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Bill

TPS Don't make me laugh!

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I don’t know about anyone else on here, but it seems that just lately I’m getting more than my fair share of junk/scam telephone calls despite being registered with TPS. Calls supposedly from BT telling me my internet has been compromised or Amazon that my account has suspicious payments are regular so I can only wonder how many calls I would be getting if I hadn't registered my number with the TPS??????

I can’t for the life of me, think why anyone in the world would want to receive such calls and yet it’s up to us as individuals to take action, which to me is perverted logic that’s completely arse about face. Surely common sense tells us that if nobody wants this sort of stuff, then TPS should be on by default and you'd only need to act if you actually wanted scam calls but I guess that they won’t do this as someone would be out of a “job”.

I seem to recall the argument when TPS was set up that it was needed as some older folk actually liked to receive “sales” calls because they were lonely. How ironic is it that now the older generation have become the biggest victims of scams!

 

Bill 😊

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Well i get them on both mobile and home phone. Even the answer machine does not deter them.

On my mobile i just add them to the blacklist. but they still manage to get through.

Had a nuisance call this morning.It was from the conservative party wanting to speak to Mrs Sid. Handed her the phone an dshe was not at all happy when she found out who it was. Even i would not use that type of language.:oops:

I am also signed up to the free TPS but have had calls about the paid one. I just told them it didn't work. when they asked why i said "well you called didn't you?"🤣

 

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When I get these calls I just tell them I charge £10 a minute for my time and ask where I should send the invoice. For some reason they hang up, unsociable buggers 🤣.

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I'm registered with the free TPS service (well I presume I still am as I did it years ago). To be honest I don't get may sales/questionnaire calls and I've only had one type of scam call and that was 'from' Hmrc sayng a warrant had been put out for my arrest ha ha. 

My dad's also registered on the free TPS service but he gets loads of scam and sales/questionaire type calls. 

My land-line is with virgin media, dad's is with BT so I wonder if that makes a difference somehow. 

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The callers target oldies deliberately because they are expected to panic and give away information or agree to things. The numbers come from all sorts of publicly available sources and the phone book does not discriminate between providers. TPS works by giving UK marketing firms access to the TPS list which they must check before calling a number in case it is restricted by the list. If a UK caller ignores the list he can have all phone service taken away by all providers after complaints to Ofcom. So they outsource calling to foreign companies who use IP telephony and lie about their calling line number, so you get calls from overseas that say they are from UK numbers. Often they use unallocated numbers in the local are at random so that the systems that track large numbers of calls cannot spot bogus callers.

The calls are often made by robo-callers which fire off a batch of calls all over the country and when you answer they connect you to an agent. I usually wait at least 9 seconds, three pairs of rings, then go off hook remaining silent. The calling machines see that behaviour as being an answering machine so drop the call nine times out of ten. If you have a suitable phone CLI is now free from all operators so you can see if it is who you want to talk to before answering.

The use of random calling numbers means that most blocking services cannot work. The calls may often originate from the sub-continent but I am told they enter the UK direct via the US and Europe so blocking them based on where they come from doesn't work.

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4 hours ago, Dizzy said:

from' Hmrc sayng a warrant had been put out for my arrest ha ha. 

I had one from the police saying they wanted to interview me. Thing is i can't even remember applying for a job with them...🤭

  • Haha 2

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It’s easy for people like us to dream up funny or smart way or responding but it doesn’t address the fact that these calls are malicious and especially target the old and the vulnerable and nobody seems to be doing a jot about it, why is that???

So, who’s in the best position to do anything about these scammers? Well certainly not the TPS as they’re only marginally effective at dealing with legitimate UK companies trying to make sales calls and these are not really scammers. The police won’t get involved and just offer standard advice. They’ll only act if very large amounts are involved so £100 or so to fix your non-existent virus isn’t a crime, just your own fault.

The telecom providers could do something but don’t want to  and why should they, after all they make money on the calls/lines and then they also make money by selling us blocking phones. It’s a win-win situation! Unbelievably, it doesn’t stop there. BT charge the police huge sums of money to provide information, so with monetary constraints, the police just can’t follow up most complaints.

 

Bill :)

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Bill,

What you say is correct about Malicious Calls but what most people get are not legally Malicious Calls. Malicious Calls can be set up to be traced within the UK automatically when you receive them. A system was set up by Ofcom to trace spam calls at the insistence of Ed Vaizey, I don't know if it is still working. I think you are wrong about the companies being happy with the situation because people are not using the fixed network because of this problem, BT do not get money unless the call is answered and people don't bother any more.

 

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I got a call from an 0845 number this morning which I didn't answer because I was upstairs at the time. I checked my phone and saw it was 0845. If you get a call from an 0845 scammer they will hang up as soon as you pick up. They then hope you will be curious enough to redial their number without checking. 0845 numbers are premium rate for phoning out and, if you're daft, or ignorant, enough to do it, you will find yourself probably listening to a very long recorded message costing you a premium rate.

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I don't think people are moving away from landlines because of junk calls but more the fact that they already pay for their mobile phones. Given the chance, most would probably like to drop their landlines if they could but understandably the broadband providers make it conditional. Maybe in time the need for a direct connection will go so we only need to pay once for our airtime. 

Anyway, just moving away from landlines won't stop the scammers and those able to stop it will continue to take the easy option of just telling us to be more careful.

