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RichardGillis
Beginner
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Message 1 of 12

"Spoof" Number Blocking

My father in law has dementia, and keeps getting called from 020 8183 0128 - what (from web searching) I know is a scam lottery company called LC Services.  They talk him into making huge payments each time, and he has no idea that he's doing it.  I've used BT Protect to block the number, but the calls keep coming - they are NOT blocked. 

When I spoke to BT (over chat) they said the number is being "spoof'd" and isn't really coming from the 020 number - and so they seemingly can't block it (or at least have failed to do so!).  Any one got any ideas?

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11 REPLIES 11
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 2 of 12

Re: "Spoof" Number Blocking

@RichardGillis 

Easiest solution may be to get a call blocking phone so that any numbers that are not stored in the phone`s directory, will get either blocked, or get sent to voicemail.

The other option is to set up a VIP list within BT protect. Forum member@RobFletcher  has done this. I think its "do not disturb" option.

There is also some special help from BT, for people with dementia.

I think one of the BT moderators would be better to advise you on this, so I will ask one to post here.

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Moderator
Moderator
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Message 3 of 12

Re: "Spoof" Number Blocking

Hi @RichardGillis, welcome to the community and thanks for posting. I'm really sorry to hear that your Dad has been targeted like this.

If the calls are coming from a spoofed number the call blocker unfortunately won't work as the scammers are masking the number they're calling from which is likely to be a virtual voip number that they constantly change. Both of @Keith_Beddoe's suggestions are very good and a phone that makes unknown callers announce themselves before you answer can be an effective way to filter these calls and you can add known numbers to the phone book that will get straight through. I believe the BT call Guardian phone ranges have this feature.

 

We do have a dedicated team who can offer advice to vulnerable customers and I would like to put you in touch with them. I'll send you a private message in a few moments with more information on how you can get in touch with the moderation team and we'll be happy to arrange this.

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Andy005
Expert
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Message 4 of 12

Re: "Spoof" Number Blocking

Hi @RichardGillis 

My Mum has dementia and we bought the BT4600 handsets which block unwanted calls. It works well but it has created another problem whereby she cannot always remember how to operate the handset. My honest opinion is that BT could do a lot better, it's either pay a monthly add on or buy new handsets from BT. Both cost and the second option is not good for dementia sufferers. The other option is to change your landline provider, one offers the call blocking for free, managed on line and it works very well.

The problem with changing services or suppliers is the farcical procedures they ask you to go through, such as "we need the account holders permission for you to act on their behalf". I've had this on several occasions where they ask my Mum if it's okay for me to act, she can't hear because she's mostly deaf, so I say in a deliberately loud voice "Just say yes".

She does and on we go, it's ridiculous really. If I can provide the same security answers for my Mum as I can for my own accounts then there's no need to speak to her. The companies then spout data protection etc which is nonsense. It's about time businesses were forced to step up to the plate to deal with the needs of the ageing population.

It's hard enough dealing with a family member with dementia or any other disability without having to battle with nonsensical bureaucracy. I've gone slightly off topic but it would be refreshing to see a company be actively proactive rather than reactive. Yes there are costs, but it needs to be proportionate.

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 5 of 12

Re: "Spoof" Number Blocking

You should be able to be set up as an account manager so that you can deal with your mother's account.

See link

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/45333/~/whats-the-difference-between-an-account-holde...

You may also want to consider getting Power of Attorney on behalf of your mother. this might assist you when dealing with matters not just related to BT.

http://bt.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/45333/~/whats-the-difference-between-an-account-holde...

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Andy005
Expert
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Message 6 of 12

Re: "Spoof" Number Blocking

I have an LPA and use it where necessary, it's just the 'we need to speak to the account holder' that is an absolute nonsense. I'm not picking on BT, it's everywhere.

If I can answer any security question that BT can throw at me about her account then my Mum shouldn't have to say 'Yes' when I tell her to. I could get any female of the street to do that, so it's not exactly high security.

When they say "I need your Mum to agree to you acting on their behalf", she says "yes", and then I ask how do you know that she was my Mum? 

Personally, I don't need help. I was just pointing out to the OP that there are easier options and that companies don't go out of their way to help those who need it.

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RichardGillis
Beginner
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Message 7 of 12

Re: "Spoof" Number Blocking

Thanks for this - we too were thinking of moving to a White List - seems like the best option given the scenario. Just need to make sure the right people are on it (as many of his friends as possible), so he continues to get the calls he wants, as opposed the ones we don't want him to have to deal with...

We already have a Power of Attorney in place, so there are already steps we've made in term of banking etc.  These scammers came to light while checking the account, so obviously we're absolutely keen to stop it happening again.  He's lost £000 to this type of scam - it's disgusting.  (Also not sure how one BT system can tell it's a particular phone number (on a block-list) but the call blocking software cannot identify it as needing blocked - it's a well known scamming technique).

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 8 of 12

Re: "Spoof" Number Blocking


@RichardGillis wrote:

Thanks for this - we too were thinking of moving to a White List - seems like the best option given the scenario. Just need to make sure the right people are on it (as many of his friends as possible), so he continues to get the calls he wants, as opposed the ones we don't want him to have to deal with...

 


That is exactly what @RobFletcher  has done. He can control it remotely, it may be worth looking at some of his posts, where he has blocked thousands of calls.

See https://community.bt.com/t5/Landline/Report-a-Scam-call/m-p/1957138#M65858

There is a very small extra monthly cost for the advanced VIP call protect, but it seems to do the job very well. He may well post on this thread.

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lnajr02
Aspiring Expert
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Message 9 of 12

Re: "Spoof" Number Blocking

My Mum has dementia also, and the following setup works for our family.
We have a BT Advance Phone with call blocking turned on so only VIP’s will ring the phone.
All other callers get a message ( with no option to leave one ) to say call my mobile number , Then we have extension phones in rest of the home (big button phones) in the bedroom that have ring turned off.
So outgoing calls can be made from any room and only VIP calls ring on incoming calls.
Just make sure doctors etc. have your number and not your mums.
This works for us..
Good luck
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RobFletcher
Expert
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Message 10 of 12

Re: "Spoof" Number Blocking

I'll chip in here … I didn't go for a call blocking phone as that needs a certain amount of setup initially and ongoing. I live 250 miles or so away from my mum, so a system I can control from my home was ideal.

I have done a number of things ...

1) Disabled ring back for 1471 ... just in case a call gets through and mum tries to ring back. Less of an issue these days as the "calling numbers" are nearly always spoofed. A few years ago, this was not the case and my mum had called scammers back!

2) Pay £3.50 per month to add the Do Not Disturb and VIP List items to the BT Call Protect system.

I set the Do Not Disturb parameters to send ALL her calls to voicemail 24/7  - ie no calls allowed to ring the phone, ever. Then, I populate her VIP list with friends, family, doctors, service numbers, and set that to allow them to pass through to her phone. 

I monitor her calls every day as I can see the last 20 calls made to her phone. If there's a local number which should be on the list - does happen when doctors etc add new numbers - I can check it and add it to the VIP List.

This system works very very well indeed. I keep  a log day by day of all her scam calls which have not reached her phone. Here's how it looks after about 18 months of operation.

Junk mail.JPG

That is 1244 calls which have NOT rung her phone or bothered her about insurance, PPI, BT Internet, Microsoft issues, Telephone Preference Management Services (big scam!) etc … any one of these could ask her for bank details and with severe dementia could easily be taken in.

Hope this helps someone who cannot be on hand to manage a Call Blocking phone for a relative who needs help.

Rob.