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Privacy Government News

Fraudsters Abusing Canada's Do-Not-Call List 229

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-thought-this-was-a-good-idea dept.
J ROC writes "Phone numbers on Canada's Do-Not-Call registry have apparently been sold to off-shore telemarketers, scam artists, and other ne'er-do-wells, according to reports in the Globe & Mail and CBC News. The CRTC, which runs the registry, sells lists of phone numbers online for a small fee; making it available to anybody who might be interested in buying it, including con artists. I guess this explains why, ever since I added my number to the registry, I've been getting phone calls from 000-000-0000 trying to interest me in some free vacation scam. Canada's Privacy Commissioner is currently investigating."
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Fraudsters Abusing Canada's Do-Not-Call List

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  • What Idiots (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kenj0418 (230916) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @10:28AM (#26588421)

    What idiots -- Illegally contact people that you already know are especially hostile toward dealing with you. How many sales do they actually expect to make?

    • Re:What Idiots (Score:5, Informative)

      by MrKevvy (85565) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @10:34AM (#26588481)

      re: "What idiots -- Illegally contact people that you already know are especially hostile toward dealing with you. How many sales do they actually expect to make?"

      Just as with spam, the telemarketer gangs don't make money off of sales. Rather, they make money off of selling their "service" to the "companies" whose "products" are being advertised. So even if there are no sales at all, they still profit.

      • Re:What Idiots (Score:4, Insightful)

        by rolfwind (528248) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @11:29AM (#26588895)

        Just as with spam, the telemarketer gangs don't make money off of sales. Rather, they make money off of selling their "service" to the "companies" whose "products" are being advertised. So even if there are no sales at all, they still profit.

        However, companies don't keep using tactics that aren't profitable, so if there were no sales, there would be no reason for those companies to buy telemarketing service - at least from that provider. In most businesses, repeat customers are the key to long term success and I suspect telemarketer service providers are not immune to that.

        • Yes, but until they learn, the telescammers can rip off those companies.

          • I'm sure they make SOME sales. Like spam, it only take one guillible person out of 1000 to make profit.

            The lesson I learned:

            - You can't trust the government with your data. Whether it's stolen social security numbers, do not call lists, or medical information, the government WILL be used and abused. Power corrupts politicians; they don't care.

            • Re:What Idiots (Score:4, Insightful)

              by pnewhook (788591) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @12:52PM (#26589627)

              - You can't trust the government with your data. Whether it's stolen social security numbers, do not call lists, or medical information, the government WILL be used and abused. Power corrupts politicians; they don't care.

              Do you believe the politicians you vote for have anything to do with peoples private data? Your data is being compromised by lowly paid swivel servants that have the same job regardless of what party is elected in.

              • by mazarin5 (309432)

                lowly paid swivel servants

                Is this some obscure pun, or is this like how I said "for all intensive purposes" until I was 15?

                Civil servants.

            • by ToadMan8 (521480)
              The marginal cost of making phone calls is much higher than that of sending spam e-mail.

              Say it takes one person one second per 100 e-mails, and that same person a bare minimum of 10 seconds for one phone call (likely longer, going for easy math) that makes telesales 1000 times as time-consuming, and thus expensive.
              • by green1 (322787)

                the time per person is the same as these are automated phone calls, they use an (illegal in Canada) robo-call system.

                The real expense difference is that phone lines cost more than email addresses.

        • Re:What Idiots (Score:4, Insightful)

          by schon (31600) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @02:38PM (#26590609)

          Your logic is astoundingly bad.

          In most businesses, repeat customers are the key to long term success and I suspect telemarketer service providers are not immune to that.

          Why do you suspect that?

          These people are fraud artists. What on earth makes you think that they are "most businesses"?!?!?!

          It's like saying "oh, those people running a pyramid scam can't stay in business for long, because eventually they'll run out of people to scam."

          You are astoundingly naive if you think that con artists rely on the same methods as normal businesses.

      • And one can stop spam by using the same technique that both Canada and the U.S. use for scams : charge the company that's paying for it.

        Mind you, that does require extra staffing for the fraud squad! A suitable levels of fines applied to the companies who pay for this dreck should nicely cover it.

