Rounding up Rachel's Robocallers
A phone call flagging system
This proposal is to stop robocalls by limiting phone number spoofing.
Combine government regulations and phone company practices with consultation with legit telemarketing, sales and polling companies to catch robocalls without adversely impacting business. Consultants should include the engineers of a company because they are familiar with what would work, along with the company president’s advice about the bottom line.
Scammers rely on making a vast number of calls hoping to pull in a few people to take their bait for their efforts to be worthwhile. 100% enforcement for anything is an unrealstic ideal that does not exist in the real world, making for a near impossible cat and mouse game. Attempts at 100% usually result in more innocent false positives than the intent to catch violators. Rather than trying to catch 100% of spoofs, the objective in this plan is to increase the dificulty level so telemarketers are slowed down in their ability to use automated robocalling calling. Manual dialing speed would be unprofitable and not worth the effort.
This is a multi-aspected flagging system to build a blacklist to identify and limit the bigger offender companies first.
- block robocalls early in the connection before they reach consumers
- Force robocalls to use analog technology
- A digital ID required for blocked ID calls.
Automatic mismatching of caller ID numbers trigger a random caller ID review
Work with the telephone companies for them to report high volume phone numbers, they already have this information from billing records. Point out that it is in their interest to avoid putting stress and overburdening their equipment with excessive calls. All of the following info can used to either block calls from going through or flag the caller's number for review so a violator would have more avenues they have to address to avoid detection. Some such as using the call history of the number of calls in a given time period might best be flagged at the time of billing instead of as the calls are made. Even if they use the phone number for just 1 month, it requires a getting a new set of numbers to dial from each month.
- compare the caller id with where that number is assigned to preferable to the city. This would limit the number of calls they can make to their exchange prefix.
- geolocation/cell tower information of a mobile phone or the area exchange for landlines
- compare the caller id with where that number is assigned to
- Is the number displayed for caller ID in use or offline at the time of the call?
- Use the caller id information at the server side instead of when it reaches the customer
- Black list of spoofed numbers to target the common ones making more work for robocallers to spoof
- blank (no number displayed)
- the number 1 or less than a complete number
- unavailable (is this what the phone company uses if it doesn’t recognize the Id?)
- the same number as who is being called or displaying a previous number dialed from that number.
- compares phone records of what caller id customers see with the number calling and connected to them with if number displayed was in use at time
Excessive quantity of outgoing calls trigger an automatic dialer review
- limit multiple phone calls made from the same number right after each other
- use patterns such as sequential phone numbers, calls lasting only a few seconds
- a threshold based on advice from legit companies of how many calls per time period.
- Have a multi tiered set of threasholds
- a really high incidents of suspicious activity triggering a mandatory review
- a moderately high as flagged for a random check similar to an IRS audit.
- The exact thresholds can be varied and kept secret, similar to how Google's search algorithm is not disclosed to businesses. Start at a high rate for the big fish and work down towards hand dialing levels.
- unavailable phone calls or with phony numbers are not connected by the phone company unless listed
- caller gets a recorded message similar to when one misdials. Message includes key prompts and or an audio message
Reporting (secondary option)
- review or buy the database list of numbers reported to the various phone number comments websites
- promote the FTC’s own website through PSAs as the official place for people to list non-spoofed numbers where action will be taken
- a set of phone keypad buttons such as *13 or *86 pressed after a spam phone call will flag it for review similar to forwarding spam email to the FTC.
- consumers are given the option to block area and country codes
- The compare which area a call is made would force the calls to show where they are from
- expressed acceptance of permission to receive further phone calls can not include from a key prompt initiated by a call a consumer didn't do business with before
Caller ID Blocking (secondary option)
- caller id blocking for all calls made from a line requires registering that phone number in a database. Automatic dialers and unavailable phone numbers must be registered (and include identifying info for companies with legit reasons to do use them). This list is used with the threshold method in section III.
- license agencies such as those dealing with domestic abuse to authorize per line ID block based on actual legit need vs just wanting blocking
- until people are used to no more line caller ID, audio message similar to “Call Can’t Be Connected” of “Caller ID Is NOT Blocked, Please Use *67 For Each Call” is played for numbers previously using line caller ID
- a high percentage of individual phone caller ID blocking flags the phone number for review.
Tax (secondary option)
- a tax per call made on auto dialers, including software based ones, or if exceeding the number of calls in a set amount of time that is possible by hand helps fund enforcement.
- This tax would cover existing units and serves as another violation to charge robocallers with.
Capcha (optional idea)
I've already realized the dificulty in this secondary idea after hearing how many takes it took for me to read the naration for the instructional movie.
A capcha word is spellled out for callerd believing that their calls being blocked is in error to help identify foreign call centers, spell a word not common in foreign countries as an audio capcha. When Italy was being formed, the Italians used linguistics like the pronociation for chickpeas to identify the French.
A phone call opt-in system
SummaryThis is a companion suggestion to Rachel’s Retirement. This idea is to close loopholes and update the standards for what qualifies a business to call someone on the DNC list and for more open disclosure of who is calling.
- The criteria for an organization to qualify as a political campaign, tax exempt non-profit or other DNC exempt group can be tightened up.
- Standards must not be so strict to exclude calling due to someone being from a third political party.
- Polls sponsored by a political candidate must clearly identify themselves as such.
- When called, a telemarketer must provide the name of a specific product, service or business partner a consumer used that allows them to call people on the DNC list. As a minimum, callers must provide the date the original transaction was made as specified above.
- Customer names may be shared with partners but not to partners of their partners unless those parties are subsidiaries or divisions of the parent company.
ConnectionsThis tangle of wires below is the patchbay for a stage lighting system.
Each wire called a patch cord, is connected to a different light.
The panel has jacks for the dimmer packs to power the lights.
The dimmers (far right) are remotely controlled from a light board by the lighting director.
Some lights used here are 1,000 watts but each dimmer could handle up to 2400.
Four 600 watt 28 volt headlight stye bulbs wired like Christmas lights would run on 120 volts at 2400 watts.
Full power to those lights for more than a minute exceeded the 112 watts they could handle.
Operators used to manually connect phone calls using a similar patch bay.
The equipment shown at the top is an electro-mechanical switch as part of o newer but pre-solid state phone system.
Modern lights are self-contained units connected by a computer control cable
They use a slitted wheel to dim the lights instead of changing the power to the fixture.