In have this call protect, it doesn't always work as the scammers computer ring up using a new number which in would have manually blocked.
I've had call protect for years, doesn't always work as mynreplymtomabove question.
Your wife is right as its not people that phone you up, it's computers that try numbers randomly.
You can only block calls using Call Protect and blocking the calls on your phone if your BT phone does this.
Don't answer any calls that aren't in your contact list, use the answer machine on your phone, if they don't leave a message, block that number. A genuine company will leave a message.
Snag is that anything medical related comes up as withheld, and they often won't leave messages. Real pain for us as wife is looking after her elderly father with multiple health issues, so hospital and doctor are called several times a week.
Despite call protect we're still getting waves of scam calls. Had a new one this week about unauthorised Visa transaction of £600.
It may be best to use a call blocking phone like the BT4600 instead, as that will just ask the person calling to announce themselves, if they are not stored within the phone address book.
Computer generated calls cannot do that, so you would not get disturbed.
Hospitals and doctors would normally be prepared to say who they are, and you would then be able to answer the call.
But … as I asked above … will the voicemail takeover tell the scammers it's an active line? Probably, and so it goes on ...
As I see it, it does depend on the equipment scammers are using. If their systems are basic, then it's possible it can't determine when a called number is unused - e.g. returns "The number you have called cannot be recognised" or similar. However other called numbers, which are actually answered by a person or ansafone type, then the number is surely active.
This is different from email spam, as any bounce messages to invalid email addresses end up at the spoofed email address set in the "From".
I personally believe that someone responding to a computer called scammer can end up on a "Potential target" list rather than the "Phone is active" list, hence may get more calls as a result.
I too look after my mum's affairs (and health). She's 95 and has quite severe dementia, and so is very likely to fall foul of the scams. She often used the 1471 ring back facility to call the scam numbers! I had this disabled for her phone - this is possible. A call blocking phone is not really useful as I am 5 hours drive away from her, and she is able to "manage" the technology herself. This is why I manage her phone account using the Do Not Disturb + VIP List facility at £3.50 per month. I can check her calls every day. Everything is blocked 24 hours a day, so if the number is not on the VIP List, it goes straight to voicemail. If there's a number which is local her (e.g. a new number her healthcare people have started using), then I can phone them, and update the VIP List.
The problem as you point out is that the healthcare services tend to WITHHOLD their numbers. I have made sure as many as possible try to ring back again not withholding the numbers - most don't though, so there's no easy answer, and also, you don't know which part of the healthcare system has called either.
I once had a scam call on a withheld number, and when I blacklisted it, the system said "WE know the number, so it will be blocked for you". Interesting!
Blacklisting is pretty much useless as (a) you have to get at least one call before you blacklist, and then of course the scammers know it's an "active line", and will continue to call. (b) they change the numbers all the time so the blacklist grows to 100 very quickly. Only really useful for me to see if a number has been used before!
I'm sure you are right Andy … it's a matter for the scammers to whittle down the infinite list of numbers to those they know to a smaller list in which there's a possibility of catching out a few people with a scam. These "active" lists I am sure are sold on to others in that Scam community.
I guess when landlines are scrapped in, (is it 2025?), then the whole thing will move to our mobiles.
Something which will not go away as there will always be vulnerable people in our community.