present them with an opportunity they can generate more revenue from. Scam Shield keeps spamming me with requests to upgrade to serious protection.
 
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