snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > SLC Central > Social Studies

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05 September 2017, 02:50 PM
DawnStorm's Avatar
DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
Join Date: 11 March 2003
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Posts: 15,517
Shout Robo rage: Area codes around DC that get the most robocalls

Article at this link: http://wtop.com/local/2017/09/robo-rage-area-codes-dc/

Seems the DC area is a robocaller's main stomping ground, but I'm sure many of you others would beg to differ.

My friends and I were discussing this one day; one my friends got a call about some student loans, which wouldn't be funny if my friend was not a retired DOJ attorney. Any loans he might have had have been paid off decades ago.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05 September 2017, 05:07 PM
WildaBeast's Avatar
WildaBeast WildaBeast is offline
 
Join Date: 18 July 2002
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 14,725
Default

Quote:
“Spoofing” is the practice of disguising an originating phone number from caller ID.
I've also noticed a relatively recent trend where the spoofed number that shows up on my caller ID has the same area code and first three digits as my own number. Apparently this practice even has a name -- "neighbor spoofing". The idea, of course, is to trick you into answering by making you think the call might be from one of your neighbors, or your kid's school, or something else local to you. It might work with landlines, but since I only have a cell phone it backfires with me. Seeing a number with the same first three digits as my own is a dead giveaway that it's a robocall. I don't know anyone with a phone number with the same first three digits as mine.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05 September 2017, 05:16 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
Join Date: 28 June 2005
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Posts: 5,228
Default

Definitely, WB. I noticed the same thing around here for at least a few years with robos to my cell (I know better now, but I thought it must be someone from the same institution as me- even got the same exchange and 3 of the 4 least digits), but more recently to my house- so much that it also had a name that sounded like my ethnicity* (must have been a coincidence because my name does not).

*Not that it would matter in me answering, I just thought it might be someone calling from my house of worship.

ETA: To my cell, I have gotten a call spoofed as being from my number.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05 September 2017, 05:28 PM
mbravo's Avatar
mbravo mbravo is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2015
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 940
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I've also noticed a relatively recent trend where the spoofed number that shows up on my caller ID has the same area code and first three digits as my own number. Apparently this practice even has a name -- "neighbor spoofing". The idea, of course, is to trick you into answering by making you think the call might be from one of your neighbors, or your kid's school, or something else local to you. It might work with landlines, but since I only have a cell phone it backfires with me. Seeing a number with the same first three digits as my own is a dead giveaway that it's a robocall. I don't know anyone with a phone number with the same first three digits as mine.
How does this even work, like how is it accomplished? We wondered if someone was using our phone number for such a purpose a year or so ago, because we kept getting calls from people insisting that we had called them when we knew we clearly had not.

Some of it we attributed to a misnumbered dentist office that is one digit off from ours on a business card or something, but the whole situation was just weird. (and annoying both for us and everyone else involved)

Lately it's been annoying because while we usually avoid picking up the phone for unrecognized numbers, last month we received many calls from people we didn't know or hadn't spoken to in years/decades coming out of the woodwork after my aunt passed away.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05 September 2017, 05:53 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 24,511
Default

Spoofing can be pretty easy with certain types of telephone connection. In a nutshell, the caller ID is sent with the ring signal to the phone line by the switch provider of the caller. For a standard landline or cell phone, that provider is the company the phone service is contracted for. For VoIP or trunk lines*, the switch provider is often the company itself, rather than a contracted phone provider. During setup of they system, they enter the phone number and/or caller information themselves and can change it with a few keystrokes. The robocallers have their system to where it looks at the number being called and automatically changes the outgoing signal to duplicate the area code and exchange.

* Company phone systems. If you dial a 9 to call outside the company, it is probably a trunk line of some flavor.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05 September 2017, 06:02 PM
Phantom's Avatar
Phantom Phantom is offline
 
Join Date: 20 May 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 664
Default

I no longer answer my landline or cell phone unless I know who is calling. With the cell phone, I will click the power button to silence it, so as to not have to listen to the ringing and disturb others. Will this alert the robocallers that the line is active, or will it just look like an average non-answer to them?

I also found this site with some tips. Anyone have experience with the apps they describe? I'm curious about YouMail.
https://www.boston.com/news/technolo...w-to-stop-them

I'm also confused as to what Congress is doing about it, blocking or allowing? Sounds like another partisan angle.