        Hmmn, time to write to my MP!

        --dave

      • by INT_QRK (1043164)
        Does the fact that the agency responsible for maintaining the do-not-call list sells said list to telemarketers stand out to anyone else? Am I reading this right? That, in and of itself, should be a major political scandal demanding the head of the Agency Head (OK, figuratively! I meant job!). This situation demands an example be made.
      • You may have seen the Globe article about telemarketers using the do-not-call list as a source of people to call, including some explicitly fraudulent calls: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090123.wdonotcall23/BNStory/National/home [theglobeandmail.com]

        There's quite an discussion on one of the nerd sites on this (http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/01/24/1312203) where I ran across it.

        It strikes me we can best deal with this by addressing companies that pay for the unwanted calls. Not the compan

        • Re:Ok, sent to my MP (Score:5, Informative)

          by Lord Flipper (627481) * on Sunday January 25, 2009 @02:12AM (#26596059)

          Alas, Canada isn't where all the illegal calls and emails originate

          Where have you been? I won't argue about the email bit, and I realize it's nothing to be proud of, but Canada has the best, as well as the most successful/notorious fraudulent telemarketers on Earth.

          Check news articles from end of the 1990s and a year or two after. Montréal has an international reputation for having the highest grossing ongoing, organized criminal telemarketers in the Entire World (Vancouver is doing okay along those lines, also).

          Interpol, in Europe and the FBI, down here in the US, had to go up there and basically "shame" the RCMP into raiding and taking down the top of that food chain. Two chains, really, one, a non-denominational consortium of Irish, Jewish, Greek and Cosa Nostra guys, and the other being the financial "fund raising" arm of the Hell's Angels, headed by Denis Morin.

          The "Phonebusters", up at Thunder Bay, were outgunned and subverted once cases hit the Court system. There were rumors, underground, that the first really huge case to hit the system in Ontario (which involved two Montréalers, one of whom was Les Pinsky) was a slam dunk, requiring a $250,000 payoff to someone in the Ministry of the Attorney General to get away scot free. The Ontario Provincial judge in the case was furious at having to throw out a case against a guy who had made $12 million in the previous year ("officially", the actual figure was way up there), because of "screw-ups" by Crown lawyers.

          Meanwhile, in Montréal, the RCMP had one of their people visiting owners and part-owners of a dozen seemingly separate businesses, telling them what amounts of individual Bank Drafts, etc, were going to be "flagged" in the system, which ,mail drops had been added to surveillance, etc. "Guidance" in other words.

          The biggest gang didn't go down until a lady in Ontario, who was addicted to sending cash to telephone fraudsters, and was embezzling huge cash from a firm she worked at, killed herself, and the FBI just blew a gasket. And Denis Morin, who was under observation for years, by Canadian legal people, wasn't busted until he was walking into Disney World, in Orlando, by FBI agents (with OPP and RCMP guys tagging along for the photo op.

          Les Pinsky, one of the old-school telemarketing guys in Montréal, died recently, before his recent case could get to Court (natural causes). If you visit the Portage, a drug and alcohol treatment facility on St antoine Street in Montréal, chances are that Les' picture is still up on the wall of grads. Even some of his closest friends knew that what he was doing was not just illegal, but all the way wrong, yet still loved him, in some cases, for the beneficial work and volunteering he had done. But the notion that man can sin with one hand and do good works with the other, and that these things "balance out" somehow, morally, are delusional. Isaiah, in the Old Testament, was very persuasive about what those who thought that they could, God-like, make these assessments and draw conclusions about their "faith saving them in the end" were in store for.

          A lot of folks will be glad Les is dead. That's easy to understand. People who knew him, who knew something about him besides "his job" can only wonder how things might have gone if he had used his skills and abilities for something that was "good." But he didn't, or, rather, he did, but those numerous acts were simply outweighed by his "real" work. A lot of people got hurt, and even his close friends know that that is totally unacceptable.

          Don't think for a moment that Canada isn't more than adequately "represented" as far as fraud goes. There's a reason, or two, why the gargantuan heroin importing "company" that was known as "The French Connection" had Montréal and little ports up and down the Canadian east coast as its last stop on the way to New York, Chicago and Detroit. And it wasn't smoked meat sandwiches and Molsons.

