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Google Spam Android Cellphones Communications Software

Google's Phone App Is Getting the Power To Send Spam Calls Straight To Voicemail (9to5google.com) 85

According to 9to5Google, Google's dialer app for Pixel, Nexus, and Android One devices is being upgraded with the ability to send spam calls straight to voicemail. "In 2016, the app began alerting users to potential spam callers by flashing the incoming call screen bright red, with another 'Suspected spam caller' alert just underneath the phone number," reports 9to5Google. The new spam filtering feature goes a step further. From the report: [U]sers will not receive a missed call or voicemail notification, though filtered calls will appear in call history and any voicemails left will still show up in that respective tab. This feature is rolling out worldwide over the next few weeks, but those who join the new beta will have initial access to it. Like its other programs, Google notes that the test allows you to use experimental features before they're released. Google warns that features will still be in-development, might be unstable, and have "a few problems." Meanwhile, users will have the ability to submit in-app feedback throughout the process. Head to the Google Play listing for the Phone app and scroll down to "Become a tester" in order to join.

Google's Phone App Is Getting the Power To Send Spam Calls Straight To Voicemail

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  • NO!!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by TiberiusKirk ( 2715549 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @08:50PM (#56421357)
    I don't want the call going straight to voicemail. I want the fuckers to have to wait for 4 rings, then get sent to voicemail.
    • by Scutter ( 18425 )

      I don't want them to go to voicemail at all. Let them listen to 4 rings and then hang up on them.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Make that six rings.

      • Re:NO!!! (Score:5, Funny)

        by FatdogHaiku ( 978357 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @09:14PM (#56421493)
        Somewhere another phone is getting a scam call at the same time...
        connect the two calls together and let them tell each other about the virus that has been detected, or overdue tax bill, or grand child in jail...
      • Re:NO!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by RandomFactor ( 22447 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @11:06PM (#56421895)

        Why hang up on them? Just let it ring. But whatever - absolutely DO NOT give me spam voicemail. Why would i want that?

        • I use Ooma for a land line, and it has had this same feature for quite some time.

          On rare occasions its spam filter has a false positive, and it would be rather annoying if a call I was expecting got dropped with no trace. Ooma lets you do several things with suspected spam messages including continuous ring and "number disconnected" messages, but I keep it set to voicemail for this reason.

          At any rate, the vast majority of spam calls that end up in voicemail simply hang up. We delete ones that do leave messa

          • by ls671 ( 1122017 )

            I use asterisk and also freeswitch. I just send those calls to a queue that plays music and "please wait" messages and then, it hangs up after five minutes.

        • Better yet. On the Moto phones. Don't know about all Android phones. Even if you have a number blocked they can STILL leave a voicemail. You have no way to block a number from leaving annoying spam voicemails.

      • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

        I want them to enter a menu system maze or get sent to the Lenny telemarketer bot [youtube.com].

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Voicemail is 100% spam now. Ask your service provider to disable it. Anyone you actually want to talk to can use SMS or email. The only people who leave voice messages are spammers who don't have any other means of contacting you.

        • Voicemail is 100% spam now. Ask your service provider to disable it. Anyone you actually want to talk to can use SMS or email. The only people who leave voice messages are spammers who don't have any other means of contacting you.

          I already block all SMS messages....both because it blocks that spam channel, plus I think text messages are lame anyway.

          My preferred communication channel is e-mail. Fortunately, I can set up and tear down new email addresses on my domain name any time I want.

        • Not for me. T-Mobile's call blocking feature (checks whether they're number is coming from a real carrier network) works quite well, only failing for calls from St. Jude. And yes, these guys spoof their caller ID, DO NOT DONATE TO THEM! THEY NEVER LEAVE YOU ALONE AFTER!

      • I like to let it ring for as long as possible, and then pick up and string them along... for as long as possible.
      • I want them to listen to 4 rings and then have their call center hit with an EMP blast that fries all of the electronics in the building.

