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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 91 of 96

Re: Call Protect blacklist now full...

The idea behind using a phone with BT Call Guardian built in, is that it will force all callers whose number are not stored in the phone, to announce themselves before they are connected through.

As most scam calls are automated, there not be anyone on the end to announce themselves, so they will not get through.

Genuine callers who are not already in your phone directory, will announce themselves, and then you have the option to speak to them, or simply block or disconnect the call.

 

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Distinguished Guru
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Message 92 of 96

Re: Call Protect blacklist now full...


@PeterNSwrote:

A bit fishy: BT, after charging us serious fees, offers the 'free' Call Protect service but limits it to 100 blacklists, which, as this conversation shows, is completely inadequate, and further it appears BT don't care when this is raised. And lo and behold someone suggests (and an 'Expert' immediately jumps in and endorses this) the purchase of a new BT phone with a similar system on it -- BUT NOTE this is limited to just a 1000, which will probably soon be reached, given the experiences noted in this conversation -- what a coincidence! I'm minded to raise it in Which? Conversation if someone has not already done so.

I believe that BT could do a lot more with our blacklist data. With users' permissions they could crowdsource the dodgy numbers in real time. When I check out new dodgy numbers on who-called-me type websites there is often a list of folk already complaining a few minutes before me. If BT detected that say up to 3 users had blacklisted the same number in the same hour they could divert it to a deaf voicemailbox straightaway and really snooker the scammers at least for that day. I'd happily give my permission for this.

The really black thought is that, whilst BT and other telecoms giants might appear, onion in handkerchief, to be concerned about this problem for their customers, really they benefit as a whole, as these calls must constitute a significant percentage of traffic, from which they must gain revenue between them. Perhaps if it becomes a legal obligation on telecoms companies to do everything they can to prevent these calls, things might change. TPS is a farce; BT Call Protect is a farce. This needs to change.

 


Hi, welcome to the forums.

BT do have a global blocking system that's independent to the user controlled blacklist - sounds like you were not aware of this. However that's only "known" scam numbers.

Scammers change their "called from" numbers all the time - hence personal blacklists will fill up. The network is supposed to check calls passing through it in order for the global blacklist to be updated.

TPS is a legal system.

This is a worldwide problem, and if it really was that easy to stop it - they would have done so by now. The calls are mainly via VoIP switches, which the telecoms companies have agreements and contracts to deliver calls.

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Pedigree500
Beginner
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Message 93 of 96

Re: Call Protect blacklist now full...


@Andy_Nwrote:

BT do have a global blocking system that's independent to the user controlled blacklist - sounds like you were not aware of this. However that's only "known" scam numbers.


It seems that you have missed the point being made. By your own admission, BT's global system is only able to block "known" scam numbers. PeterNS suggested that BT monitor the numbers that users are adding to their personal blacklists and, if enough people add the same number to their personal blacklists, BT automatically blocks all further calls originating from that number.

Incidentally, I didn't realise before coming across this thread that there is such a low limit of 100 numbers for BT Call Protect. As others have already said, this limit is ridiculously low; any limit should be at least in the tens of thousands of numbers.

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RobFletcher
Expert
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Message 94 of 96

Re: Call Protect blacklist now full...

The personal blacklist is pretty much useless. Only very rarely does a number in the blacklist ever appear again. My mother has had 1018 scam calls sent to her voicemail in the last 18 months (yes, 1018, not a typo!). The only way of stopping these calls is to get a call blocking phone or if you are a BT user pay £3.50 per month to add on the Do Not Disturb part of Call Protect, set it to block(send to voicemail) ALL calls 24/7, and then add your allowed numbers to the VIP List.  In his way I have saved my very elderly mother from all these calls, ranging in time from 7am to 9pm, and also saved any grief should she have given out her bank details to "Appliance Insurance", or "Telephone Preference Management Services".

She averages about 12 or 13 calls per week. I keep a spreadsheet of calls for every day and have interesting graphs which show the scale of the problem from which I guess many people are suffering.

Very hard for telecoms to block calls though as the scammers often use legitimate phone numbers, and so putting a blanket block on a number could easily affect a business!

The only way round it is for US as the consumer to install/pay for the technology to mitigate the effects. It has got worse due to the "automated" nature in use nowadays. Very rarely will there be anyone on the end of the line - you can always have some fun with them for 15 mins or so! Mishearing their website to go to a dozen times really gets them mad!!!

Rob

 

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Distinguished Guru
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Message 95 of 96

Re: Call Protect blacklist now full...


@Pedigree500wrote:

@Andy_Nwrote:

BT do have a global blocking system that's independent to the user controlled blacklist - sounds like you were not aware of this. However that's only "known" scam numbers.


It seems that you have missed the point being made. By your own admission, BT's global system is only able to block "known" scam numbers. PeterNS suggested that BT monitor the numbers that users are adding to their personal blacklists and, if enough people add the same number to their personal blacklists, BT automatically blocks all further calls originating from that number.

Incidentally, I didn't realise before coming across this thread that there is such a low limit of 100 numbers for BT Call Protect. As others have already said, this limit is ridiculously low; any limit should be at least in the tens of thousands of numbers.


I'm not missing the point. I would expect personal blocklists are monitored by BT's systems as it's stored on their servers. They can't simply block numbers when a few people add it to their databases. Likewise I can't see how they can block numbers in valid ranges that BT have no control over. Ofcom control the number allocations.

I would expect the limit is arbitrary, but probably based on finite resources and exchange processing power. As I see it, setting blocks is unworkable as is trying to block email "addresses"  from spam emails. Scammers know people will put blocks in place, hence they change them all the time - like email spammers. Like spam, the issue is unfortunately due to end user interaction. If that didn't happen, it would effectively stop. However there are vulnerable people that do need to be protected, and I feel that's the area that should somehow be addressed.

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RobFletcher
Expert
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Message 96 of 96

Re: Call Protect blacklist now full...

I agree with you Andy! It is the vulnerable who need to be protected. and falling prey to the scams. I don't see an easy way to do this though because all the solutions required something to be set up and monitored. For those with family and friends who can do this, that's fine, but it still leaves a considerable proportion still at risk. 

Many still rely on their landline. Keeping a mobile charged in case of the need to make an emergency call for those with dementia is going to be a problem. Also, I don't know if the various "care connect" systems which work with neck pendants etc, and have a loudspeaker system to talk to the person, work with mobiles? Also, there are still areas where mobiles still don't work! My mum is in one of those places where you are lucky to be able to make or receive calls on a mobile phone! Even "smart meters" don't work!

It would be nice if BT waived the £3.50 DND charge for the (very) elderly who are plagued with these calls! I am sure my mother is not the only one who has had over 1,000 scam calls over the last year or so.

It would be interesting to know how big the problem is? No-one seems to have any stats except me! Just a quick picture again, this is the last 52 weeks of calls organised by the day of the week the calls came in! Sunday is a nice quiet day - which is very odd really because the most vulnerable would probably be at home that day!

One Year by Day.JPG 

Rob.

 

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