      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        The solution is to go after the companies selling the products, constantly harass reception at their building and see how they like it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Z00L00K (682162)

      The penalties for telemarketers are far too low.

      Make it punishable to try to market anything using hidden of forged numbers, and let that punishment also propagate to the company whose product is promoted.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by goaliemn (19761)

        Technically, the telemarketers aren't breaking the do not call list laws. They aren't in canada.

        I'm in the US and recently have had canadian based companies calling me.. I tell them I'm on the do not call list "we're in Canada so the US list doesn't apply to us" Canuck companies are doing the same thing now.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Technically, the telemarketers aren't breaking the do not call list laws. They aren't in canada.

          I'm in the US and recently have had canadian based companies calling me.. I tell them I'm on the do not call list "we're in Canada so the US list doesn't apply to us" Canuck companies are doing the same thing now.

          That's not exactly correct. Technically, they are breaking the law. They just can't be prosecuted easily.

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          There have been several rounds of US scammers calling people in Canada too. They claim you've won a free cruise or vacation.

          I talked to them to see where it would go one time. All they needed for me to claim my prize was my credit card information so they could "confirm my hotel reservation." Riiight. I mentioned that credit card fraud is frowned upon and they had the guts to quote some US law.

          • by Z00L00K (682162)

            Maybe if you have some other card that isn't a credit card, like some rebate card or so you can give them that number.

            Will keep them busy for a few moments extra at least!

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Cennon (837504)

          I used to work as a caller for a marketing research company in Canada (read: surveys - NO sales), and we called the U.S. more often than not. We ran into a lot of people that would honk on mightily about their rights regarding the do-not-call list, not realizing that - at the time, at least - we were exempt by virtue of our business: opinions, not sales.

          I can't imagine ever telling a person that 'the US list doesn't apply to us'. I wonder if they were actually in Canada, or just saying so (the telemarkete

        • by Strider- (39683)
          In Canada, at least, the people that can be fined not only includes the telemarketing firm itself, but also the company that hired them. If a company in Canada hires a telemarketing firm, even if they're in India, and they violate the Do Not Call List, the company in Canada is subject to a $1500 fine per violation.
      • That would be a great business tool! Your company makes something that competes with my company, so I pay the phone scammers to promote your product and your company gets sanctioned or punished...
        Dollar for dollar I'll bet that's a lot more effective than marketing my own product or having a better product, just thin out the competition.
    • Re:What Idiots (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday January 24, 2009 @11:07AM (#26588741) Homepage Journal

      What idiots

      I'm trying to think of what should be done with someone so sleazy as to do this.

      I understand Guantanamo Bay's going to be vacant next year. Not even Amnesty International would mind if we put them there.

      Spammers, too, while we're at it. Although I suppose if we lock them up we have to feed them.

      I'm a man of peace, but I could take my nickel-plated M1911A1 to their heads and then enjoy a nice meal and peaceful night's sleep with no problem at all. Actually, I'm getting a little dreamy just thinking about being able to use my email address without having to worry about getting 40 of the same message asking if I want to "be more man", or having to squint at my phone's caller ID so I don't have to deal with some poor, bored young woman offering me aluminum siding or better interest rates.

      • The amount of money we'd spend feeding them is negligible compared to the amount of money we'd save in the mailservers alone. Imagine how many spam messages are relayed every day. Even if no human ever reads it?

        Plus, the internet isn't a truck, it's a series of tubes...(but if we assume 500 bytes per spam (a low number), then one 350 MB movie is about 700000 spam messages)

      • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)

        ``Spammers, too, while we're at it. Although I suppose if we lock them up we have to feed them.''

        Feed them SPAM.