    • Same, I like to get connected to an operator and then make hideous noises, or act out extremely awkward scenes with co-conspirators such as 'getting fired'. Nothing too violent, just plain awkward. My father, on the other hand, enjoys engaging them (by giving every indication of a legitimate hook at first) to see how far he can get into their heads. I also enjoy that the dialer on my CM-flashed firephone lets me dump whole exchanges (same-exchange spoofing bullshit is history), or even area codes, and it on
    • Wait for 20 rings and then hang up.
    • I'd rather autoforward them all to Ajit Pai.
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        I would rather government regulation, targeting the caller and the advertised product. I would rather it be answered by a bot to confirm the nature of the call, letting me check it after the call is over, before forwarding to the appropriate authority for action. Don't penalised them and they won't stop. Really want it to stop, there has to be regulation and penalties. Other country the source, then penalised the country, the country pays the fine, for bad digital exports and it is up to them to recover the

        • Well, yeh. Hence the reason for the reference to Ajit Pai who is very pro business-over-consumer and recently trashed some of that regulation.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      it's a machine calling, so it doesn't matter too much to them

  • Not Compatible (Score:4, Insightful)

    by crow ( 16139 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @09:08PM (#56421451) Homepage Journal

    Too bad the app isn't compatible with many Android phones. I know it's asking a lot to support obscure phones like the Samsung Galaxy series, but it would be nice.

  • NO Voicemail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @09:10PM (#56421473)

    Why would I want it to go to voicemail?????? What a pain in the a**. I get a repeating alert that I have new voicemail or a missed call, then I have to open that app, and deal with finding it and deleting it. GIVE US CONTROL, let us choose to send it to an anti-spam announcement-only message or something! More control is better. I would even like an option to have it send calls and texts from unknown sources (those not in my contacts) to an announce-only (or autoreply text) for unknown numbers (those not in my contacts).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My default ring tone a few seconds of silence. Everyone on my contact list gets a custom ring tone. If I don't have the number on my contacts I don't hear it.

    • thats basically a whitelist, it is better than letting anyone call and only blacklist the bad callers, i just checked my phone to see if i could set that up but no dice on mine or i would,
    • by sheph ( 955019 )
      Similar to what I do. I have an app called Whitelist Call Blocker. When it's running only people in my contacts will ring through. Everything else gets disconnected. Since I installed that app I hardly ever get spam calls now.
  • That came built-in with my Samsung S8. Spam calls are announced with a pink background, non-spam calls are announced with a black background.

    Unfortunately, it's impossible to simply block spam calls; they go to voicemail. So several times each day I get a bunch of voicemails... "Press 1 to connect with a live local Google search expert" and so forth.

    A simple hang-up when an incoming call is on my block list or the spam list would be far less annoying.

    • by Scutter ( 18425 )

      I had a really good third party app for that called Extreme Call Blocker that you could configure to do a hangup-no-voicemail on blacklisted calls. The app is still available but it doesn't work reliably anymore and the maintainer appears to have vanished. I haven't found a replacement app yet.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @10:22PM (#56421739)

    I thought Android apps could intercept calls - I know there are iPhone apps (I use one) that can block calls it suspects are spam (though like this system it just goes to voice mail, not truly "blocked")...

    With one exception. If my phone number is 888-476-3059, Any call with the same "476" code (so 888-476-1234) cannot be blocked, though it can be marked as spam in the callerID. Does anyone know why those calls cannot be blocked? Is there a technical reason for that?

    • by RhettLivingston ( 544140 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @11:35PM (#56421969) Journal

      I don't know if there is a technical reason, but there is a good reason.

      Spammers are now spoofing numbers in your local exchange in hopes that you'll think they might be someone you know because it's a local number. If you call the number, you'll find that it is a real person's number, not the spammers. If you start blocking all of those numbers, you're not blocking spammers - they'll use a different local number every time - you're blocking your neighbors.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        No one I know has the same exchange as me. I have no interest in ever receiving a call from such a number. Every single one will be a spoofed spam call.

      • Spammers are now spoofing numbers in your local exchange in hopes that you'll think they might be someone you know because it's a local number. If you call the number, you'll find that it is a real person's number, not the spammers. If you start blocking all of those numbers, you're not blocking spammers - they'll use a different local number every time - you're blocking your neighbors.

