If a phone company offered non-phone number spoofing, would you:

Most of us have been hit, at one time or another, but a phone call that spoofs where it’s coming from. Maybe it uses your area code and exchange, to look like it’s someone in the neighborhood. Maybe it spoofs a name or location. All to get you to pick up the phone.

What if a phone company guaranteed that spoofing wouldn’t work, if you signed up with them? Let’s say you would see the message “unable to verify sender ID”.

Would that sway which phone company you signed up with, and how?

Let’s assume that your current phone would work with the new company, so no need costs required to replace your phone.

I think you mean spoofing detection in your example. A generic message as you suggest wouldn’t be all that helpful. I recognize junk calls right now pretty well, and even if the CID number is wrong, it tells something about the caller (telemarketers tend to use repetitive practices).

I have no idea why it is allowed or even legal right now, but I would change providers if I had a choice. I wouldn’t pay extra for it though, it seems like something they should already be doing.

Spoofing caller id is valid in some cases. Legitimate companies often contract out their calling campaigns to dedicated calling centers, in which case the call center sets the caller id to be for the requesting company. So if Ford needs to contact all Ford owners, the call center will put in Ford’s caller id. But, as we all know, spammers use spoofed caller ids to try to fool people into answering the phone.

I’m not sure this type of service would be super valuable to me. There is an existing service called nomorerobo which filters out autodial spam. The way it works is you setup dual ring so calls go to both your phone and nomorerobo. If nomorerobo identifies it as a spammer, it picks up the call. You may hear one ring on your phone, but then nomorerobo takes the call.

It does seem that phone companies should either block spammers themselves or enable nomorerobo.

What control-z said. I wouldn’t pay for the service. I do expect that if it was technologically possible it’d be included in the basic service.

I also recognize that it’s pretty well technologically impossible to guarantee a current-tech caller ID is valid, and any effort to automatically assess the trustworthiness of any given caller ID will pretty much instantly degrade to where we’re already going with manual assessment: it’s totally untrustworthy, we may as well simply switch it off completely.
Note that “reliable” and “trustworthy” are two different things. Present tech callerID is 0% trustworthy but some decent percent reliable. IOW everybody can lie, not everybody does lie. Not much more can be said about any given caller’s ID.
We could design a new callerID system that was 100% trustworthy. Just like we could design spamless trustworthy email. And phish-proof websites. And identity-theft-proof identities for people. It’s getting from here to there that’s hard.

Plus any such totally trustworthy system would also absolutely positively eliminate any idea of anyone having any tiny shred of online anonymity; 100% of everything everywhere would be fully traceable to the actual origin. Traceable both by good citizens and by bad secret police.

It ought to still be possible for a caller to block his caller-ID from being transmitted. Thus, the receiver of the call should be guaranteed that the incoming call will either have a reliably correct caller-ID, or else be identified as “anonymous”.

Good point; they could build “anonymous” into the system. At which point we move out of the technological realm and into the social.

Once a trustworthy system was in place where caller ID was 100% reliable other than the “anonymous” opt-out, who would use “anonymous”? And more importantly for this discussion, what would Jane Q Public do when her phone was ringing with an “anonymous” callerID?

IMO the vast majority of the population would quickly conclude that “anonymous” = scammer and not answer. So an honest caller would then face a Hobson’s choice: be identifiable to everyone including the authorities, or make calls that are 99% likely to be unanswered.

I use caller ID blocking. I do not want anyone having my number unless they are a friend. Contacts who are friends are listed as *82-xxx-xxx-xxxx, so they see I’m calling. But if I’m calling a client after normal hours (using my cell) I do not want them to know my number. Typically I’m calling to help them out and they really appreciate the evening/weekend call. If they choose not to answer “anonymous”, it’s their loss.

Based on my records, I suspect 99% of telemarketing calls don’t get answered now; people are getting wise. The scammers’ solution: double down; the more calls they make, the better the return. I easily have twice as many junk calls today as I did 3 years ago, and at least half of them today are from anonymous numbers; i.e., ones that block their CID.

It’s possible that a “not answered” call results in a repeat try from the scammer, increasing the number of junk calls that have to be handled somehow.

IMHO this is a solution in search of a problem.

To me, if I don’t recognize a number, I don’t answer. It is a simple as that. If it is someone who really wants to communicate with me, they will leave a message.

I don’t see the need to build additional technology, of charge me more for it.