    • by canajin56 (660655)
      I get several such calls per day, even on cellphones. I'm not even on the registry. They just have an autodialer walking through every number! My wife and I have adjacent cell numbers, and she gets called seconds after I hit "ignore" on my cell. If I do answer it goes a bit like this.
      "Hello Sir, you've won a free vacation, I just need some information to send you your free tickets, absolutely free"
      "I doubt that you criminal."
      "Fair enough" *click*
    • by b4upoo (166390)

      They will make a ton of sales. Back in 1985 we had a local outfit with a scam pitch that went along these lines: They had a sucker list from affiliated sellers of people who had been ripped off for big sums or repeatedly. The pitch went that the sales person was a retired FBI agent who was working to catch, collect and turn over criminal salesmen. He asked $500. as an up front fee. A nice long month would follow before the mark got a second call indicating that they had the offending salesman and his c

    • by ccguy (1116865)

      What idiots -- Illegally contact people that you already know are especially hostile toward dealing with you. How many sales do they actually expect to make?

      Easy: Because those people expect never to get a telemarking call, so they're easier to get off guard... in fact, if the script is any good the caller can get 30 seconds of so of conversation before the victim knows whats going on.

  • Double Up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Guy G (783837)
    It looks like we now need a do-not-call, do-not-call list!!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by zoomshorts (137587)

      What we need is a "My Data is worth $5000.00 to me" so IF you use my data,
      YOU OWE ME $5000.00 per disclosure.

      IF My data is worth anything, it is worth MORE to me than you.

      Turn the idiots in to a collection agency and ruin their credit, etc.

      Simple.

      • by Dogtanian (588974)

        What we need is a "My Data is worth $5000.00 to me" so IF you use my data, YOU OWE ME $5000.00 per disclosure. IF My data is worth anything, it is worth MORE to me than you. Turn the idiots in to a collection agency and ruin their credit, etc. Simple.

        You're right- it's really that simple! And not just another minor variant on that stupid quasi-legalistic solution that IANALs on Slashdot propose every time a topic like this comes up.

        This is the geek equivalent of guys who mouth off in pubs about how politicians are stupid and how their simple ideas would put the world to rights.

        If it was really that simple, someone would have done it already- if only for the money.

        • by timeOday (582209)
          Is it that hard? Maybe it's just me, but the US do-not-call list has been extremely effective. I did get a spam call about a week ago (from Bank of America - thanks guys) and it was pretty surprising, because it had been so long, whereas before the list it was all the time. It's a piece of legislative action I'm very happy with, probably the high point of the Bush legacy :)
          • by Dogtanian (588974)
            No, I was referring to the GGP's implied suggestion that we could all just declare our data worth $500,000 or whatever and simply sue and win against the spammers using existing legislation.
    • Re:Double Up (Score:5, Interesting)

      by walt-sjc (145127) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:20PM (#26589885)

      No.... What we need are callerID numbers that are always transmitted and accurate. We need carriers to be held liable for bogus caller ID info transmitted on their networks. No exceptions.

      This makes it a little harder for voip termination providers, but it can and needs to be done. Make it a criminal penalty to knowingly use bogus or forged callerID (allowing the loophole to use a number that BELONGS to you.)

      Currently, (and I've mentioned this several times in the past) I use Asterisk for my phone system. In fact, I've been using it for over 5 years now (It is ROCK SOLID)

      I've also had a few simple rules setup. First, I have a white list of close family and friends (those calls always go through, with callerID name re-writing so I see it's Bill and not "Wireless Caller".) Second, local calls are allowed during waking hours to get right through. At night, they have to press 1 to leave a message or press 5 to ring through. Third, tollfree numbers and NO callerID ALWAYS have to press 5 to ring through. Finally, the blacklist which just gives a disconnect tone sequence and phone company like message that the number is disconnected :-)

      What have these rules done for me?

      First, telemarketing calls are all blocked - along with charity solicitations and political crap. The sole exception (due to my rule set) was a couple calls from LOCAL political volunteers (I actually don't mind those - at least they are HUMAN.)

      Second, wrong numbers in the middle of the night totally stopped.

      I have my phone back. I can have dinner in peace. I sleep at night!

      • by reboot246 (623534)
        Asterisk looks interesting. Can you describe (one more time) your setup?
  • by jonadab (583620) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @10:29AM (#26588433) Homepage Journal
    That's it! I'm moving to... oh, wait. Nevermind.
  • by Xoron101 (860506) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @10:34AM (#26588487)
    I added my cell, the wife's cell and our home phone number to the list. A month or so later, I got my first telemarketer call.