Last edited by Phantom; 05 September 2017 at 06:09 PM. Reason: moar questions and resources
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05 September 2017, 06:10 PM
smittykins's Avatar
smittykins smittykins is offline
 
Join Date: 27 December 2003
Location: Seneca Falls, NY
Posts: 2,493
Default

One time, I got a call with my own name and number on the caller ID.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05 September 2017, 06:11 PM
Phantom's Avatar
Phantom Phantom is offline
 
Join Date: 20 May 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 664
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smittykins View Post
One time, I got a call with my own name and number on the caller ID.
Did you have anything interesting to say?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05 September 2017, 06:13 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
Join Date: 28 June 2005
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Posts: 5,228
Default

Thanks for the explanation. If the spoofer spoofs what turns out to be a real number, does it the receiving line pick-up the name that really goes with that number?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05 September 2017, 06:42 PM
DawnStorm's Avatar
DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
Join Date: 11 March 2003
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Posts: 15,517
Shout

GenYus reminded me: my jobsite gets robocalls as well. The 'caller' usually dials the helpline number, so all of our phones go off at once.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05 September 2017, 06:50 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2005
Location: Greenwood, IN
Posts: 6,640
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
Thanks for the explanation. If the spoofer spoofs what turns out to be a real number, does it the receiving line pick-up the name that really goes with that number?
It should. Your phone is one of the thing that puts the name to the number and as far as the phone knows the number calling is a valid one.

It is probably time for a law against spoofing a calling number. Or, the telecom's need to figure out how to prevent spoofing. Or, someone could charge a spoofer with wire fraud. Perhaps a ruling that it is wire fraud would be of help.

My cell gets a call or three per week. My home landline gets about a call per day. Blocking the numbers no longer works because the numbers are spoofed.

Both numbers are on the national "do not call list", which currently seems to just be a source of numbers for telemarketers.

Last edited by jimmy101_again; 05 September 2017 at 06:51 PM. Reason: dncl
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05 September 2017, 07:01 PM
DawnStorm's Avatar
DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
Join Date: 11 March 2003
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Posts: 15,517
Icon22

Quote:
Originally Posted by smittykins View Post
One time, I got a call with my own name and number on the caller ID.
That happened to a friend of mine. How on earth do you call yourself? Why would you need to call yourself? You're right there!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05 September 2017, 07:05 PM
Phantom's Avatar
Phantom Phantom is offline
 
Join Date: 20 May 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 664
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
That happened to a friend of mine. How on earth do you call yourself? Why would you need to call yourself? You're right there!
Hello, me! Meet the REAL me!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05 September 2017, 08:11 PM
mbravo's Avatar
mbravo mbravo is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2015
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 940
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smittykins View Post
One time, I got a call with my own name and number on the caller ID.
Why hasn't this been made into a thriller yet?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05 September 2017, 11:38 PM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is online now
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,106
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy101_again View Post
It is probably time for a law against spoofing a calling number.
It has been illegal since 2009. Spammers have faced criminal fines of many millions.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06 September 2017, 01:12 AM
Little Pink Pill's Avatar
Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
Join Date: 03 September 2005
Location: California
Posts: 6,885
Default

I'd love to know if they really make enough money at this to justify the fines, etc, or if they're working under some marketing urban legend that robocalls are a lucrative practice.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06 September 2017, 01:33 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is online now
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,106
Default

I think like most criminals they don't think they'll get caught and, in these cases, they're probably right because they rarely do. So they probably don't consider the fines as part of the equation.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06 September 2017, 02:11 AM
Little Pink Pill's Avatar
Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
Join Date: 03 September 2005
Location: California
Posts: 6,885
Default

True, and we're unlikely to find out exact numbers, but I'm still curious about how much money they actually make doing this. If everyone is getting 17 calls a month, who is still falling for this?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06 September 2017, 02:48 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is online now
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,106
Default Heres why you're getting so many spam phone calls

https://moneyish.com/ish/heres-why-y...m-phone-calls/
Quote:
Plus, clever con artists often try profiting off of topical subjects, like calling about donations following a national tragedy, so tax season the past couple of months has likely spurred a slew of phony IRS and debt collecting calls. They phish for your personal information, or get you to agree to buy shoddy products and accept fraudulent charges. And the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently warned that the calls asking, “Can you hear me?” or “Do you pay most of the bills in your home?” are probably trying to record you saying “Yes” to use your own voice against you in authorizing charges on a bill or a stolen credit card.
So "falling for" is probably going a bit far when all they want to do is record (g)your voice saying "yes".
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06 September 2017, 05:07 PM
Little Pink Pill's Avatar
Little Pink Pill Little Pink Pill is offline
 
Join Date: 03 September 2005
Location: California
Posts: 6,885
Default

Ha, good point, they got me on that one ("Oh, I'm sorry, my husband was talking to me, are you there?") but nothing ever came of it. I guess the benefit to robocalls is you can try millions of times for just a few successes, it just doesn't seem like something that would ultimately have that great of a payoff in the end.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
White Nationalist 'Truly Sorry' For Homophobic Anti-McMullin Robocalls Psihala Soapbox Derby 0 03 November 2016 02:38 AM
Modest Debut of Atlas May Foreshadow Age of ‘Robo Sapiens’ snopes Techno-Babble 0 12 July 2013 06:35 AM
Hate robocalls? FTC hopes these guys have an answer snopes Techno-Babble 2 03 April 2013 04:12 AM
Secret ZIP codes snopes Trivia 4 02 January 2011 05:32 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.