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How do I stop receiving unsolicited calls?

JayExcell435819
Miembro

For several months now I have received telephone calls with the caller ID identified as a local number The number with the same area code and first three digits as mine). As always, I wait for the caller to hang up and then I immediately call them back. When I call them back (within 20 seconds of them hanging up) I only receive the Verizon wireless "the number you have dialed is no longer in service...". Like I said, this has been happening for 6 months now, each time, it is a completely different number than before. Sometimes 3 different numbers within a 90 minute period. I was even called by a "Phantom Caller", in the middle of talking with the Verizon representative I was calling to report being harassed by another "Phantom Caller" just minutes before. (Now, you can guess why I told you that story) Even with all of that evidents, The representative only solution: "Add the number to your contact list so you can block it from being used".

Here is an excerpt from Verizon Wireless TOS (what we sign for cellular service):


6.  RESTRICCIONES DE USO.  La VSP está destinada a su uso personal solamente. You may download and use VSP only if You can form a binding contract with Us and You are not a person who is barred from downloading or using VSP by laws of the United States or any other applicable jurisdiction.  Usted no utilizará la VSP de ninguna manera que viole cualquier norma, ley o reglamento aplicable, o infrinja cualquier derecho de autor, marca registrada u otro derecho de propiedad intelectual o divulgue un secreto comercial o información confidencial.


And now an excerpt from the FCC:


".....it is unlawful for any person to make any call (other than a call made for emergency purposes or made with express prior consent) using any automatic telephone dialing system or any artificial or prerecorded voice message to wireless numbers. This law applies regardless of whether the number is listed on the national Do-Not-Call list."


So, before I  proceed to my next step of filing a report to the FTC at 1-877-382-4357, I thought I might give you (Verizon Wireless Representatives) a chance to refresh everyone with the standing policy of Verizon about dealing with "Reporting Telemarketers/ Harassing/ Unsolicited Callers".

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Respuestas correctas

Re: Receiving a Harassment / unsolicited calls With Number Identified

deloused
Sr. Member

While blocking may help in some cases, because some callers often alter the number sent to display on caller ID frequently, it definitely doesn't help block other numbers that appear when they call.

Having a false phone number appear on caller ID instead of the actual phone number is called 'caller ID spoofing'. (Check it out on Google for more info) Verizon or any phone company can't prevent that. Caller ID spoofing is not illegal, however committing a crime in conjunction with caller ID spoofing is. For example, I download a free caller ID spoof app, allowing me to call anyone I want, and have any phone number I choose appear on their caller ID. I called my boss from her boss's number, my mom from her neighbors phone number, and my co-worker from our boss's number to play a joke on them. If I knew your phone number I could call whoever I choose and have your number appear on their caller ID also. If I did that and attempted to commit a crime on those calls like harass them, get thier credit card/ personal info/ etc by impersonating someone else that would be a crime. Depending on the level of the crime it should be reported to either law enforcement or the investigating agency. Phone companies have no control over the way a a person or company uses spoofing, since it doesn't originate from their system, they come from apps/programs on phones, computers and dialers. 

Customer service can assist with blocking and changing someone's phone number if they're receiving unwanted calls, whether someone is on the DNC list or not. Verizon's policy to comply with the DNC registry and FCC law is for VERIZON to not call people on the DNC list. That's it, just like every other company. There's no policy loophole, a DNC violator may call you with a number showing on your caller-ID from California, but they could really be in India, and then they could change the spoof number and call you right back and have it show as from New York. That's why reporting DNC violator calls to a phone company does no good, they can't help other than offering block or number change options, since the caller knows your number, and they don't know who is really calling you either, and dont have the ability to find the offender or where the call actually originated from. 

I guess the closest analogy I can think of is- if someone sends you unwanted, harassing, threatening letters in the mail you would want to contact the appropriate authorities, not the post office that delivered the letter.

Many of the larger DNC violators aren't just calling one person, they're likely doing it to many, people all over the county accross multiple carriers, wireless and landlines, making the violation charges even larger so that the caller/company who is violating the DNC by making the calls can be levied with even larger fines and even shut down by the government if the FCC is able to track them down. They actually have caught some.

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Re: Receiving a Harassment / unsolicited calls With Number Identified

deloused
Sr. Member

In addition to blocking numbers, they can also offer to change your number so whoever is calling you excessively won't know your new number.

