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PradipDattani
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No help from VM to stop nuisance calls?

We have been with Virgin media for over 30  years subscribing to Home phone, Broadband and TV package. Recently we have found VM service beyond unacceptable. I have an email address with VM which cannot be moved to another provider and that is the only reason to continue with VM. There are many cheaper and better deals out there!

Our most recent problem is the nuisance calls. That is not VM fault. These calls start from around 8:00am in the morning and continue to around 6:00pm. They all use the internet telephony numbers where the caller can hide the actual telephone number and caller generates random phone numbers on each call. .For that reason my call baring feature on my phone can never work. 

I have been in touch with VM and they are aware of what is happening. They have the technology to block these number, yet they will only provide you this service at a cost. The other option they have given me is to change my number but that is not an option. A new number in any case would be a recycled and therefore not be full proof in stopping nuisance calls.

I find it unacceptable that VM is aware of the problem. A lot of these calls are fraudulent, often abusive using extreme foul language. Yet VM will only help you if you dish out more money. Is VM simply encouraging fraud?. A software block would cost them nothing. They should make this call barring of IP masked phone calls a standard feature and not an option that you elect to stay in or out. By doing that they would be helping reduce fraud and also heartache for a lot of people who are driven suicidal!.

Can anyone from VM justify the £24 per year fee to activate call baring of numbers that hide their true identity?, And please, VM, don't give me GDPR nonsense, or other legal mumbo jumbo please. 

  

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Richw1982
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Re: No help from VM to stop nuisance calls?

All service providers will supply you that service at a cost, and even then its not guaranteed to work.  I'm not sure fraud is the correct wording,its normally a random number generator that makes numbers up and calls them 

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PradipDattani
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Re: No help from VM to stop nuisance calls?

Hi Mark, 

I disagree with you explanation of random numbers and why that would not guarantee 100% block. Although I am not from a telephony background, I would have thought that every call "packet" would carry a caller Id that VM or other provider would be able to see. If that is the case and it happens to have the characteristics of a hidden number, you simply reject  that. Assuming the call packet carry the caller ID (and it must do! in this day and age of digital technology), this would be a simple programming exercise.

As to service being only available at a charge, my point is precisely that it is wrong. It does not cost VM or any provider any extra, so why make up that charge! VM is not providing me with any physical hardware! 

If VM and other providers want to help STOP fraud, nuisance and anti social behaviour, please can they consider making this call barring feature as standard! 

 

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goslow
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Re: No help from VM to stop nuisance calls?

@PradipDattani

Covering your points in turn ...

Having a lot of contacts linked to a long-standing VM email address can be a challenge to disentangle yourself from but it can be done, although it does take some time and effort. Even if you are not planning on leaving VM, you can start the process by signing up with a non-ISP email provider. Gradually start to migrate your email over to the new provider, bit-by-bit, starting with the most important contacts/service-providers first then working you way through to the least important ones. It is time consuming but can be done gradually. Once you are free of the VM email service you can start to look around for other broadband providers. I made this move some years ago by buying a domain name and hosting package with email and I now have a very reliable email service which I have full control of and is covered by good technical support.

On the nuisance calls front, the only service that VM offer to mitigate against the calls is their Anonymous Caller Rejection. This is a pretty blunt tool and only works for 'withheld' numbers. It can also have the unwelcome effect of blocking out healthcare providers who may decide to withhold their number. In the overall scheme of things ACR is of little/no use against the current spam/scam call methods.

As you have already identified, trying to block individual numbers is also no use as the incoming caller ID numbers change so regularly and are usually faked.

VM are very unlikely to change any of their present landline service due to the ongoing rollout to their 21CV service via the VM hub. Once that becomes fully deployed, then VM should be able to use better screening measures across the network to block scam callers. That is unlikely to be fully in place until 2025 which is the target date for the 21CV rollout completion, along with other telecoms providers.

In the meantime, the best thing you can do is to screen and filter calls to your landline using a dedicated device to do this such as a trueCall unit or a phone which has trueCall features built in such as some BT phone ranges. These devices screen out the scam calls and prevent the scam calls from ringing your phone. The only calls which get through are the ones you might want to receive.

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apcyberax
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Message 5 of 14
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Re: No help from VM to stop nuisance calls?

there is no way for the provider to know if hte call is from a IP based number or if the number is spoofed.

i know this as I'm a VoIP engineer. We spoof calls every day for very valid reasons. And once we trunk the calls to BT no one knows where they come from. We give it a SIP header with the calling number of It can be anything we want. Real not. Ours or not.

A good example My VOIP desk phone spoofs my mobile number. No way anyone can know if i called from my monile or from my voip line

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PradipDattani
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Re: No help from VM to stop nuisance calls?

 @goslow

Thank you for your reply. 

I am a bit surprised that no one has managed to completely solve this problem of nuisance calls. I spent 42 year writing software in variety of industries and I am well and truly baffled by what I am hearing. I recently retired and now spend a lot of time at home only to be wound up by daily nuisance calls which all seem to originate from the Indian sub continent. 

Thanks for your suggestion on devices like trueCall. I will look into that.

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apcyberax
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Re: No help from VM to stop nuisance calls?

" I spent 42 year writing software in variety of industries and I am well and truly baffled by what I am hearing"

so you must understand that VM can't jut change the protocol or system they use. everyone would need to update the phone network is a global network that has to run together and be compatible.

you can't just change something in one place and expect it to work.

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PradipDattani
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Re: No help from VM to stop nuisance calls?

 

@apcyberax,

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apcyberax
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Re: No help from VM to stop nuisance calls?

no this is a case of 150 year of systems still being used today with no way to change them.

With the would still using the same system that has not really changed for 150 years one provider can't change the way it works without disconnecting the rest of hte world.

If we required an encrypted connection with security we would not be able to call or get calls from anyone not using this system.

To make something like that work we would have to allow callers to still call without that security and so it would make no difference as we would have to trust what old systems tell us.

Take GSM mobiles for example.
when Encryption was added to them they had to also allow base stations to tell then phone it doesn;t support any and the phone would just connect with out any encyprtion. This is hte problem wi systems like this.

Its the same reason spam still gets though.

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apcyberax
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Re: No help from VM to stop nuisance calls?

its a really hard problem to fix. we can't scrap the system and start again. We can't change what we have.

And any chances would need to be rolled out to every phone provider in every part of the world. At the same time. including all customer hardware if needed

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