Should one bother to block the phone numbers of spammers who call us?

My current understanding is that most spammers are just using phony phone numbers anyway, that don’t represent the number the spam call is coming from. If that’s true, it’s rather pointless to waste time blocking the number, no?

Or do the spammers use the same bogus number long enough to merit blocking it to prevent future annoying interruptions? I do have Robonomo on my landline and at times I do see a string of calls blocked from the same number for a few days before they inevitably give up. Research on the number turns up info confirming the spam nature of these calls.

Or are there a significant number of spammers out there who are using a legit number, which actually gets displayed accurately on caller ID?

Anyone got the current recommendations for dealing with these nuisances? And is the advice different for cell phones vs. landlines? I’m getting more junk calls on my cell lately, especially from spammers using my cell’s own local first 3 digits as the caller’s number, to try to make me think it’s a local call.

I’d just like to know what’s considered to be the best practices at present for dealing with this stuff. I expect there’s probably a GQ quality answer out there somewhere for this, along with a lot of opinions about what to do.

My understanding is that the current tech being used by spammers spoofs your Caller ID by mimicking your area code and the first few digits of your phone number, to make you think it’s a local call (and, thus, maybe a neighbor or something), and that the last few digits are random.

Thus, blocking a particular number that shows up on your Caller ID won’t help, because the same spammer would probably be spoofing with a different number next time, and all you’ve done is blocked some random local number (which might or might not actually be a legitimate number).

Not always random.
On several occasions, right after getting a spam call, I’ve gotten a call from someone wanting to know why I was spamming them. It looks like each victim’s number was being used for the next call in line.

Aha! That must be it. Recently I’ve been getting calls from people going “Yeah, you just called me?” and I’m like “Um, no I didn’t” and it’s someone I don’t know.

And it’s true that spammers are using some technology that makes the call look like it’s from your area code, making it more likely that you’ll answer. Been getting a lot of those too.

The fact that spammers are now so fond of spoofing your area code has worked in my favor. I now live in a different part of the country from the area code of my cellphone, so I don’t get any genuine calls from unrecognized numbers in that area code. I just block the entire area code except for the old friends that are in my contact list.

Its easy to Google any phone number, and there are many websites cataloging spammers. If the number exists in one of these pages, then its been used often, and its an easy decision to block it.

I’m currently looking for a job, but people often email me first. Its likewise easy to search my mail for the phone number, to see if its someone I’ve already been in email contact.

Those spoofs of local numbers, even my own(!) are easily ignored.

And just let it go to answering machine or voice mail.

Don’t bother.

I also have been using nomorobo for quite some time and I have a big “call blocker” red button next to my desk. I rarely use it since spammers are generating random neighbor spoofing numbers these days.

Like others, if I see a local call, I know to dump it to voicemail. People who want to call me have valid caller ID with their name, and if they are a friend using some random phone, they will leave a message.

Generally I don’t bother, but for some reason there is a particularly lazy spammer who keeps using the same neighborhood phone number. After the 4th time in a few days, I did block that one.

I keep getting these calls too (lemme guess, something about a student loan or a warranty that’s about to expire or an inquiry about health care?) They always come in from my area code and the prefix from my number. I block them but it’s literally 1000 phone numbers in this case.

I usually block the number then call it back. Most often I get hold of someone who doesn’t know their number is being spoofed and they can contact their provider about it.

Seriously, can the government not do anything about this? They seem pretty good at taking taxes from my check before I see a penny of it. I’m on the Do Not Call List. Though when I tell these fuckers about that I’m hung up on. Then get more calls.

As an aside, I decided to have fun with them. Even if you let the calls go to voice mail it tells the autobot system it’s a valid number and your number is recycled to other companies. So if you have some free time when they call have fun. For instance I had a call from the “Warranty Department”. No idea what the warranty was so I played along. Some company trying to sell auto warranties. I had the fucker on the phone arguing that my vacuum cleaner was dead and expected it be be replaced. He didn’t understand that he was with the “Warranty Department” (who called me) and that they were responsible for the warranty.

It was my day off and they called me. Spent 20 minutes wasting their time. Petty but felt good.

BTW, is there a way to block prefixes or area codes? I have T-Mobile

Oh, and another thing (mini-duffer rant)

If the FCC/NSA can nail us for texting “wrong” things and monitoring everything we post/text/say/tweet/think…can’t they get their arms around spoofing? As Penn would say, What the fucking fuck?!?

NoMoRobo and sending other calls to voice mail works pretty well for me. The ones who get through pretty much hang up when they get the voice mail message - or their software does. That’s for our landline.
My cell gets almost no junk calls, my wife’s gets a lot. She has found a crowd sourced app that looks up the calling number and blocks it if it is on the list. If a spam call gets through, you can block it. (This is for Android phones.) This seems to work pretty well, and seems to indicated spoofed numbers are reused.

Don’t bother doing this. I’m not sure of how they do spoofing, but since this is such a big problem I suspect the carriers would do something about it if possible. The poor guy you are calling can’t. And since a lot of these calls come from overseas, the Do Not Call List is not doing any good either.

When this first started happening to me, it was always about my auto warranty expiring. I used to holler at them “It’s a LEASE, it’s ALWAYS under warranty…tell your friends!”.

Don’t know how these companies get access to your make/model/year of your car though. That’s a little distressing.

you think the current head of the FCC cares one whit about this?

NPR Planet Money talked to the head of the FCC about it in this episode.

Apparently he gets the same calls. However, we all know from recent experience that the isn’t exactly “a man of the people.”