 

Bill :)

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Bill,

Ofcom have told operators that the fixed network is approaching a crisis point because of nuisance calls. The fact is that many folks no longer answer the fixed line because they assume it will be a nuisance call. For some time yet the mobile phone network is simply not as reliable (i.e. available) as the fixed network. The back-up power supply on mobile masts only lasts for up to an hour normally, and whilst you can make a 999 call on any network the way that all the networks share masts will sometime mean that a loss of power will take them all out at the same time. The grid is becoming less stable and such power loss events are expected to happen more often. Of course they affect mobile and broadband but not fixed telephones which are powered from the exchange which also has a backup diesel generator which starts automatically and feeds a battery which acts as an uninterruptable power supply. Cordless phones in the home also stop in power cuts so keeping a line powered wired phone to use in emergencies is a sensible precaution.

Scammers also call mobile phones but they don't have the data that links aged folk to the numbers but they will get it if everyone only uses mobiles.

Telling us to be careful is not just the easy option. I am sorry to tell you that identifying the calls before they terminate is horrendously difficult and the UK is adopting the same solution as the UK and Canada who suffer the same problems. Fixing the problem when the public is stopping to use the network is not a money making plan, the operators just see growing costs and a dying network. The current fixed Telephone Network is to be replaced by one using broadband and all the highly resilient networks of today are due to be replaced by the end of 2025. You can already get broadband without a phone line in some places in Warrington and elsewhere supplied by Openreach and by Virgin Media. There is lots of financial pressure of the wrong kind involved in this kind of network.

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Confused

Your preaching to the converted as I do understand the technical issues involved. My business provides equipment and services to the taxi trade and over the years I’ve seen the evolution of call trends as they moved from landline only to text, then to mobile and most recently to apps. The technology of course needs to follow this but one thing I can say for certain is that despite it being called smart, overall, I don’t see any real change in overall reliability. I’d go so far as to say things have got worse with drivers having to have dual sim devices to protect against outages and companies needing both a cable and wired connections for their internet and phones. So yes, the technology’s far from perfect but that won’t deter a generation who want to do everything with something they can hold in their hand and I predict that landlines will continue to decline because of this with or without scam calls.

You say identifying the scam calls before they terminate is horrendously difficult!” So it can be done if the companies really wanted to but there’s no financial benefit for them. If I’d have been paid for my time assisting the police to track down the bad guys on the mobile network, I’d probably be worth another few million. For me though, it was always the challenge of horrendously difficult, can’t be done or impossible but I believe that you never get anywhere if you don’t try. I’m certain there are good people here in the UK with infinitely more brains and ability than myself who would be more than capable of solving the scams, but it won’t happen because they’d need to be paid.

 

Bill :)

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my land line handsets have the number that is calling come up on a screen. if it is in the phone book memory then that persons name comes up.

Any that is a number gets through to the answer phone. In fact most of my calls go through to the answer phone on the basis that if it is somebody i know they will leave a message (even if it is just "bloody answer phone again"), if it is anybody else they will either leave a message if it is important of just hang up.

Saves me a lot of time explaining to microsoft that i do not have a windows pc, although sometimes i do answer them just out of mischief.:twisted:

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Bill, you interpreted my words "horrendously difficult" as implying an unwillingness because of cost. Actually that is not so, rather it is currently technically impossible to know where calls actually originate because of a lack of technical capability, a commercial set of trust issues and an unwillingness to co-operate by some internationally. The global use of English makes the English speaking world a particular target but even the French suffer too. What they have done is to bar any call which presents from abroad with a French fixed number as a Calling Line Identity. However may British businesses have done that for years legitimately. The calls tend to come into the country via one of the hundreds of ISP/telcos and then get handed on to BT/Gamma/Talk Talk etc as it they are from a UK operator. The worst offenders spread their calls across many countries and incoming UK operators. This means that BT, for example, cannot tell the difference between a genuine call and a nuisance one because the process of mixing calls up could equally well have taken place abroad. If the abroad is in the EU the law currently demands that we accept the CLI and pass it on and the UK authorities have no jurisdiction on the actual operator that caused the problem or mixed up the calls.

So to stop it we have to limit the acceptance of calls from abroad to the way it was before the advent of Internet Telephony, when calls were only sent abroad by the likes of France Telecom, AT&T, BT and Cable and Wireless. As an alternative we set up a new system where callers have to prove who they are and operators can lawfully refuse to connect to operators that seem to be dodgy or have high complaint rates. That is the strategy being followed by Ofcom and the FCC using IETF standards but it will take time and business models for UK business models will be up ended. The problem is not just cost but the transition cost for the network and handling the problem of the legacy network do not help. Even if we were changed over technically already the world is not joined up in this particular fight.

Sorry for boring the pants off you all.

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Confused.

You’re not boring me, my works at a dead stop just now, both my cars are off the road and the wife’s hogging the remote control. :(

Yep I understand what you’re saying but what you describe are simply some of the obstacles that make things difficult but there’s nothing here that would lead me into giving up before I start.

A few years back when I was doing my Sherlock Holmes bit, the telephony providers often told the police it was almost impossible to trace the activity because they use false names and were constantly changed their PAYGO mobile numbers to avoid detection. But with time and a lot of hard work it was possible for me to build up distinct patterns of activity based on call times, locations and even who their associates were and in turn this lead to numerous arrests over the years. Now this was done mainly with paper and a felt tip pen without any automation (other than a bit of database manipulation) and only when the police requested it. But, if this had been my primary job, then I’d have taken the time to develop a software solution to speed up the process and help solve crime and possibly make even more millions.

I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that often I find the best way to solve a problem is to take a big step back and don’t focus on the obstacles. Disregard the advice of those who helped to create what we have now and look for alternative methods of doing things. This has always worked well for me, but unfortunately large organisations can’t function without their panels of experts who just follow the same old tried and tested path, so we end up back at impossible.

You just can't win. You roll a six and end up going down a bloody snake!!!

 

Bill 😊

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