    I called up the government's do not call list registry to complain, but they hung up on me and told me that they weren't interested in what I was selling. They asked "how would I like it if they called me at home during dinner", and asked to be taken off of my call list
  • by gapagos (1264716) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @10:35AM (#26588497)

    That's why I never wanted to sign up for that list in the 1st place. (I'm from Ottawa, Canada)
    Thankfully, I almost never get any marketing call on my cellphone, the only ones I do (and they're annoying) are from the RBC Royal Bank trying to sell me insurance, and I find that already annoying.

    Since I moved to Montréal, I don't use a land phone anymore, so the telemarketer calls stopped (except for my god damn bank still).

    BUT I heard of people who added their CELLPHONE number to the Do-Not-Call list and have received telemarketer calls only since then.

    The typical and most annoying telemarketer call you tend to receive (and in Ottawa, I received that specific one at least 5 times a month) is:

    Number 123-456-7890 calling
    *Sound of fog horn*
    Automatic voice: "Hello, this is your captain calling... Congratulations, you've won a trip to..."

    Or sometimes it's a number 000-000-0000 like from the summary, I can confirm that. It's ANNOYING AS HELL.

    • by nattt (568106) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @10:38AM (#26588531)

      That is the most annoying call ever. I blame bell for all this. THey're making money of each scam call in network fees.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cperciva (102828)

      *Sound of fog horn*

      I agree, that's the most irritating call I've ever gotten. I normally hang up on telemarketers, but now I make a point of trying to keep that one on the line as long as possible.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bob_Sheep (988029)
      I think that is the first time I have heard of international telemarketing. I have heard the exact same recorded message here in the UK.
      • by Tony Hoyle (11698) *

        Happens all the time... Our main line is on TPS and gets 2-3 calls a week from recorded messages with american accents saying we've won something implausible.

        We just leave it off the hook. If they're prepared to pay international call rates for their scam they're going to pay as much as I can fleece them for.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by loom_weaver (527816)

      I'd go into your bank and ask if you can be taken off their marketing lists.

      I had the same thing happen with CIBC and one day I got a pushy salesman that pissed me off. I marched into the local branch, told them my sad story, and then was somewhat surprised to see them clicking away at their computer and unchecking me from several lists.

      The teller said it's quite rare that people ask to be taken off those lists. It must be because so few people know about it.

  • by AsmordeanX (615669) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @10:37AM (#26588519)

    Wow, good job CRTC.

    My telemarketing calls went from about 2 a week to 6+. Good thing I'm rarely home and they get the answering machine instead.

    • by mevets (322601) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @11:02AM (#26588703)

      I don't know if these help yet, but apparently if you make your answering machine/voice mail message start with a "disconnected signal" (http://www.telephonetribute.com/signal_and_circuit_conditions.htm) you can discourage autodialers. Somebody even markets a little device (telezapper) to do this for you.

      I have no love for the CRTC, but the pressure probably came from elected officials via heavy lobbying. Regardless, after years of "click here to be removed from the list", how anyone didn't see this coming is beyond me.

      • by Trillan (597339)

        Well, personally, as a Canadian citizen I expected the Canadian government to do something other than let anyone download the full list of numbers.

    • Wow, good job CRTC.

      My telemarketing calls went from about 2 a week to 6+. Good thing I'm rarely home and they get the answering machine instead.

      If you read the CRTC charter carefully, you'll see that it exist to protect the Canadian INDUSTRY of telecommunication.
      Not the consumers.

  • by madcat2c (1292296) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @10:43AM (#26588559)
    If you no longer wish to receive our emails for the crap we sell, just reply by email with the following:
    Sunject:I am a real, valid email address
    Body:
    Your age
    Number of children
    Do you own a home?
    Take prescription meds?

    And we promise to remove you forever!
    • by v1 (525388)

      I was just thinking the whole idea of making the DNC list available is kinda counter-productive unless you have some serious teeth behind it.

      I wonder if anyone has considered a "do not spam" email registry? That'd go over just about as well.

