Friday, October 17, 2014

It's my party, and I'll lie if I want to



Are you getting spam calls? Here's my remedy.

If your caller ID says Out of Area, Directory Assistance, Abe's Construction, or something unrecognizable, pick up the phone and say: "Sheriff's Department." 90 percent of the time, they'll hang up and never call again. But if they do call back, or ask if they're speaking to Kari Buggy or whatever, then continue with, "This is the Sheriff's Department, South Pasadena Branch, please stay on the line."

Honest to god, I'm down from 10 calls a day to one every other week.

Try it; it's fun.

38 comments:

  1. I don't answer when I don't recognize the number. I figure if they're not trying to sell me something they'll leave a message.

    They're trying to sell me something.

    But I like your idea.

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  2. Wow, that's a great one!.. I've been letting my fax machine pick up the calls! usually it takes the robo calls about 2 x to figure it out. Also used a piercing whistle and that really ends it.

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  3. I don't answer the call when I don't recognize the number too.
    So funny your idea of answering
    with "This is the Sheriff's Department". :)

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  4. I shared your technique with several people who were nearby when I received another call from 956-857-3060 in Laredo, TX. New sheriff's departments popping up in home offices all over soCal tomorrow.

    Google will tell you whether or not to answer. In the case of my Laredo friends, not.
    http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-956-857-3060

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  5. I'm kind of sad that my construction, satellite dish, and air-duct cleaning boyfriends have stopped calling, because next in line I had, "FBI, Detective Chief Willis speaking."

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  6. I have lots of fun with these people. I ask them if they need any work done. I tell them I've been waiting for their call. I ask them if they need their ducts cleaned. All kinds of things. I think some of them now have me on their own do not call list.

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  7. A friend always takes the junk calls from his wife and says, "We'll discuss that in a minute. But there is something more important we need to explore right now: your immortal soul. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? I'd like to read a little gospel and then pray with you on the matter..." He can go on ad nauseum, thanks to the Catholic school education, but they are usually just gone after the words "immortal soul."

    I, on the other hand, never answer my cell phone with anything other than "Wrong number," followed, at the callback, by, "You've got to be fucking kidding me." Of course, I never use it, unless I need to call AAA or there's a dire emergency. I don't answer 800 numbers, and I'm not at all bashful about telling off someone trying to sell something on the landlines. But I think your new answering line could be a fun opener!

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  8. Yeah, it's like the prank calls we'd make at slumber parties, but in reverse, and now as totally immature adults.

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  9. Careful. You're just one short step away from asking if their refrigerator is running or if they have Prince Albert in a can.

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  10. For YEARS I have answered calls like this "FBI, Agent Andrews, what is your emergency?". Who is to say I don't run a group called "Fuzz Busters International"? ;-) Most folks hang up. Some just keep on with their shpiel. If they continue, I repeat myself. Most stop calling after that. For a while when we had a land line, we were getting calls at around 3am, from some Russian sounding folks. I finally set the fax machine to turn on around 2am, off around 4am. Eventually, they stopped calling. The Chinese lady we had calling us never got the concept, ever. She'd even leave a long, long message. No number, and called from a blocked number, but looooong message. The one that fried my cheese was Xmas Eve a few years back and the McCain robocaller called the land line of a client at 2 am. WTH? They were registered Democrats!

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  11. It's funny you should bring this up. It's gotten so bad that tonight I printed out a complaint form ths state of Florida provides to report these people. They just won't stop. I briefly toyed with using a canned bullhorn but it would give the rabbits a heart attack so now I'm torn between the complaint and the sheriff department idea, which I like very much. Maybe both?

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  12. I'm still occasionally phoned by a few elderly women from the Women's Club who don't use email or smartphones, plus my phone doesn't have caller ID. sSo it'd be just my luck that when I answer as the Sheriff's Department, it'll be one of those ladies. Still, I'll try it if it stops the calls. I'm rung about 6 times a day, and get so angry with the callers - then I feel bad for taking it out on them.

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  13. "Please remove me from your calling list" is supposed to work. And when they say, "but wait--" you say, "Please remove me from your calling list." You are a "Please remove me from your calling list" robot and you have nothing else to say to them, not even "no" or "I'm sorry." They're counting on you being too polite not to back down. But that got me off a couple of lists at least.

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  14. So, you beat me to it, Trish.
    Try it PJ and Bellis, it's a kick.
    Re: The Do Not Call lists, they no longer have any teeth. Spammers hide their Caller ID information w/spoof numbers, so you can't provide full info on a complaint. According to Forbes, there may be as many as 100-120 billion spam/telemarketing calls in the US every year. Of these, only ten (10!) violators are ever brought to court.

