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View Diary: Buying Debt - What OWS has been up to. (497 comments)

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  •  This is true. (32+ / 0-)

    Peeps need to be better informed.  And tell collectors to f off.

    I will also acknowledge that old debt can remain on a credit report for 7 years and hurt your credit score, even if it can't be sued on.

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:59:42 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  As a matter of fact, my ex of 12 years called me (48+ / 0-)

      up the other day. Someone had called him and told him he owed a gas bill. It was at my address from when we first split. I did not put it in his name.  He told them he never lived there. They suggested that I must have done it, and the only way out of it was to file a police report on me, or just pay it, and take me to court. It's a good thing he had the decency to call me before agreeing to pay it. I told him that scams like that can happen. I assured him a 12 year old bill was uncollectable.

      "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

      by second gen on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:04:51 PM PST

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    •  Oh, and in Michigan, where I'm from, the (34+ / 0-)

      statute of limitations is 6 years on most debts, so if you've gotten to the 6th year without paying it, it's already hurt your credit, and would be dropping off in one year anyway.

      "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

      by second gen on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 09:06:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Use your Caller ID. Or do this (sneaky!): (10+ / 0-)

      And use your answering machine or voicemail.

      If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, either don't answer it or answer it with a faked accent from a substantially different ethnicity than your name might indicate.

      For example if your name is John Smith, answer in a Spanish or Russian accent.

      Then when the caller asks for you by your full name, as debt collectors often do, just say "you have wrong number" and hang up before they can say another word.

      If you're a sneaky geek, do this:  Use Caller ID Routing or whatever your telco (or PBX, heh heh) calls the feature that enables you to route specified caller ID numbers to different destinations.  Note down the numbers of the collection agencies and route them to either a) a recording you have made of a disconnected number recording, or b) a nonworking phone number that naturally has that recording on it.  

      Then when they call you, their robocall machine or predictive dialer will hear "Doo-dee-deeet! (that three-tone sequence)  The number you have reached is not in service.  Please check the number and try your call again." click!  Gone! Buh-f'ing-bye!

      Now we've got our future back.

      by G2geek on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 02:03:16 AM PST

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      •  If you start doing that then won't they just (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, KenBee

        start spoofing the Caller ID (and probably ANI as well) to that of your friends or family members to get you to pick up?  Also, I heard the "number not in service" tone sequence doesn't work anymore because most such dialers don't rely on it but rather use out of band signalling like the rest of the phone network.  In other words, they adapted to the "TeleZapper" by having the phone company tell them when a number is no longer in service rather than relying on the tone.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:07:03 AM PST

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        •  a fellow telephony geek! OK let's figure this out (3+ / 0-)

          First of all, they have to know who your family & friends are, and how their numbers are listed.  Spoofing caller ID by sending CLIP for an intended phone number won't necessarily bring up the name from the telco database.  So you'll see your sister's phone number but with a name such as "unknown" or "(name of a state)" or whatever, and that may be a clue that "something is up."

          Second, spoofing caller ID is a hacker crime.

          Third, answering machines are your friend.  Answering machines are better than telco voicemail because you can hear the caller's voice and pick up in the middle of the call.  (I have a feature on my PBX that'll do this via the speaker on a digital phone if I ever needed to use it.)  A modern solid-state answering machine that uses no tapes, costs about $30 and uses about as much power as a night light.  Everyone should have one;-)

          As for ANI, that only works if the collection agency is using PRI (ISDN) trunks.  Many of these agencies have not caught up with the tech yet.  If they have live people making the calls, it's almost a certainty that they're on analog CO lines or cut-rate VOIP lines.  In which case the live person hears the recording and manually marks the number disconnected in the company's database.

          What I think some of them must be relying on from the telco, is answer supervision.  

          When you dial a disconnected number and get the SIT tones + the Jane recording, the terminating carrier does not send answer supervision back to the originating carrier.

          Thus, the combination of "voice frequency audio detected" plus "no answer supervision sent" can be interpreted to mean, by inference that the robo-dialer has reached a disconnected number.  

          However that "inference" is not air-tight, because any particular case of failure to send answer supervision, or any particular case of answer supervision sent, could merely be a switching or transmission error.  So any halfway smart robo-dialer is going to have variables that can be customized by the user.  And I'll bet that the default settings are biased toward negative, as follows:

          Many of those tele-zapper devices merely repeat the SIT tones multiple times in a row.  Using an actual recording that has not only the SIT tones but the Jane recording, will conform exactly to the "real thing."  Tones + female voice with known audio spectrum.  The robo-dialers may still take that as a disconnected number.  