    • I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
  • I'm in Canada and find, via *69, that these calls are coming from telemarketers with phone numbers in the United States. So, the list is working. We're not getting calls from Canada we're getting them from the States and, likely, there are equivalent scenarios being used to get around do-not-call lists for the States. Since the calls are coming from the States you can try to put your number on their list but they won't accept an area code outside of the U.S. So, that's how you get around the list. Orig
  • by Caduceus1 (178942) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @11:01AM (#26588689) Homepage

    To DNC registry worked well for a while. But then unscrupulous telemarketers started figuring out how to issue bogus number identifications so you can't issue complaints against them, and using an automated system, claiming to be about your auto warranty, or your "credit card company" (not by name), and try to get you to press 1 - at which point you then establish a business relationship with the telemarketer/vendor and they are then exempt from harassing you forever more.

    Lately, we have been getting numerous phone calls from "Texas Guaranteed". And now, I'm getting phone calls from a "white pages/yellow pages" company to continue a listing for my fictional company which has never had a listing in any pages since it isn't really real. The funny part is these are from a real person, who gets rude when my wife says that she won't talk to them.

    • This is my experience, as well. The DNC registry worked great for a while, but the telemarketers are getting bolder every month. They know the odds of getting busted are slim to none.

  • by phoxix (161744) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @11:13AM (#26588785)
    The CRTC should create a series honey-pot numbers, and give different combinations to those who purchase the lists. Scammers and those-who-sell-to-scammers would not be aware of which numbers are honey-pot numbers, and would call them anyways.

    The CRTC could use this to easily weed out the bad from the good.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ccguy (1116865)

      The CRTC should create a series honey-pot numbers, and give different combinations to those who purchase the lists.

      Since the lists are cheap, the scammers can just get 10 copies and filter out the differences. I don't think it would work (at least more than once).

  • Wilfully abusing systems intended to control or curb malicious or abusive behavior should come with triple the established penalty unless they can show it was somehow accidental beyond a reasonable doubt. But what happens when these calls are coming in from the U.S. or from Pakistan or some such place outside of Canada's jurisdiction? I don't know.

    Better idea: ALL outbound calling phone business activities should be properly licensed in some way. Once again, local laws and regulations need to apply...

    Thi

  • I used to receive multiple calls daily on my Bell line after a new phone number was added to the phone book. I registered with both the CRTC do not call list and Michael Geist's ioptout.ca and my the amount of calls I received dropped dramatically within a month or two.

    I occasionally had blips where the same number would continually call me, so I filled out the CRTC form for each number, and a very helpful woman tracked them both down - one number was Canadian and enforced to stop calling, the other was A
  • Get VoIP (Score:5, Informative)

    by clarkn0va (807617) <apt.get@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Saturday January 24, 2009 @11:55AM (#26589085) Homepage

    Two calls from an unsolicited number is all I ever get. After the second call the number simply gets screened and the incoming call gets forwarde--guess where--back to itself. Sometimes I get giddy imagining the telemarketer reciting her pitch to the person in the next cubicle.

    Of course, callers with the caller ID of "000-000-0000" or "10" simply get forwarded to the Rejection Hotline. [rejectionhotline.com]

    I'm on primus, but I imagine other voip providers have similar functionality, as would asterisk and its ilk.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @12:03PM (#26589177)

    When called, first talk really quietly so they turn their headset up, then use a very sharp whistle (or a foghorn, up to you and how sensitive your neighbors are). Repeat as needed until they hang up.

    For some odd reason, I don't get any telemarketer calls anymore. Works better than any do-not-call list.

    • by Dwedit (232252)

      This is why people have dialup modems. Loud modem noise works far better than any airhorn.

  • More proof that the CRTC is absolute junk. The only thing they're good for is patting Bell on the back and waiting for the FCC to make a decision and claiming it as theirs.

    They have no accountability and are responsible for such wonderful things like our horrible TV service and world renowned cellular service.

    I mean, seriously, who thought it was a good idea to sell people's private phone numbers without checking up on whomever was requesting it?

