Tuesday, March 19, 2019

'Please don't hang up'

The phone rang yesterday.

"Hello. Please don't hang up," said a robotic voice. "We need to verify your business account on Google..."


Ring ring ring.

"Hello. Please don't hang up. We are your local Google specialist. We need to verify your business account on Google. We have tried to reach you a number of times..."


Ring ring ring.

"Hello. Please don't hang up. How dare you hang up on us? We are Google. We own you..."


Ring ring ring.

"Hello. Please don't hang up. We have tried to verify your Google business account numerous times. What do you mean, you don't have a Google business account? What are you, baby boomers? Don’t you understand, we now own you? Bwahahaha. Are your lights flickering? Oh wait, is that your other line ringing? What, they canceled your car insurance? NOW do you want to give us the information we want to know?"

And so on and so forth.

Yeah, I know these are spam calls. But couldn’t you see the above sequence actually taking place?


  1. I read about a guy the other day who answers his phone "Sheriff's Department, Fraud Division." He says MOST folks hang up.

  2. Yes I get that all the time, I am so sick of it. What really gets me is that I am paying for that phone line and naturally hanging up is the best part but very annoying. I heard a comedian talk about the old school phones that when you were mad enough you could hang up roughly and get that ding from the bell inside, remember that, it aways added a flicker of satisfaction, now it's just a beep from a button, darn.

    1. You could always use that other staple of the old-school phones... the traffic cop whistle...

  3. We are now even getting "spoofed" by being called by our own phone number? Seriously desperate!

  4. Have a friend that was the local police chief. He got a spam call selling something or other. Then he told them where they had called (apparently his direct office line) and the next sound he heard was....nothing. The local sheriff's dept told me to tell the caller that I needed to check with my husband when he got back off patrol with the local sheriff's office. Haven't tried it yet but sounds good. Mostly I just don't answer if I don't know the number. If they are legit and want to talk to me, they will leave a message. The spam calls have learned to hang up on the 4th ring, right before the answering machine kicks in(landline).

    Kathy in MS

  5. Post Alley CrackpotMarch 20, 2019 at 12:27 AM

    "But couldn’t you see the above sequence actually taking place?"

    No, actually ...

    That's because I treat all calls from people I don't know as potential junk calls.

    Anyone new I meet, I get that person's number and add it to my call filters as allowed to pass through to me directly.

    Everyone else gets filtered.

    I have had zero complaints about people not being able to reach me, and I usually add someone who hits voicemail that I forgot to add earlier right after responding to that particular call.

    My voicemail greeting message itself contains an instruction to press a certain key that takes you right to leaving a message. The end of the voicemail message contains the three-tone sounds used to indicate that a phone number has been disconnected.

    That takes care of the robo-callers since they won't press that key before the end of the message.

    "Most people" assume that if you have a mobile phone, you have to answer incoming calls.

    I don't talk to "most people" on the phone.

    Yes, there are apps for doing this, they're known as "call blocking" apps that can also filter SMS junk.

    I cannot find a law in any US or UK jurisdiction that requires me to pay for and maintain a phone number where I am directly reachable by the general public, government agencies, law enforcement, the Governor of My State, the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, or the Queen.

    So I don't.

    I also cannot find any law in these jurisdictions that does not allow me to delete every voicemail message I receive without a response.

    So that's always an option.

    However, the Queen is free to contact me at her leisure by post or courier, of course.

    This "no by default" behaviour cuts down massively on potential fraud as well as the waste of my time.

    BTW, are there any other things in your life where the default answer should be NO?

  6. The #1 goal of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is global governance. They don't even try to hide it any longer.
    Google is a Founding Member of the CFR.
    Any questions: See Book of Revelation.
    Montana Guy

  7. If I don't recognize the number, I pick up but say nothing. If I hear something like "He... Hello?" I answer with "Who is this?" I don't give them my name. If they give me theirs I'll ask who they're with. It's usually something like "I'm with Sunspot Solar. How are you today?" I answer with "I'd be doing better if you dingbats would quit calling me." ...Click...

    Then come the ones in Spanish! I say "Estamos en los Estados Unidos. Habla Ingles, por favor" (We're in the United States. Speak English please." I usually get about to "Estados Unidos" and they hang up...

  8. Post Alley CrackpotMarch 22, 2019 at 6:47 PM

    BTW, anyone who wants to follow a recipe for making your voicemail drive away robo-callers and fraudsters can start with this:

    This is the three tone sound for a disconnected or out-of-service number.

    This is the "howler" sound for a phone that's been left off-hook after a call has ended.

    You use them like this:

    1. Record your greeting, with the following caveat: do not include any "positive" words in your greeting, leaving out "please", "yes", "OK", etc.
    2. Add a message that the caller should press "asterisk", "star", "hash", or whatever takes them to your voicemail.
    3. Repeat that message once so the caller has time to react to what's going on.
    4. Add a three to five second silence gap.
    5. Add the three-tone sound a few times in series (six times works).
    6. Add an eight to twelve second silence gap.
    7. Add the off-hook "howler" sound for at least twenty seconds.

    Voice over IP callers (such as Google Voice) who don't press the key may get disconnected by the tones, but since they also have touch-tone features, they have no excuse not to press the key as requested.

    Once you've set this up, install a call blocking app and configure it so it allows calls from everyone in your contact list. Add any additional contacts or "whitelist" rules as needed.

    The default rule for the call blocking app should be to reject calls, which should result in the calls going to your voicemail.

    This has reduced the robo-calls left on my voicemail to zero.

  9. Set your phone to ring once or twice and then go to voice mail, with a appropriate message that lets callers know that your phone has received their call.
    Then check your voice mail when you want.
    Also there is the setting of a ring tones so that only people that are on a list(s) that you create have. Family has one and others another tone.

  10. I never answer my phone unless I recognize the number. The phone is present for my convenience, not the opposite.