Apple, AT&T, others to work on ‘robocall’ crackdown

According to a Reuters‘ report AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson will announce laster today that 33 companies including the Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., and Comcast Corp. are joining an effort with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to crackdown on robocalls.

Stephenson will make the announcement at the “Robocall Strike Force” meeting at the FCC later today.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler in July wrote major companies about robocalls, Reuters reports. The “Robocall Strike Force” will report to the commission by October 19th on “concrete plans to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions,” Stephenson said.

MacDailyNews Take: Good. Let’s get a “Do Not Call” list that actually works!


  1. I get at least 3 robocalls from “Unknown” every day. If I answer, there’s no one there. The robot just hangs up. Why the living F*** isn’t there an option to automatically block calls from “Unknown” in the settings? Currently the only way you can block a call is if the call came from a number…but these calls don’t list a number…they just say “Unknown”.

  2. I have thrown everything I can with hardware home blockers, online blocking services, etc. to largely good effect, though some sneak through. I was getting so many calls, in particular from contractors, it was driving me to frustrating distraction. Why does every robocaller (or otherwise) seem to think they’re the only ones doing it or that they, their tactics and message are by any means unique?

    1. Because it works! Just like SPAM, while vast majority of those on the receiving end will ignore (in frustration), there are enough of people who will actually answer and generate a sale. I know it is difficult to imagine, but yes, there are such people. These people respond to e-mails for quick loans (or penile enlargements), and they also listen to robocalls and respond to them.

      As long as there are people like this, we’ll have to deal with SPAM and robocalls.

      1. And, even if it NEVER worked, these scammers would just scam businesses into paying them to do it on their behalf by lying and telling those easily-fooled businesses that it DOES work. I don’t know how many small businesses have had their Google search results ranking ruined by “optimizers” who promise to increase their results ranking using shady methods. Then, Google catches them and they drop of the results completely.

      2. Yes, Predrag, You have hit the nail on the head. If everyone would simply resist the temptation to answer phone calls that are an unrecognized number, the problem would soon go away. However, I’ve watched friends and family who — like Pavlov’s dogs — feel the compulsion that they MUST answer every call.

        If you are one of these people and are simply unable to break this habit, try doing what a former co-worker of mine does (he retired recently so has way too much free time):

        1. Answer the call.
        2. Tell the person on the other end that you want to buy everything they have to offer.
        3. Inform them enthusiastically that you just won the lottery and therefore have plenty of money.
        4. Tell the scammer/spammer that a delivery service is knocking at your door, but that the scammer/spammer should wait just a minute for a definite sale.
        5. Put your phone down.
        6. Go about your business: reading, eating, watching TV.
        7. Occasionally check your phone to see how many minutes they waited, laughing silently the whole time.

        Option #2
        When the scammer/spammer starts the conversation, sound interested in what they’re selling. Then immediately take over the conversation and try selling them life insurance (fictitiously, of course). Ask if they’re married, how many kids they have, whether or not they smoke, and whether or not they often engage in “risky sexual behaviors, such as sex with animals”, etc. Trust me, they WILL hang up (and you can laugh riotously at their indignation).

        Also, doing this will cause the vast majority of these groups to actually remove your phone number from their database because you have wasted their time.

  3. I would like something done with Bob, from New York ( India ), who works for Microsoft and wants to free my PC from a virus. I haven’t used a PC from home in 15 years. Just give me the tools to flash his CPU or erase his HD when he’s snooping around my info.

    1. I love those guys. I always ask them how they can trace my IP address to my home address. Please go ahead tell me. Instant hang up.

      Remember the longer you can hold these guys on the phone the less time they have scamming someone else.
      My record is 2 hours over two days. I had everything ready to pay to win for my prize of a boat, holiday or a zircon diamond then after it was just ready to be signed sealed and delivered I asked him for that one more thing, his registered business number.

      Instant hang up.

      The more of a pest you are to these folks the more likely you are to be black listed and being black listed by scammers is mmm sooo good.

      1. Sorry, but I’ve experienced the opposite. I gleefully told off a persistent scammer only to find that they not only didn’t stop calling, they called more often. The US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) website advises hanging up on scam calls ASAP and not bothering to interact with them in any way. My experience is that this is the quickest way to get them off your back.

        I ALSO have on one of my phones a ‘SCAM SCUM’ listing in my contacts. Anyone calling from a SCAM SCUM number is immediately tossed to my voice mail. If I get a questionable call and verify its from a known scam source, it goes into the SCAM SCUM list. (And yes, SCAM SCUM is a name inspired from ‘Samsung’).

        If your phone allows call blocking, that’s an even better alternative.

        I provide a link below to a free site where you can verify scam call source phone numbers, read and add victim complaints.

  4. I have NoMoRobo activated on my home phone (yes, have it with a cable bundle) and it works well. Unfortunately not all carriers allow it. Don’t remember if my wireless carrier allows it though.

    The two Do Not Call lists I use don’t seem to be a deterrent to the folks that use spoofed numbers and keep calling even after I block them.

  5. I got another robocall today and what really annoys me is the technology is still lacking so it’s obvious it is a robot.

    If I have time and the call is asking me if I’ve had a car accident I’ll wait till I’m put through to someone then start screaming saying I crashed my car 10 minutes ago and ask them to get a claim started straight away.

  6. I just got a robocall today and I played along to try to get their info. They are smart about it, they say it’s a live offer and I have to do it now and can’t call back. I suppose I should have continued the game to get to the point where I get their contact info.

    The FTC has this: The new requirement is part of amendments to the agency’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) that were announced a year ago. After September 1, sellers and telemarketers who transmit prerecorded messages to consumers who have not agreed in writing to accept such messages will face penalties of up to $16,000 per call.

    If there is a way to get this info and get a good lawyer, this can be a lucrative business suing the robocallers.


    If you’re receiving questionable, potential SCAM phone calls, travel over to this website and perform a search on the phone number listed for the caller:

    You will be able to see if others have complained about that number, read their comments and add your own. It’s an entirely free, no sign-up website.

    Note that the SCAM phone call industry is currently booming. Its rise is reminiscent of the email SPAM industry. The US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) recommends hanging up ASAP after you’ve determined an incoming call is a scam. Don’t bother tearing them a new one, asking to be taken off their call list, pointing out that you’re on your state’s Do Not Call List or reciting every expletive you’ve ever learned. They don’t care, and for reasons I find entirely creepy, any interaction with them only encourages them to call you more often. Again, this is reminiscent of SPAM in that any response to scam phone calls means you’re immediately put on the ‘Verified Active Account’ sucker list. 😛

    1. Recent scam phone call tricks:

      A) Manipulation of the utterly broken Caller ID system to make it look like they’re calling from your area code.

      B) The use of ‘Hub’ outbound phone numbers that actually represent dozens of various scam sources. They can call you, but when you call the hub number, you’ll never get anywhere.

      Again: Caller ID is a broken system that anyone savvy can manipulate to their advantage. Here’s a relevant article from the US FTC:

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