South San Francisco, CA January 21, 2016 Submitted by Caitlyn, Smartcaller.com
In the summer of 2015 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) told all of the phone carriers in the U.S. that they should start blocking annoying, illegal automated calls to their customers. So that means R.I.P. to Rachel at Cardholder Services in 2016, right? No, probably not.
Unfortunately, even though they’ve been told to do it, most telephone companies don’t want to get on board with this movement. Many of the companies feel that they don’t have the technology to block these nuisance calls due to caller ID spoofing and they don’t feel like it’s worth the investment.
If you have a VoIP line though, there is hope for you. In 2013, a service designed to stop robocalls was created, called Nomorobo, it stops your phone from ringing when robodialers call.
Nomorobo works only with VoIP numbers and has been picked up by several of the major carriers VoIP offerings, like Verizon Fios, Time Warner Cable and Comcast Xfinity, among others. It works by being set up as a “simultaneous ring”, this means that when a robodialer calls you it will also be calling Nomorobo. Nomorobo will answer the call first, screening it. If it’s not a automated caller, the call will continue to ring and you can answer it. If it is an automated call, Nomorobo will hang up and let them know that they are being hung up on because they are a suspected nuisance caller.
Nomorobo maintains a database of blacklisted numbers that it has compiled on its own and with the help of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It uses these blacklisted numbers to know which numbers it should screen and prevent from ringing.
Since Nomorobo maintains a large database of numbers that have been used illegally, it will never block an automated message that is legitimate. There’s no need to worry about notification calls from your doctor’s office, pharmacy, or child’s school being screened and blocked, these types of numbers have not been flagged as being used illegally.
In total, Nomorobo has stopped over 50 million robocalls for its users. These robocalls don’t just include telemarketers, phony IRS scams and free vacation offers, but they also block political calls. With the presidential election taking place in 2016 and the race heating up millions of calls will be made asking for support and donations. Nomorobo will stop these calls from clogging up your voicemail.
Nomorobo provides their automated call blocking service to consumers free of charge. They do charge businesses and public safety offices a fee for the use of their databases. Setting up Nomorobo on your VoIP line is simple, and you can sign up via their website. If your carrier doesn’t support Nomorobo you can call and urge them to start allowing the use of the software. Nomorobo states that the more people who call the carriers and ask for protection from robocalls the more likely the phone companies will be to take action.
If you currently can’t use Nomorobo because of your carrier or because you don’t have a VoIP line, let unknown calls go to voicemail and then check them in CallerSmart’s reverse lookup phone book for suspicious behavior. You can also help warn others by leaving your feedback on robocall numbers in our community phonebook and reporting robocalls to the FTC’s Complaint Assistant.
Everything South City is sharing this resource and not advocating the use. However we did check reviews and it appears to be a great resource. Please do your own research as well. Below is only one review found on google search- Ed
Nomorobo: Block Robocalls For Good – from Gadget Review
Robocalls are annoying, and they seemingly can’t be stopped, no matter how many do-not-call lists you join, no matter how polite you are. Part of this is the fact that, even though telemarketers can’t legally call your cell phone, con artists don’t care about the law. So, when Rachel or Kelly or Christie from Card Services comes along, there’s a new weapon: Nomorobo.
Fighting Robots With Robots
The brainchild of Aaron Foss, and the winner of the FTC’s Robocall Challenge, Nomorobo essentially puts a robotic doorman between your phone and phone numbers trying to reach you by using simultaneous ringing. If your friends are calling, no problem, they go right through. Anybody else, though, has to make with the answers.
First, Nomorobo compares the call to an ever-growing and changing blacklist. If the number is on the blacklist, Nomorobo blocks the call and the scammers can go cry about it. If the number is showing suspicious activity, like dialing numbers sequentially, or making a call every thirty seconds, Nomorobo swings into action and answers the robocall with a robovoice.
Essentially, it becomes a Captcha system; you’re asked to enter in some numbers to prove you’re a real person, and, if you can do that, your call gets put through. If you can’t, well, tough noogies.
Not Perfect, However
The only drawback is that the service requires simultaneous ringing, which you can’t necessarily get depending on your provider. It’s easy enough with VoIP or landlines, but cellular connections may or may not have the service depending on which one you have.
That said, though, this is probably, for now, the most effective tool to stop robocalls, and it’s hard to see why Nomorobo, which is free for consumers and being sold to businesses, won’t have its system bought and installed by cellular providers. After all, they’d rather you burn your minutes talking to somebody you actually want to listen to.