    It should always have been "You call these people, you are fi

  • ...I am not signing up for a DNC list here in The Netherlands (called "Info Filter").
    I have gotten a lot of issues with a local lottery ('National Zip Code Lottery'), and have written them numerous letters to leave me alone. Even the government insisted I put myself on the "Info Filter" list, but I objected citing the fact that the list is run by the spammers themselves.
    So I filed a complaint with the foundation that the spammers are in - "Commercial Code Commission" - which is obligated (by their own statu
    • I had the same problem, but when I called them, they turned on the "not active" flag on my info (which they got from the KPN, dutch national phonecompany).
      They did warn me that since I was in the system and they prepare letters etc for 6 months in advance or so, that I would still get those letters, after that I haven't had 1 single letter from them.
      Sorry to hear your case went sour, I hope you nail them to the wall :)

  • I added my numbers to the Canadian Direct Marketer's internal "Do not call" list years ago and saw a dramatic decrease in calls and unsolicited mail. I added my numbers to the new federal list a few days after it was unveiled, and the calls from local hearing aid companies and carpet cleaners dried up. The system works.

    Where it falls down is that there's no effective way for the Canadian government to regulate foreign calls, so we still receive the dreaded 000-000-00000 "You've won a cruise!" recordings and

    • by topham (32406)

      The advantage to these '000' calls is: I have NEVER received one that was a legitimate call. As such, I ignore them completely and have assigned an appropriate ring-tone on my phone. (Crickets, I need a silent MP3 ringtone but haven't got around to it yet).

      After not answering the 000 numbers for 2 weeks I haven't received any in 3; I suspect it's only a couple of organizations using it and they are actively filtering their own list so they don't waste their time calling non-answerers.

  • I signed up for that do not call list, and then almost immediately realized "Hey... I'm not getting any telemarketing calls. Why would I put my phone number on there now?" so I took it off immediately. Instinct paid off!
  • Change your phone number to an unlisted number. Give it to friends, family and work. Then give it to the companies that absolutely need to get in contact with you such as your bank, credit card companies, etc. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA) prohibits those companies from sharing your personal information except in cases where it would be considered reasonable. Say, if you default on payments passing your information to a collection agency. But, selling your cont

    • by pentalive (449155)

      I have an unlisted number.. I still get the calls 2-3 a day, usually the guy who want to sell me a car warranty (my car's warranty has been finished for at least two years now)

      They use random dialers..

  • You have to identify the caller, Inform them that your number is on the do not call list.

    Usually the first whiff they get that you are going to do that they hang up.. ask for their supervisor, they hang up. Say "I am on" click - gone

    Or they take your info and promise to put you on their do not call list, in like 6 months.
    and then they call back...

    If you do manage to ask the name of their company its usually the name of the company that bought advertising.

    Caller ID says: "no number, no name." I don't answer

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @02:05PM (#26590309) Journal

    If there is a list, and it has value, it will eventually be sold. It is important to remember that the government consists of regular people, not angels, no different from people doing any other job. A certain percentage will be unscrupulous, as in any collection of people, and the unscrupulous will be attracted to positions of power, influence and money, just like in any other organization.

    You might be able to vote out the person who wrote the bill, and the politicians that put it into law, but you can't vote out the bureaucrat that actually handles the goods -- that person is outside the influence of us regular citizens. Not because of any Star Room conspiracy, but simply because he's the person who has access, and the temptation is too great.

    So for a given list, like a do-not-call list, or back-door passwords held in escrow, or a list of people in a certain position, if it has value, an unscrupulous person will find a way to cash in on it, or someone will be coerced into doing so by another unscrupulous person. The more valuable the list, the more likely that the attempt will be made.

    This is vital to remember. When you hear "the government will take care of it" the first question you should ask is "why do you think so? What makes the people that make up the government any different from the people who make up, say, the phone company?"

  • My cell carrier has me under contract until June 2010. I've been with them since 2001, and have never hard problems with them before.

    But lately, they changed their branding and plans around. And for some reason, they decided to contract a company to call all their users.

    That company is an incompetent bunch of assholes.

    So after about 15 days of being called twice per day by the assholes, who would hang up as soon as I answered, and multiple complaints back to my carrier, I signed up on the DNC list on their

  • Here's a tip to let telemarketers know how you feel about them calling you when you're on a do-not-call list:

    Keep a whistle next to your phone, so that whenever you get a telemarking call you know exactly what to do...

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose

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