They can't really help further though. If you're receiving excessive harassing calls you'd want to contact your local law enforcement. If they're just frequent and not harassing you can report the calls to the FCC (not FTC) so they can investigate and try to stop and hold the caller accountable. There is a spot in their website for that. There is no reason to contact any phone company for excessive call investigations, they can't help with that as they have no legal authority over callers due to privacy concerns.

The info you included for 'VSP' are details for the Verizon Support & Protection Smsrtphone app made by thier insurance carrier Asurion allowing customers to ensure software security, warranty and insurance options for their phone. The VSP app has nothing to do with any sort of phone calls.

Re: Receiving a Harassment / unsolicited calls With Number Identified

CWelll
Miembro

What exactly do you want them to do about it? It's not Verizon's fault some person or company got your number and is calling you. Do you have your number on your Facebook profile... Have you ever used your cell phone number on an account anywhere? Blah blah blah.  Just block the number. Or you could just answer it and tell them to remove you from the calling list.

Re: Receiving a Harassment / unsolicited calls With Number Identified

Community Manager
Community Manager

I can see why you are so upset Jason. I am a consumer too, and I do not like unsolicited calls either (I get my share of the, believe me). While we cannot prevent anyone from calling you, we offer a free service to block up to 5 numbers, please visit this link to see all about this feature: http://spr.ly/6587BZvSv


Additionally, you can add a FamilyBase feature to block even more numbers and also private and restricted numbers. See this link for details on that feature: http://spr.ly/6588BZvSa


As indicated by deloused (thanks!), you can also change your Verizon Wireless number. And you can do this free of charge online if you login to you’re my Verizon account. See this link for assistance with that process: http://spr.ly/6589BZvSx


AntonioC_VZW
Follow us on Twitter @VZWSupport
If my response answered your question please click the "Correct Answer" button under my response. This ensures others can benefit from our conversation. Thanks in advance for your help with this!!

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Re: Receiving a Harassment / unsolicited calls With Number Identified

JayExcell435819
Miembro

Those are very proper questions . As you answered mine, I'll answer yours:

(What do I want them to do?)  How about enforcing the TOS that they have everyone sign and pay for when accepting their cellular service.

(It's not Verizon's fault they got your number....)  Ever heard of "Robo Calls"?  I guess not or you would have seen I was not blaming Verizon for "getting my number" but was having a Lackluster policy about FCC regulations pertaining to violations of the "Do Not Call List".


(Do you have your number on Facebook?)   No, I don't. My number is only given to friends, and companies I have applied to. But, once again, if you read my posting, it was a robo call.


(Blah blah blah.  Just block the number.)  If you had actually read my post, you would have saw the numbers CHANGE. Which means When I block that number, the same company calls back a few minutes later using another "Verizon number". So, if they never use the same number over, How does blocking that number seem effective?


(...you could just answer it and tell them to remove you from the calling list.)  How do you tell a computer to place you on the "List" when the only way to get to a real representative is to "press 1"? For all of you who knows law, when you "press 1" you officially "accept the call" thus negating your claim the call is considered "unsolicited". So, when you talk with the company to be placed on the "Do Not Call", even if you are already on their list to "not be called", you accepted the call , making them no longer in "Violation" for calling you.


I really hope you do not work for Verizon. If you do, I REALLY hope your response is not one that gets randomly picked for your "6-month review".

Re: Receiving a Harassment / unsolicited calls With Number Identified

JayExcell435819
Miembro

So you are saying the information I copied from the Verizon website, under the listing of TOS ( terms of service) has nothing to do with conditions Verizon customers have to abide by when they are a Verizon customer?  Also, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is where you report Quejas about fraud, estafas, phishing, identity theft, unwanted telemarketing, credit or debt issues, or other unfair business practices. So, Yeah, I will be reporting violations of my placing myself on the "Do-Not-Call" list 2 years ago to them.

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Re: Receiving a Harassment / unsolicited calls With Number Identified

deloused
Sr. Member

Correct, did you read the details of the TOS you included in your post?:

"VSP is intended for Your personal use only.....You may download and use VSP only if You can form a binding contract with Us..... You shall not use VSP in any way that violates any applicable rules..."

