Phone “spam” is on the rise, just like email spam. Aggressive marketing organizations are using “robo callers” to literally dial every number combination in order to find new customers. Also, collections agencies and the like are stepping up with ‘round the clock calls as well.
Call Blocker isn’t a panacea as caller-IDs can be spoofed. But, it’s a useful tool that can help to tame the telephone!
It seems that some are using robo dialers to literally call every phone number combination to try to figure out if a human answers. When a human voice is detected, a note is placed in a database and that number is marked for future spam calls. This is like the process of crawling the web, but much more annoying.
To combat spam, we have added a new page to allow account admins to block calls from specific phone numbers or prefixes. The page is located under the “Extensions” page in My Halloo: http://my.halloo.com/All%20Extensions/Call%20Blocker/.
Admins will be able to edit blocked numbers and add new ones. Note that phone numbers are entered in international format, and must include the country code. For example, 12125551212, would block calls from 555-1212 in New York City. Omitting the “1” would mean that the rule would apply to calls from Morocco, which has the country code “+212”.
The Star [*] is allowed at the end of the string to block all calls from a specific prefix. For example “1876*” blocks all calls from Jamaica.
When a call is blocked, the caller will get a busy signal and not show up at all in the call log. Call blocking applies on an account level, and to all direct inward dial lines (DIDs) equally.
New Voicemail Feature
Also, a new feature has been added into our voicemail system as well. You now have the option to require callers to “Press 1” to leave a voice message. If the caller is human, they will follow the instructions and press 1. But, the robo caller will not do so, and the system will hang up on them, hopefully eliminating most of these nuisance messages.
You can access this option under “User Settings” -> “Voicemail”. Select “Caller must press 1 to leave a message” if you want to enable this feature.