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Deflecting recorded telephone calls?

  1. Sep 3, 2015 #1

    Stephen Tashi

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    Is there any type of telephone answering hardware that provides a simple way to automatically answer a call and require that the caller press some key before it lets the phone ring?

    Such hardware would filter out recorded advertising calls. Of course, it would also filter out non-advertising recorded calls, like reminders of dental appointments or notifications that prescriptions are ready at a pharmacy.

    (I'm talking about an answering machine with that feature - not a "service" that one would purchase from the phone company or other company.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2015 #2


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    Raspberry Pi enthusiasts might have a solution similar to what you'd like:

    Arduino enthusiasts might have something similar.

    But as you say, such solutions are likely to also block non-spam calls too (e.g., dental appointments, prescription notifications) by default. Maybe you could specify a set of "safe" caller ID numbers to pass through, but I don't know that level of detail is in the solutions (then again, with a bit of programming, perhaps you could code up a working solution).

    That right there will get rid of the pre-recorded robo-callers. But be careful with this:

    It won't necessarily get rid of all the human spammers and scammers though. In my case, most of the humans that call on my landline are spammers or scammers* and if they can press the code, well, then they get through.

    What's more, every once in awhile I get a call from a human (also calling from an Outbound WATS line) that I actually do want to talk to (rarely do I wish to talk to anybody calling from an Outbound WATS line, but it does happen from time to time). The human on the other end may or may not have the opportunity to punch in the appropriate code to continue/they or they might not hear the appropriate instructions to proceed. So keep that in mind.

    *I seem to be a prime target of scammers for some reason. I started a thread about that awhile ago. Just last week I got a new type of scam call that was quite convincing -- thank goodness I didn't fall for it. But I should save that for a different thread.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
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