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  15. We're thinking of removing ourselves from the phone book listing. Would that help?

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  16. Don't think so. Telemarketers use lists that were purchased from other companies, companies that sell your demographics. Credit card companies, maybe a bank, organizations, charities, alumni assoc, Ralph's club members, you name it.

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  17. That's true, unfortunately. John and I aren't listed in any phone books and we went for a long time without spam calls. But as soon as we got an AT&T account we started getting them. Somebody sold our phone number.

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  18. I'm still trying to figure out how to stop probes. Sometimes when you answer an unknown number it hangs up right away. That's because it’s a machine probing for fax machine numbers. I know this because my unlisted fax machine gets all these junk faxes selling office supplies or Caribbean vacations. I once got a fax promoting a local dentist -- I called her office (nobody there could speak English very well) and they apparently didn't know junk faxes are illegal. Really, I'm not paying for this expensive ink just so I can get even MORE advertising thrust into my life.

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  19. Somewhere on my hard drive I have a recording of a call I received a few years ago from a lady with a pack of Pomeranians that were either stolen from her or she stole them or something.

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  20. If. My dad was still with us, he'd answer with. "Mort's Mortuary...you stab 'em we slab 'em!"

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  21. Oh man, as little kids we used to play that game with a friend's father. You brain 'em, we drain em. You kill 'em, we hill 'em...

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  22. I got so sick of those calls that I took the drastic approach and canceled my phone service, thinking that relying solely on my cell would free me of that nuisance.

    Yeah. Well.... I no longer have to deal with telemarketers...or anyone else, for that matter, since my cell reception here in Altadena is so crappy.

    Sorta like cutting off my nose to spite my face, huh?

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  23. So true, Lizzie. To get a signal up here, neighbors stand on their heads on the hood of a car, holding a wire hanger with their toes.

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  24. I love this idea so much that I wish I had caller ID to use it! I've never been one to pay for anything extra on the phone [still a landline used] - I didn't have touchtone until it came free. Funny story - we had a touchtone phone but still a dialing sound when we made a call, which really freaked out a friend who asked to use our phone. Recently I set my answering machine to ring seven times before you leave a message when I discovered that most telemarketers /survey takers/robocallers hang up after four rings. We have to have a landline because the only way we can get internet is through DSL connected to our phone service.

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  25. We had to get a land line to get DSL, too, Sharon. It works fine for us because we have a fax machine. But we leave it unplugged when we're not sending or receiving, because it rings constantly (and not with people sending faxes). I've only given our fax number to two or three people...

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  26. I posted this video to your FB page, but I don't think it got to you .. well, I sent it to Petrea, so it didn't post to you.
    I wish I were as clever and F'd up as this man. If I were maybe they'd stop.

    http://youtu.be/mkdoogjic4I

    Isn't it sad the things some people have to do to earn a paycheck? Are they the equivalent to the evil trolls who make such hateful comments on FB pages, etc?

    The robo calls here don't have anyone answer when I say hello, then I get a follow-up, I guess, purporting to be a "real" person.

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  27. Speedway, I feel like such a slacker after listening to that. He doesn't take it to another level, he takes it to another galaxy. (In college, I had a telemarketing job. I lasted four days and didn't sell a thing.)

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  28. Telemarketing is painful work, no matter what you're selling. You are constantly rejected and people are cruel. They don't want to hear from you and you can't blame them.

    I don't blame the person who calls. They're just trying to make a buck and sometimes there are no other jobs. I blame the companies that sell our numbers and pay these people awful wages.

    Sometimes you can engage them, try to be nice for just a minute, then say, "Look, I really want you to take me off your calling list." If you've been nice, it's more likely to actually happen.

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  29. We screen all our calls through caller ID and answering machine. Because we have a land line (for our DSL), we get a lot of junk calls. And the older you get, the more the junk calls increase, unfortunately. Especially the "con artist" calls.

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  30. This Laredo Texas number was calling several times a day. Wasn't sure what to do until I found the "block this number" function on my iPhone. I am in silent phone heaven.

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  31. I recently learned that one of the features of my new Uverse service is that you can list the numbers you want to hear from and everyone else is blocked. Works like a charm.

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  32. Hehehehehehehehehehehehe
    Too funny!

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  33. Oh, my gosh, that's a keeper! Can't wait for the next one.

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