Those are are TOS that you would be required to agree to in order to download, install and use the VSP Smartphone app. What does VSP have to do with unwanted phone calls?

As you've described them, these calls are not fraud, scam, phishing, identity theft, telemarketing, credit, debt, etc. That would be when a caller impersonates someone else, attempts to steal your personal info, or sell you something. Not a phantom, hang up etc as you described the calls. These are unwanted calls. Feel free to complain to the FTC if you'd like them to explain the same thing to you. The Federal TRADE commission can't assist, as there was no 'trade' business between you and the offending caller.

Here is the link to the FCC explaining your rights when dealing with unwanted calls including do not call registry violations, and how to file a complaint for them to investigate. Since theyre the Federal COMMUNICATIONS commission, and have jurisdiction over unwanted 'communications' like calls-

https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/articles/204979530-Rules-and-Resources-for-Dealing-with-...

Re: Receiving a Harassment / unsolicited calls With Number Identified

JayExcell435819
Miembro

How does blocking the number effectively prevent telemarketers from using numbers, identified by online phone directory to be under your service,  when they circumvent the block, as well as the terms of service they signed (by violating FCC laws). Now, I would like to clear up one thing. I am not asking for Verizon to reveal to me the customer's information. (A fact I clear up with every "Verizon" rep. I talked with). I am attempting to alert Verizon Wireless of a problem with their customer service in regards to how it pertains to the National "Do-Not-Call" list violators. If Verizon feels their policies are sufficient enough for their involvement when it comes to "telemarketing calls" and how complaints are handled by their representatives, that is their right. But, if the "do-not-call" list is being violated, with the help of a "loophole" in a policy, wouldn't you want to help fix the problem?

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Re: Receiving a Harassment / unsolicited calls With Number Identified

JayExcell435819
Miembro

Nice website. But, here is the one that is listed on the official "Do-Not-Call List" website in regards to reporting a violation. If you are willing to, See where it leads, then read across the top who is handling the website.

https://www.donotcall.gov/Complain/ComplainCheck.aspx

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Re: Receiving a Harassment / unsolicited calls With Number Identified

deloused
Sr. Member

While blocking may help in some cases, because some callers often alter the number sent to display on caller ID frequently, it definitely doesn't help block other numbers that appear when they call.

Having a false phone number appear on caller ID instead of the actual phone number is called 'caller ID spoofing'. (Check it out on Google for more info) Verizon or any phone company can't prevent that. Caller ID spoofing is not illegal, however committing a crime in conjunction with caller ID spoofing is. For example, I download a free caller ID spoof app, allowing me to call anyone I want, and have any phone number I choose appear on their caller ID. I called my boss from her boss's number, my mom from her neighbors phone number, and my co-worker from our boss's number to play a joke on them. If I knew your phone number I could call whoever I choose and have your number appear on their caller ID also. If I did that and attempted to commit a crime on those calls like harass them, get thier credit card/ personal info/ etc by impersonating someone else that would be a crime. Depending on the level of the crime it should be reported to either law enforcement or the investigating agency. Phone companies have no control over the way a a person or company uses spoofing, since it doesn't originate from their system, they come from apps/programs on phones, computers and dialers. 

Customer service can assist with blocking and changing someone's phone number if they're receiving unwanted calls, whether someone is on the DNC list or not. Verizon's policy to comply with the DNC registry and FCC law is for VERIZON to not call people on the DNC list. That's it, just like every other company. There's no policy loophole, a DNC violator may call you with a number showing on your caller-ID from California, but they could really be in India, and then they could change the spoof number and call you right back and have it show as from New York. That's why reporting DNC violator calls to a phone company does no good, they can't help other than offering block or number change options, since the caller knows your number, and they don't know who is really calling you either, and dont have the ability to find the offender or where the call actually originated from. 

I guess the closest analogy I can think of is- if someone sends you unwanted, harassing, threatening letters in the mail you would want to contact the appropriate authorities, not the post office that delivered the letter.

Many of the larger DNC violators aren't just calling one person, they're likely doing it to many, people all over the county accross multiple carriers, wireless and landlines, making the violation charges even larger so that the caller/company who is violating the DNC by making the calls can be levied with even larger fines and even shut down by the government if the FCC is able to track them down. They actually have caught some.

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