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#10731 by GotPhil
Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:53 pm
Dear Ooma,

I have been using Ooma for a few months now and have moved both my personal and business phone numbers over to Ooma. I also subscribed to the Premier service after falling for it during the free evaluation.

One of my favorite features is the ability to block out anonymous callers, telemarketers and robodialers. However it seems one telemarketing company has found a way to bypass the anonymous call block feature by somehow having their caller ID show up as blank or null. When I receive a call from them the Phone Number field in my call log shows up as blank, if they leave a voicemail the voicemail e-mail says its from "0000000000" however I can't setup a blacklist entry with no phone number or "0000000000" as the phone number.

This is very annoying because I have no way to block calls from these guys. In my opinion, if the caller ID phone number is blank or all zeroes then it should fall into the "anonymous" category and be blocked if I have anonymous call blocking enabled.

Please respond and let me know your thoughts on this, if more telemarketers pick up this tactic it's going to get really annoying really fast.

Thank you,

#10744 by sokha
Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:17 am
this feature is available in Premiere service.
you have to log-in to your account and set it up if you have Premiere service.
not sure if it's available in BASIC service.

usually, telemarketer uses VoIP to call which shows up as "blank" on CID.
however, if the caller shows as "000000" or some other characters, then, the BLOCKER won't work since it's not exactly BLANK data.
if CID displays 000000, probably it's garbled CID transmission.

because this is all control by software, imagination is the limit.
Ooma should implement "BUDDY LIST".
only people on BUDDY LIST can call thru.
the caller not on BUDDY LIST should be forwarded to voicemail or rejected altogether...depends on how the user set it up.
now, that would be cool feature. :-p

another nice feature would be to have the caller enter PIN to have the call go thru.
else, the call be forwarded to voicemail or rejected altogether.
this might not be cool for business users but nice for users who just want to have their family and friends to call them. :-)
#10775 by just4fn
Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:05 am
I think sokha understands the issue. I think sokha is just saying that the block is just available. Sokha goes on to say that the 0000000000 transmission from a telemarketer isn't necessarily sent as 0's. If the cid doesn't understand the transmission then all the 0's are displayed. hence if you block the 0000000000, they will come up with a different character and it will still go through. I think
#10780 by sokha
Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:38 am
yep, you are correct.
and yes, i understood the original post.

blocking bad transmission CID is impossible technologically.
b/c if you block four zeros, example, 0000, the next call could be 3 zeros.
and the next calls could be 000A*.
and the next call could be 0>#0.
and the next call could be 00000XFG*.
as you can see, mathematically, the mutation table could be quite a lot.

now, if the telemarketer really wants to defeat the BLOCKER, they can scramble their CID.
this is easy to achieve but very difficult to BLOCK....make that impossible to block.

think of it like the SPAM email you got everyday.
why we kept getting SPAM email everyday?
the sender can generate the email address and that makes the ISP impossible to predict the incoming spam email address.
saving the old email address won't work b/c the spammer won't be using the same email address again the next transmission.

hence, my suggestion about BUDDY LIST. :-)
#10784 by GotPhil
Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:02 am
Thanks for the clarification, sokha. However e-mail is quite different than the telephone system. And even with e-mail, I have found my e-mail provider (Google) to do quite a good job detecting spam and filtering it out of my inbox. In the world of Caller ID and telephone however, you can't get away with spoofing an invalid Caller ID. Perhaps it is worth pursuing the companies that are not providing Caller ID, but I think it is much easier to block them.

I can understand how blocking "0000000000" may be a temporary fix, in fact that may not even be what the caller is transmitting and simply what Ooma puts in as filler. What would be useful is for Ooma to block Caller ID phone numbers (not the names, but the actual numbers) that are invalid, not a proper phone number. Once these invalid numbers are blocked, we will once again be able to block the telemarketers.

I also acknowledge your point about "well, they'll just change their number" and yes that is inevitable, but at least they are having to go through the trouble of changing their numbers, and each time they do change the number, it only takes me a few seconds to block the new number. This is MUCH better than being able to do nothing.

#10789 by sokha
Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:03 am
hi Phil,

In the world of Caller ID and telephone however, you can't get away with spoofing an invalid Caller ID.

have to disagree with you here.
tell that to the telemarketer. :-)
the telemarketer called people on the FCC "DO NOT CALL" list.
that alone, they broke the law.
you think the telemarketer doesn't know about the FCC regulation?
i think not.

i agreed with you 100% about blocking.
i personally spent $200 on a blocking device when i was using a landline.
luckily, i can still use the device with Ooma.
this device combined with Ooma blacklist, i got myself a very nice system.

someone on this forum suggested blocking AREA code.
that's a nice suggestion as well.
my $200 device can do all of these. :-)

i agree that Ooma should allow users to add any characters on the BLACKLISTS.
currently, user has to input a valid number.
this could be changed easily in software on Ooma part.
in fact, it's even less work for Ooma engineer to implement this since they don't need to check for the logic in the number sequence. :-)

your suggestion is valid which i agree Ooma shall implement.
however, bad transmission CID will still make your phone rings. :-)

regarding Google....
yes, they did a good job about blocking SPAM.
they also put my email from HOTMAIL in SPAM folder!!
and i don't use my HOTMAIL account that much.
not sure how Google determined my email address as spammer!! :-(

you can try this also.
Microsoft currently has a beta video message service.
it's a new way to send message.
instead of using email, u would use video.
try to send that to your Google account.
guarantee it gets put in the SPAM folder!!
here's the link if u want to try:
#41800 by Mike-o-Matic
Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:31 pm
>> the caller not on BUDDY LIST should be forwarded to voicemail or rejected altogether..
>> .depends on how the user set it up.
>> now, that would be cool feature. :-p
>> another nice feature would be to have the caller enter PIN to have the call go thru.

"Whitelisting" and "enter PIN or get voicemail"... Both of these are excellent feature ideas! I second the motion on both counts!

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