Lately the spoofers have started using local exchanges. It makes it tougher to discern ahead of time that it is a junk call. Also why so many robo-calls that then hang-up? What’s up with that?

The phone companies should just block all spoofed calls. The upside is great and the downside small.

Spammers know that only a small number of calls are answered, so they ring lots of numbers simultaneously. If a call gets answered, it is routed to a spammer if one is available, or they hang up if all spammers are currently on calls.

I take it a step further. If it’s not my gf, son, or daughter, I do not answer. My friends all know that I do not like to talk on the phone, preferring texts.

So, if I get a call it goes to voicemail. I use Apple’s voice to text to read the message, and reply with a text. I then have a record of our discussion I can refer back to.

The way caller ID works internally there is no way for the telcos to detect the difference between true and false callerID. The system was designed when everything was Ma Bell and everything was therefore 100% trustworthy. It’s a town with no locks on any doors and no way to retrofit them.

I don’t think that is true. I might be tough, but they can do it. They monitor so much going across the long lines and at the COs that they could look for a difference between the actual number and the ID.

My wife works for AT&T programming some of this equipent’s software, I’ll ask her about when I get a chance.

I know I don’t know the answer but your statement above just doesn’t ring correct.

IIRC from when I was in the biz. Admittedly some time ago. …

The originating local CO can tell for POTS. But the telcos also sell the ability to provide a different number as a feature, not a bug. Everybody downstream just accepts whatever is sent from the originating CO.

For VOIP, the “call” is just packets coming from Bulgaria entering a gateway into the POTS switching system. There’s no conceptual way for that gateway telco to backtrack further towards the origin.

I’ll be very interested to hear what your wife has to say. Certainly the local telcos are not happy with the present state of affairs and I suspect the mobile carriers and the long-line operators (to the degree that business distinction still matters) are getting the same way.
Spam is the bane of gmail’s devs and admins too. But absent a rewrite of all the email RFCs followed by most of the world moving to that new system they’re stuck hoeing out the 99% of the email that’s raw sewage to permit the 1% that’s real to usually get through.

We’d like to hope that phone and sms don’t follow email down that rat-hole.

LSLGuy, from your time in the biz, can you describe ANI and why that can’t be used instead of CID to filter calls? AFAIK, ANI can’t be spoofed, right?

And this is why I rarely, if ever, answer a call from a number that is not already in my contact list. If it’s important to the caller, they’ll leave a message. Then I can decide, at my leisure, whether it’s important to me and act accordingly.

When I left the biz SS7 was new and VOIP wasn’t even a gleam in some engineer’s eye. And ISDN was about to hit the big time for sure!! :slight_smile: So I can speak some to what *was *and less to what necessarily is today.

ANI was created to support the billing process for toll-free numbers. That way the company paying the 800 bill knows who’s contacted them. So it was originally both offline and on a best effort-basis. Later it was updated to push it along in real time so the callee’s equipment could receive it if they knew how. But AFAIK it’s still best-effort and there are many situations in which ANI is not available at the callee’s end.

Because it was originally related to billing, not identification, the number tag pushed through the plumbing to the callee is not necessarily the actual number calling. Although it’s related to it.

The bigger point is that as wireline consumers it’s easy for us to think that one wire = one phone number = one “line” for making/taking one call. None of that is true, or at least none of it is necessarily true. The kind of phone system a 20 person, 200 person, or 200,000 person company has looks nothing like 20, 200, or 200,000 individual phones & lines.

Lots and lots of call processing is (or can be) offloaded to the company and there are umpteen generations of tech that perform functions loosely akin to NAT routers for IP. So hundreds or thousands of inbound numbers all arrive at one data interface into a business. And likewise hundreds or thousands of outbound calls flow through a single data interface out of a business and into telcoland.

Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of the computer first assembling the call to tell the truth about who’s calling who (plus or minus the legit exceptions). But they’re only on the honor system to do that. That’s the engineering assumption and that’s the law. Sometimes that computer belongs to [del]The Phone Company[/del] a phone company. Other times it belongs to a business, legit or otherwise.

Once less-than-fully-legit businesses have realized there is exactly zero penalty for breaking the law because there’s essentially zero attempt at enforcement of the law, it’s become open season on honesty.

ANI is just as subject to these issues as is CID.

Verizon is currently selling a service that flag calls a likely spam. It seems to work pretty well for the 1 month free trial they gave me. I have heard that other carriers are including similar services at no additional cost. I don’t really get enough spam calls to pay $3 a month to avoid them.