How to torment telemarketers (LA Times) [Telecom]

The air-horn-blasting technique recommended by the retired police detective obviously wouldn't work nearly as well as suggested, because the PSTN's dynamic range of is intentionally capped at a small fraction of that of human hearing. But some of the other techniques in this article are pretty clever.


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How to torment telemarketers

Blasting an air horn, putting the telemarketers on a lengthy hold,

for ideas on combating 'Rachel from cardholder services.'

David Lazarus

4:52 PM PST, January 13, 2014

I almost feel sorry for telemarketers. Almost.

Last week, I solicited advice from readers about the best ways to get telemarketers to stop bugging you, especially robocallers like "Rachel from cardholder services," which the former head of the Federal Trade Commission branded "public enemy No. 1."

Judging from the avalanche of responses I received, I can say with confidence that many of you are not only fed up with these pests, you're more than happy to exact a little revenge in the form of pranks and time-wasting tactics.

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***** Moderator's Note *****

Bernis S is right: an air horn isn't effective. However, the tones from an ordinary touch-tone phone are actually /much/ louder on the other end of a call than they sound when you push the button. You can say "I'll get my wife on the intercom, and force the marketeer to listen to two or three attempts to "transfer" his call before he gives up.

It's all about money: the most expensive factor to "Rachel" and her friends is the "hit ratio" of successes versus failures. When you answer the phone, /please/ take one for the team and do what you can to waste the human's time. If even a small fraction of victims fought back this way, "Rachel" would be out of business in a month.

Bill Horne Moderator

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Per bernieS:

I would also opine that Rachel would be dead meat if the enforcement people moved her up in their priority list. Imagine somebody calling government agency phones and threatening high-ranking politicians..... How long would that last? I'd bet less than a week... maybe less than

24 hours if it were the right threat against the right person.

Rachel can hide behind all the VOIP skips and offshore boiler rooms in the world - but sooner or later she must get down and dirty to accept money and I'd think credit card transactions can be traced with speed and certainty..... I think it's just a matter of man hours, determination, and creativity.

OTOH, I'm guessing there's a whole lot worse things going on 24-7 than some bottom feeder interrupting my dinner.

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Pete Cresswell

Yes - there's about what 4Khz of bandwidth. It's pretty amazing that we got 56kbit service over that in the day. Got to love Quadrature Amplitude [modulation].

That being said - on a cell phone go and get the app called Blocker. I know it's available for Android and maybe IOS. It blocks all private and unknown calls plus you can configure pattern based blocking. So let's say Rachel from Card Services calls from 854-222-2300 through 854-222-

2800. On Blocker you can just put in 854-222-2 and tell it to block everything starting with that sequence.
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I would contend that it hits several PSTN switches in the chain - and ultimately you'd narrow down the VoIP provider who would then provide the IP range of the offending calls.

IP address(es).

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Phonetray from Traysoft that I use on my desktop has the same feature but you have to use ? to make a complete number. In your example, I would use 854-222-2??? to block everything starting with that sequence.

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