Call screening to eliminate robocalls

My Magicjack account has a Robocall elimination feature where a live caller has to press a random digit before the call rings through. This has eliminated 100% Robocalls on my home line. Will you be doing this for my mobile service? I understand this might be in the works by other providers.

5

Comments

46 comments
  • Hi Sandy,

    We definitely know how annoying those calls can be! Currently, the best options for blocking them is going to be via an App like Youmail or Truecaller. You can also adjust the contacts/DND settings on most phones to block specific contacts or all calls not from contacts. It's hard to say when we may be able to offer something like what you've described but it definitely sounds interesting!

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I and many others would like to see ting step up and addres the robo caller issue nd this would be a great 1st start.

    3
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Yes!  Please!  I get a dozen robocalls a day.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I want this too!

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Count me in!  3 robocalls this morning from spoofed CallerIDs.  More every day!  When you visit truecaller they say to download the app to learn about it!  Worthless web site!

    Truecaller builds their callerID database by uploading all of your contacts!  NOT ACCEPTABLE!

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • VOTE THIS ISSUE UP so it gets some attention from Ting.  These Robocalls are getting out of control.  Something like asking the caller to press a random number before letting the call through would be awesome.

    3
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hey Brad, 

    That functionality is already available through Google Voice, and you don't need to leave Ting to do it. It's called call screening. 

    Here's an article that shows what else Google Voice can do. Once you set it up, all your callers (except those from trusted contacts) will need to push a number in order to connect to you. 

    I have my own Ting phone set up this way, and it's great. I rarely get robo calls anymore.

    If you need help getting it set up, let me know!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thanks Mitch.  I can do that and start giving out my new Google Voice number, but what about my current phone number that all the Robocallers already have?  What would prevent them from just continuing to call my cell directly?  I'm not interested in changing my number.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thanks Mitch but that doesn't stop robocallers from sequentially dialing numbers until they reach my Ting number.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • If you set your Ting number to u̶n̶c̶o̶n̶d̶i̶t̶i̶o̶n̶a̶l̶l̶y̶  conditionally forward to your Google Voice number, calls to both numbers (your Ting number and your Google Voice number) will be filtered through the call screening process, making it seamless for you and doubly frustrating for spammers. That is, no matter which number they call, they'll still get screened by Google Voice. 

    I set mine up like this a few years ago. I've lately been giving out my Google Voice number to businesses and non-close friends, and reserve giving my personal number to close friends and family only. The only thing that really changes is that people with my GVoice number have their text messages arrive via the app, and I'm not charged by Ting for them.

    When someone calls my personal Ting number, it automatically gets forwarded to Google Voice and can be screened if necessary, as the call screening options are expansive. If the caller isn't forwarded, Google calls me using their number, so my phone interprets it as a call from them, and I don't notice a difference.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thanks.  I'll give it a try and post back for the benefit of everyone on this thread.  I would have thought the scenario you describe would have created an infinite loop of call forwards.  Someone calls your phone, which forwards it to GVoice, who forwards it back to your phone, which forwards it to GVoice again, etc...

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • There's technically only one forward -- that of your initial caller to your Google Voice number. Google then decides what to do with it, and if they decide it's a call that should come to you, they place a call to your Ting phone number ringing through your forwarding. 

    I know it sounds a little confusing, because you're forwarding all calls, and what about that other call that Google makes to you in the end, but it works, and that's what's important.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I am not able to forward my Ting calls to Google Voice using the instructions here: https://help.ting.com/hc/en-us/articles/205421988-Call-Forwarding for GSM.  I get the error "Error performing request Unknown Error".  I dialed **21*1phonenumber# substituting phonenumber for my actual GVoice number, obviously.  I did enable call forwarding in my Ting device manager online.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Brad for my Samsung GSM Android phone I enabled it on my phone via the Phone app and Settings, More Settings.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Just what I need, another third party account to spread my info as well as racking up double minutes on my Ting account. Great solution. No thanks!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • DO NOT SET UP CALL FORWARDING!  I followed this advice, and now am not able to turn it off.  See this bug thread...  https://forums.att.com/t5/Apple/Cannot-turn-off-call-forwarding-on-my-iphone-6/td-p/4850230  So now my phone is forwarding to google voice, but google voice won't forward back to my phone (this scenario still makes no sense to me.  They would just keep forwarding to eachother).  End result is now instead of robocalls, I get NO calls and need to figure out how to fix my phone.  Great.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I cannot get this to work.  I set my Ting phone to forward to my GV number.  I turn on call screening in (legacy) GV and check the box for "Ask unknown callers to say their name."  Finally I have GV forward calls to my cellphone and home phone.

