General Question

janbb's avatar

What should I do about these harassing robo-calls?

Asked by janbb (62922points) September 1st, 2020

I’m getting calls several times a day from the same number. Usually I look at the caller ID and don’t pick up but it still means I have gotten up. Once I picked up to see what it was and it’s a Medicare scam. I’ve yelled at it once or twice and today “Pressed 1” to yell at a person but there was no one there.

Should I go through the hassle of calling Verizon and reporting them or will they give up eventually? This is a landline so I can’t block.

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29 Answers

Response moderated
JLeslie's avatar

I get them 3 times a day lately. It is crazy. I was thinking of signing up again on the do not call list, I heard it can expire.

I feel like writing my congressman. Not sure if that will help. I don’t know who has jurisdiction over the phone lines?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Is your number on the Do Not Call list? I re-submit every time I get calls and they stop.

janbb's avatar

It was but maybe I do have to resubmit. Good suggestion KIA and JLeslie.

Tropical_Willie's avatar


If you are a Verizon Fios Digital Voice customer you can register with Nomorobo, a free, third-party service that identifies known robocallers and telemarketers and stops your Fios Digital Voice home phone from ringing. Nomorobo will not work with Verizon’s traditional voice service.

janbb's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I’ll have to look into that. My TV is FIOS but I think the phone is traditional.

Meanwhile, I did verify that I am on the Do Not Call registry and I did file a complaint about this caller.

Caller ID will often come up and say “Spam?” but it doesn’t from this number.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Call Verizon and have them walk you through. Fios digital is fiber optic which required to add Nomorobo. (My home phone has a “Call block”; a number can be blocked separate from Nomorobo).

si3tech's avatar

My phone i a landline. Century Link is my provider. For about $6./month I have “No Solicitation” on from about 8 am to 9 pm. I have a friend who, when he got a cell had his cell number the same as his landline. You could try that. While No Solicitation is on all callers get a message before the call is placed that do not proceed if this is soliciting call.

Brian1946's avatar

I have a landline service with ATT, and I’ve had call blocking since 1987, so having a landline doesn’t technologically preclude one from having that feature.

This Google page indicates that Call Blocking is available to Verizon landline customers.

Here are the directions from an entry on that page:

To block a number: Press #, dial the 10-digit number you want to add, and press # to confirm. To unblock a number: Press *, dial the 10-digit number you wish to remove, and press * to confirm. Enter *67 and then the number you want to block from seeing your caller ID info.

In 2017, the feature cost $2.99/month, but “You can block calls and messages from up to 5 numbers in My Verizon for no charge. These blocks will expire after 90 days.”

kritiper's avatar

Do like I did.
Get a Caller ID and place it next to your chair or where ever.
I also got a phone set with three handsets where each handset has a recharger and a display and they all display Caller ID. Then I placed these handsets around the house where they can be easily seen. (One above my computer station, one in the living room above the TV, one in the kitchen.)

janbb's avatar

@kritiper I have that but since my eyesight is getting worse right now, I have to pick up the handset to see.

kritiper's avatar

@janbb Get a big magnifying glass. It’s still easier than getting up to see who’s calling.
Or get an answering machine to screen your calls. then you just have to call back the people you want to talk to.

janbb's avatar

@kritiper I have voice mail and don’t usually answer my phone but sometimes I look. That’s not the issue I’m asking about here but thank you.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Didn’t our fearless leader sign a law in Dec 2019 that was supposed to limit these calls? I recall him making a big deal about it.
“An anti-robocalls measure signed into law Monday by President Donald Trump should help reduce the torrent of unwanted calls promising lower interest rates or pretending to be the IRS, though it won’t make all such calls disappear.

The new law gives authorities more enforcement powers and could speed up measures the industry is already taking to identify robocalls. And when phone companies block robocalls, they must do so without charging consumers. This should help Americans dodge many of these annoying calls.

“American families deserve control over their communications, and this legislation will update our laws and regulations to stiffen penalties, increase transparency, and enhance government collaboration to stop unwanted solicitation,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.”

It’s not working. (But we already knew that.)

I am getting similar calls and fight back a little by tying up their line, either by answering and hitting mute immediately or by placing the phone near the radio so their voice actuated software locks on. Usually they hang up in 60 seconds. That is 58 seconds longer than if I just answered and hung up.

janbb's avatar

@LuckyGuy Yeah. I’ve done that too. Oy vey!

KNOWITALL's avatar

Here’s the National Do Not Call Registry.

Our state Atty General also has a state registry.

janbb's avatar

@KNOWITALL I’ve checked and I’m still on it both home and cell. As I said above, I also registered a complaint there about the calls.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@KNOWITALL That is only interesting, most of the Robocalls are using phone number spoofing. The number has nothing to do with who is calling. You call back later to the number and it is the flower ordering service for a Florist in Chicago.

jca2's avatar

My home phone provider (cable company Comcast) has call blocking. Check to see if yours does, too.

If you use a cordless handset, you can keep the handset next to you so you don’t have to get up to answer the phone.

My last word of advice is never answer the phone if you don’t know the number. Once you answer, they call back incessantly.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Tropical_Willie All I know is that I hate them and I don’t get them…haha!

kritiper's avatar

Sorry I couldn’t help you. I did the best I could which is all anyone here can do…

janbb's avatar

@kritiper No you did help. Your first idea about the handsets was a good one but it’s something i’m already doing. Thanks.

LadyMarissa's avatar

After I put my number on the Do-Not-Call list, I got MORE scam calls. I began to wonder IF the DNC office was selling that list to the scammers. Reporting the scammers to anyone is a waste of time as they spoof phone numbers & aren’t using their own number. Many are from out of the US, so they can’t even be prosecuted IF they are ever caught.

One scammer was so brazen as to spoof the Sheriff’s home phone number & then call everybody in the county to tell them that they’d be going to jail IF they didn’t pay their fine with a prepaid debit card. One even called the sheriff’s office & told the deputy who answered the phone that she’d be going to jail for failure to show up for jury duty. She had a little fun with him before threatening to show up at his front door with a warrant. That was a colossal waste of time!!!

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks for this reminder. I just checked our numbers in the DNC registry, and they’ve been there since 2004. Why do I still get so many spam calls? It can sometimes run a dozen or more in a day.

@LadyMarissa, that reminds me that I heard about some check thieves in my area trying (and in some cases even succeeding) to cash stolen checks using the sheriff’s account number.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@Jeruba The DNC numbers drop off every 5 years IF you don’t reenter your request to stay on it. So your number hasn’t been on the list for around 11 years or so.

Response moderated
Jeruba's avatar

@LadyMarissa, maybe so, but the registry says we are current. I received a confirmation e-mail for each number.

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba Yes, I checked today and also got confirming emails.

nicklindsey5674's avatar

What you can do is try to block them, because it helps.

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