          In any case it's worthwhile for people who are getting nasty collection calls to use every weapon at their disposal to make them go away.  Caller ID routing, answering machines, fake Eastern European accents, the whole nine yards.  View it as a war against vampires, fight back with vigor, and there's a decent chance of winning.  

          Now we've got our future back.

          by G2geek on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 03:53:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I could have sworn there was an exception (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            to the anti-caller-id-spoofing laws (specifically, the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009) for debt collectors.  It looks like that is not the case but there is still a requirement for the spoofing to be "with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value" which could make it a hard case to prosecute assuming the debt is valid (not past the statute of limitations and not discharged by bankruptcy).  Presumably that limitation was put in so that a "caller id passthrough" feature (so your normal number shows up rather than your google voice number) would not be illegal since it does rely on spoofing to work.

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:19:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  the exception was most likely intended... (2+ / 0-)

              .... for accidental cases such as in switching and transmission errors (for example I'm programming a PBX and entering the DID numbers in the CLIP field for each extension, and make a dyslexic error that reverses two digits).  But then it may have been expanded to cover instances such as VOIP services in general, of which GV is one, and then the collection vampires took full advantage of the opportunity.

              It may also have been pushed somewhat by telemarketers, since at least in theory they aren't committing overt fraud.  

              Google Voice is a surveillance monster of large magnitude, with mass collection, keyword recognition, and speech transcription capabilities that rival those of NSA.  I'd rather get my surveillance from NSA, at least I can vote for their boss every four years.  

              Now we've got our future back.

              by G2geek on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:24:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  disconnected number recording (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neon Mama, KenBee, elwior

        I'm sure G2g knows how these things work...

        I suspect that three tone sequence is pretty useful.

        I also suspect that the dialer software doesn't care much what happens after the tones.

        So, start your voicemail recording with the tones, then have a normal generic " Your party is not available" greeting.

        Just to be sure:

        DO NOT give a name or confirm the number as part of your greeting.

        Just " Your party is not available.  Please leave a message after the beep"


        The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

        by No one gets out alive on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:28:06 AM PST

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        •  Yes, and two more things about that: (2+ / 0-)

          I suspect the robo-dialers do know to listen for voice after the tones.  And I suspect they recognize the difference between male and female voices because the frequency spectrum is substantially different (this is why telcos hired women as operators: female voice spectrum is more intelligible than male).   Those recordings are in female voice with rare exceptions.  So tones + voice with female frequency spectrum (many of us guys can duplicate that by speaking in a slightly higher pitch) may be useful.

          And YES YES YES about never giving out your name.  Always use a generic greeting, just as you said.  

          If by accident you answer one of those calls live, and the caller says e.g. "Is this John Doe?", what you do immediately is say "No telemarketing calls, please put us on your do-not-call list," and HANG UP without giving them a second to reply.

          Also if you answer by accident and get one of those callers, you can do the "I can't hear you" routine.  Just say "Hello?  ... Hello?  ...Hello?" and then hang up.  Do not acknowledge hearing their voice.  This may make them call back again, so be prepared;-)

          Another thing you can do with an answering machine that you can't do with voicemail:  Unplug it after you get one of those calls and hang up on them, so if they call back right away, they get "eternity ring."   Wait an hour or two before plugging it back in again.

          If you want to f--- with their heads, use caller ID routing to connect them to a recording of a busy tone that runs for about 60 seconds (just to be sure they hang up before the recording stops).  This may keep them calling back again and again, wasting their time so they don't call some other victim.  

          But for simply laying low, caller ID and an answering machine with the generic greeting will suffice.  

          Remember:  They don't know it's you.  They can't read your mind.  They can't see your face (until they learn to remotely activate cellphone cameras).  They can't tell if you're in fight-back mode.  So FIGHT and WIN.  

          Now we've got our future back.

          by G2geek on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:16:18 PM PST

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          •  I have been meaning to ask you about that. I (0+ / 0-)

            assume the remotely activate cell phone cameras/microphone functionality is in the radio/baseband firmware, right?  Because if it was in the rom or kernel (for Android) then it would have probably been discovered by now (and anyone wanting to avoid it could just use cyanogenmod and a custom kernel).

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:24:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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