    I asked a friend to call my Ting phone and he got the voicemail message on GV.  

    I was able to turn off call forwarding on my GSM Android phone.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I should have clarified what the dialer code is for my setup. I use * * 0 0 4 * [Your Google Voice Number] #. 

    Brad, to disable unconconditional call forwarding, dial # # 2 1 #. Then, set up forwarding using the 004 number above.

    Stephen, which number did you use to set up forwarding? The 61 forwarding code will only forward if there is no reply to your Ting number, which doesn't filter through Google Voice first.

    Sandy, rest assured this only uses minutes once. Until our network providers give us additional tools to block robocalls, we're using the tools available to us to help reduce them.

    I think I need to buckle down and make an updated Google Voice on Ting guide. 

    If any of you are still having issues, please either reply to this thread, or send an email to help@ting.com and let me know here, so I can follow up with you.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Brad, I didn't use a number.  I used the phone app to turn on call forwarding.  It forwarded correctly because my friend got the GV greeting when calling my Ting cell phone.  My cell phone never rang.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • This is pretty urgent now. I've received 5 calls about the new temporary insurance plan that Trumpy has okay'd. That's 5 this morning, all from different fake numbers.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Hey Roberta, 

    We agree that it's urgent, but we're bound by law to deliver calls to you that come into our system. Several states are urging the FCC to do something about it, and if you state isn't one of them, we encourage you to contact your attorney general and ask them to pressure the FCC.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thanks Mitch, although I don't see anything that tells what Texas is doing about this ...

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Mitch, last year the FCC authorized some measures: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/11/new-robocall-blocking-tools-on-the-way-but-carriers-can-charge-you-extra/ 

    But that hasn't been enough, number spoofing got more sophisticated: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/10/robocallers-evolved-to-sidestep-new-call-blocking-rules-ags-tell-fcc/ 

    Looks to be a running battle until confirmed caller id (no spoofing!) in the network is available.  Honestly, I can't see how any technique would be a problem a long as it was something that the user could chose to enable or disable.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • The tools do exist. By law, caller ID spoofing has a $10,000 per violation federal fine.

    But lots of the shops doing these spam calls are out of the jurisdiction of the US federal government. They're by-and-large overseas operations, and by law, telecom companies have to trust that what the caller ID says from other telecom companies who are passing the call. 

    The whole system being based on trust is kind of at the heart of the issue, as it only take a few bad actors to violate the trust and you end up with this kind of problem. Legislating or regulating the problem to one of trust-based caller ID sounds great until you realize all the logistics involved for every telephone company and businesses who legitimately spoof their caller IDs.

    And any new system or regulation would have to be agreed upon worldwide in order to communicate with telecom companies and their customers across the world. That's why the standard we're currently using was developed in 1975.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • While digging around for sources on this topic, I stumbled on a powerpoint presentation that accurately reflects why it's really difficult to stop or regulate the caller ID system as it's implemented today:

    The entire presentation is about a technology that claims to be able to do something about the problem. Here's a different solution by another company. Getting everyone on board is just one problem. Asking international telecom companies to cede control of part of their networks to a third-party private entity is another.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I use an app called "Hiya" on my android device and it has a huge database of numbers for spam and an amazing caller ID system. Not sponsored by them, just love it to control robocalls. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • I called a MagicJack user today and heard the "Press 9 to be connected" message. That works great!

    PLEASE TING!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • T-Mobile's service to reduce robocalls is getting good reviews. Can we get this for our Ting GSM phones?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Our network providers have not yet extended this option to us, so we're not able to provide it to you guys at this time. If they do decide to open up access to these tools to wholesale (MVNOs like Ting), we would be happy to provide it.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Thanks for the tip, Mitch. It seems that the forwarding code you gave only forwards calls when my ting number is busy, unanswered, or unreachable, which means that my phone still rings with every spam call. Is there any way to avoid this? Forwarding all calls means that calls placed to my google voice number also don't get through. Is there some way to whitelist calls forwarded via google voice and block everything else?

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.