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Telephone spam/scam problem? Bring in the robots. | Roger Anderson | TEDxNaperville



What about using the same technology phone spammers/scammers use, and turn it against them? The results can be quite entertaining.

Roger Anderson is a tinkerer, podcaster, and founder of the Jolly Roger Telephone Company, which works to disrupt the unsolicited telemarketing industry by creating unique ways to deal with auto and predictive dialers, soundboards, and cold callers.

Having two land-line telephones for decades, Roger would often receive telemarketer calls and shrug them off. When his son became old enough to answer the phone, the boy received a call from a very aggressive telemarketer who said enough “bad words” for Roger to start looking for a solution. Since then, Roger has undertook a crusade to understand how auto and predictive dialing works and create technologies that circumvent, disrupt, trick, and challenge the unsolicited telemarketing industry.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

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  1. This would be IDEAL for a smartphone app! It intercepts your incoming calls and, before it even activates your ringer, it asks the caller to push a certain number (or sequence of numbers) to prove they are human, and then if they pass that test maybe do one more level of confirmation before making your phone actually ring. I'll bet it would cut down on spam/scam calls by more than 90%.

  2. Suggestion for further refinement. Use voice recognition to "playback" the words of the telemarketer. "Did you say you want my <credit card>" ? I realize that's a greater level of sophistication than a pre-recorded speech with built in pauses, but….

  3. FAST FORWARD to 2019- WE have anonymus scaming the scamers,call floding their phones,making so much fun of it,posting so much content on youtube!!Also so many other individuals doin the same.They hack into their computers,taking over their phones,changing voice messages,locking scamer's computers,infect their computers with viruses.Recently they hacked a fb acount of one scamer,teling to all of his friends and family what he is doing as a job….

  4. Telemarketers are like people that come to your front door and just keep knocking and wont go away. Even if you say no and shut the door, they keep knocking. Just like if someone stands at your front door and keeps knocking you could call the police, if only the same could apply to the phone.

  5. Meanwhile you state that the government can't do anything and that is false. Inexpensive solutions are available. Pre-registered phones to one of the networks can have their names presented to you so you either accept or decline a caller and companies already are registered. Companies that aren't accredited for cold calls shouldn't be able to call. All other noise can be sent to a survey and filtered… or, even, actual ai to mess with them. This would be a verrrrrrrrrrry simple solution. Governments don't care, because… well trump. He's the perfect example of what's wrong in this world. Thank you for understanding this. A lot of the people that voted or think about voting trump are now ashamed. They shouldn't be ashamed, they should know that they're part of the issues this world is afflicted with. I am not being harsh. They are ignorants, biggots, have no integrity or understanding of basic relationship moral values. Thanks for your video. Atleast you are trying something as opposed to 99%+ of us.

  6. I worked for a call center for a very brief period of time, and I got a couple robots like these. The best one by far was a recording of a man with a HEAVY Boston accent on a boat who saw a shark and then… got pulled over by the cops or something. We left it running for over an hour and took turns listening because it was so funny.

  7. I worked in telecom for twelve years, and this problem is 99% solvable at the telco level. Every time you dial a number, both your number and the number you’re calling are sent as a pair through the system, from end to end. That’s the only way the switching equipment knows which two lines to connect. Instead of letting the caller insert any number between ring tones, the telco could simply insert the real ANI (automatic number identification) before connecting the caller’s audio. People with a legit reason for giving another number would need to submit a request to disable this feature. If the telco receives complaints about the call-maker (the subscriber just needs to provide his/her own number and the time of the call—the telco has a record of who actually called), then that call-maker’s caller ID hoaxing feature is cancelled. I know this would work with calls routed by telco switches, but I’m not up-to-date with voice over IP protocols.

  8. The telephone companies can at least fix the spoofed call issues, so every telemarketer would have to use there own phone. Then legally we could make spam calls illegal. Once these two things are in place, then we know who is calling, and can go after them for spam. Presto, no spam.

  9. This is old-ish, but I'd like to get in touch with the guy, I dabble in Neural Networks, lets try to make an app that can really waste their time. Although how these people don't realize they are speaking to a bot/recording after 5 responses is beyond me, perhaps it's not necessary to make an AI to waste their time. Still sounds like a fun project. Given we all have mobile phones, perhaps in app form. *ponders*.

  10. Great idea! I love it! The free service on S******m doesn't do anything. We get many robocalls a day. The only problem I see is that the Jolly Roger bots say "yes" frequently. In one article I saw, the caller can supposedly copy this word "yes"out of a response they get and use it as proof that the victim agreed to the product the scammer is selling. If this gets changed, I will sign up for this service!

  11. All this time I’ve been wasting my time to waste their time when there’s an app for that. Lol. We get air duct cleaning service calls, CRA scams (Canadian version of IRS Scam), and update business listings in google calls.

    The google calls are automated so I can only mess with the air duct and CRA scammers. For the air duct people I would pretend I can’t understand their English and keep saying there are no ducks here only geese, but that didn’t keep them engaged long enough so I started playing along with interest and giving them addresses for airduct cleaning only accessible by aircraft like Iqaluit or areas around Hudson Bay. For the CRA scammers I play along till it comes time for payment and keep doing thing “wrong”, pretend I’ve never heard of western union, give them random credit card or cheque numbers till they get fed up and give up. Had one CRA scammer calling me for days trying to sort out my payment issues while I would put him on hold for 10 minutes at a time several times each call while I played video games 😂

  12. His reason for why the first answering message blocked the telemarketers is incorrect. When those auto diallers hit a real person or answering machine it transfers to the telemarketing agent. So once they telemarketer gets the call they don’t hear the press whatever if you’re a real person message.

  13. Here is what I don't understand, why is the phone company allowing known deceptive practices across their network? They know the caller id number being transmitted is not the originating call. Doesn't this put an unnecessary toll on their network? If they simply enforced the caller id number transmitted, needs to match the origination of the call, this wouldn't be such a mess. It would save the phone company money because they wouldn't have to invest in additional unnecessary plant.

  14. I remember about a year ago when this specific telemarketer group from India kept calling me daily for weeks. I literally recited the movie Die Hard, I got about 2/3 of the way through the movie and at one point had them on the phone for 22 minutes. lol there was a few times I actually got excited when they would call!

  15. Dave Barry once did a column on the subject of possible laws to limit or possibly outlaw telemarketing. He got a letter from some lady who said her sister depended on her telemarketing job to make a living, and what if she lost her job? Dave's response was pure gold: "Am I supposed to feel bad about all the muggers who are out of work because of the laws against mugging?"

  16. I can't believe I just watched a fifteen minute infomercial and signed up for the product. Rather, I signed up for their free 30 days, but if I forget, I'll pay $12 on January 3rd and continue to get solicitations for a lot of upgrades and business services. I'll bet if I cancel renewals, I lose the year of service so it will be up to me to remember to cancel next January. If this video generated 100,000 sign ups (out of current 474K views) and 20,000 forget to cancel, that's $240K earned off this video. I didn't know TED did infomercials.
    Now that I have Jolly Roger Answering Machine set up, the service is hardly worth the $12/year. The voices have funny names but aren't entertaining, and there's no way to preview messages nor voice selection.

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