Is Ting selling numbers to telemarketers?

This year in particular, I have had a MASSIVE number of robocalls/hangups from random numbers across the whole continental U.S. I'm talking sometimes like 5 per day. This never happened with other carriers I'm about to switch if this continues.

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9 comments
  • Hey Dillion, we would never sell your numbers or information to anyone. It's difficult to pinpoint why these calls have increased in frequency as of late but the best course of action is to ensure that you are on the national do not call list. It would also be a good idea to utilize a call blocking application.  

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  • I've done both of those. The numbers I have blocked are well into the hundreds yet even today I've already received 4 calls from new numbers. I just never had this problem with other carriers

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  • I have had this problem too. This week, 3-5 calls a day, some from the same people. I have an old school phone and my list of blocked numbers is maxed out. 

    Republic Wireless does this thing where you have two phone numbers: your preferred (used) number, and a number with Sprint, from whom they buy bandwidth. Does Ting do this? 

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  • I've had the same problem in the last few months. It isn't a Ting issue, I was with Verizon when it started.

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  • My wife and I have had this issue too. In fact, I never sign up for anything with my Ting number (They all go through Google Voice), but all these calls are coming directly to my Ting number now. Like several spam calls every single day. I've heard lots of people on several phone services having this same problem. I think this is an issue bigger than ting.

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  • I JUST did a search for this topic and lo and behold, someone asked the exact question I typed into google. I get SO many calls from robocalls/telemarketers EVERY SINGLE DAY it isn't funny. SO many. I'm getting very sick of it. This is actually an emergency cell I keep at home for my son (who doesn't have a cell phone) for emergencies if I run a quick errand. Three of his friends have the number and they text/call each other maybe once a month on it. So this number is barely used and certainly is never used to sign up for anything. 

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  • To clarify, we do not sell numbers to telemarketers. It's very likely the uptick everyone is seeing is a combination of a few factors: 

    1. The call centers placing these calls are abusing a system of trust currently in place in the caller ID system. The system asks "what phone number are you?" The spammer's system responds with a phone number, the caller ID system trusts it and passes that number on to you with no verification. This means the spammers can pick any phone number they want. 

    2. Because they can pick any phone number they want, they'll use well-known phone numbers, including 202-456-1414or something from your local exchange, making it look like a normal phone number. You're more likely to pick up a phone number that looks local than you are to pick up something from a place you've never been. This is called neighbor spoofing.   

    3. The current methods of blocking these kinds of calls both on a carrier and on a phone hardware level are blacklists. Just giant lists of phone numbers that are marked as "scam or spam". The problem with this kind of list is that the spammers aren't actually calling from these numbers. They took a random number to call you. If you add that number to a blacklist, it's unlikely the spammer would even try to contact you or anyone via that number ever again. All they do is prevent legit calls from getting through, should the person who actually owns that number ever try to contact you for a real reason.

    4. Many of the call centers that are making these calls are located overseas and are pop-up shops. Even if the FCC (the agency charged with fixing this issue) could get local police to the overseas location where the calls were coming from, there's no guarantee the call center is even there anymore. The podcast ReplyAll did a great series about this, if podcasts are your thing.

    The best solutions to these problems are legislative and are probably years away. Enforcing some sort of verification for caller ID is probably Step 1, but what that verification system looks like is yet to be seen. There are many legit reasons to spoof a caller ID that aren't spam.

    As much as we'd like to, we (Ting) have no control over that system. We are required by law to accept any call that comes in to you (the spammer calling you, specifically) and deliver it to your handset. 

    Until Congress acts and protection measures not designed in the 70s are put into place, your best options for stopping these calls are going to be third-party apps that use a combination of the not-perfect blacklist system described above and some common sense about how we get our phone numbers these days.

    The article I linked to about Robokiller is technically an ad for their service, even though it's really informative. They will intercept calls on your behalf and hang up on the scammers before, or even better will forward them to their answer bots to waste their time. 

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  • Hey Mitch, thanks for the clarification.

    The RoboKiller app page on Google Play tells me "This item isn't available on your carrier."  Am I doing something wrong, or is there a setting somewhere that I've missed?

    Link: https://robokiller.com/app-store

    Thanks for your time,

     

    - JC

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  • John, 

    The issue may be that they don't immediately recognize that we support Conditional Call Forwarding.

    This sounds like it should be a Robokiller or Play Store issue, as we do support CCF on both networks. Because once the switch on their end is 'flipped' that we support the feature, you should be able to download it. 

    But as it turns out, on Ting (unlike a lot of carriers), we allow you to control whether or not Call Forwarding is used on your line, and that is what's reported to the Play Store. If you have Call Forwarding turned off in your Ting dashboard, any app that uses Call Forwarding will see that your carrier doesn't technically support it. When you turn Call Forwarding on, those apps will see that your carrier supports it. 

    This method is preferred to Google needing to be constantly updated about what all carriers support -- the Play Store just asks the phone directly in the background.

    If you enable call forwarding in your Ting dashboard and do a profile update, you should be able to reboot and download Robokiller from the Play Store. Let me know if that works!

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