        Yep. I got a somewhat annoyed text message from someone just the other day, wondering why I called his number. Same area

        • What I don't understand is why the spammer problem hasn't long since been dealt with.

          IMO, one reason. Campaigns. The politicians don't want to be in the position of being the only ones spamming us.

      • by havana9 ( 101033 )
        Some spammers are actually local calls, made by some local brick and mortar shop trying to advertise you something.
        One of them is my bank, and sometimes happened to be an useful thing, like a new bond subscription
        They have treated me nicely, because they owe me some money and there are two other banks in the same street they're, I think.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The one and ONLY way to get spam and scammers to stop bugging all of us...is to cost them money. A robocall can interrupt a thousand of us for a couple of pennies. When you get a real person on the other end of the line, that is costing the scammer some dough. I automatically press 1 whenever I get a span call so that it connects me with a live person. I then play a little game called "how much can I make you say with just a one word response like 'WHAT?'" Pretend you can't hear them or are interested in th

  • by srichard25 ( 221590 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2018 @11:23PM (#56421933)

    The Spammers are already on to the next tactic: spoofed numbers. I have Call Protect (powered by Hiya) installed. It used to catch the majority of spam callers and flag them as such. But lately, the spam callers are coming in using spoofed numbers that seem like valid phone numbers in my area code. It's a different number every time, so you won't find them in a spam caller registry. It's very difficult to determine whether it is a spam caller or someone from work calling me, so I pretty much have to pick up during the daytime.

    Why do the telephone companies allow callers to spoof the originating number?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It was set into the telco system that originating callers could send out their caller ID as the number the organization wanted return calls to go to, not all their lines individually.

      I.e. all calls from the white house, whatever line they use,
      display as the telephone# on caller id for inbound calls to the white house switchboard.

      if you get a call from someone at the New York times NYC office, the number will be, the NYC office switchboard.

      • by Smask ( 665604 )
        OK, here in Sweden you get some controlled spoofing. The difference is that you have to own the number that will be shown. And I think there have to be a day delay when registering a new number.
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Why do the telephone companies allow callers to spoof the originating number?

      Because they're making money from the spammers.

      Phone companies could kill spam and scam calls dead, but they don't want to because it makes them money.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Why do the telephone companies allow callers to spoof the originating number?

      Because the design was to allow companies and other entities with multiple phone lines to have them all present the same phone number when an outgoing call is made. Most PBX's don't maintain a 1:1 mapping between phone numbers and internal lines, so when you make an outgoing call, it randomly picks a free phone line and connects your call using it. Being random, if the phone company provided ANI directly, you'd get some oddball num

  • The only spam calls I ever get are Red Cross. I've been happy since Google started labeling them as spam. Not because I can't tell (I never answer their calls anyway)... but just because that's what I see them as now. I can donate blood and get 3 calls within the next 7 days. Leave me alone, why are you calling when I'm at work daily? Or then sometimes on the weekend and/or super early/late hours????
    • I don't understand this either. I used to donate blood to the Red Cross, and to thank me they spammed my phone endlessly. 1-2 times a day, everyday, and almost always within a few hour window when, of course, I was at work. They would never leave a message either. After a while, I set up an old PC with a modem that could do caller ID. Whenever it saw one of their numbers, it would pick up the line, then immediately hang up. They still didn't get the message. It only ended when I dumped that landline

  • The spammers have all but ruined e-mail. Despite very protective measures, I think 90% of my email is spam.

    Now they want to move on to voice mail. While that IS an improvement over making my phone ring (or vibrate), it will just make voice mail worthless too. I predict a lot of people setting a message along the lines of, "Thanks to spammers, I no longer receive voice mail. Please try to reach me another time." and then keeping their inbox full so no one else can leave a message.......or turning off voice

  • ... called "Google Spamaway" that tracks the location of the caller and let's you demand an airstrike on their location. If enough users request an airstrike, the data get send straight to the US Airforce for realistic target practice.

  • by Stan92057 ( 737634 ) on Thursday April 12, 2018 @09:04AM (#56423403)
    Here,s the thing, when we block a number it should be BLOCKED not sent to voicemail. Their is no way in hell the phone industry is going to tell me they cant just end the call period end of story. They are already mining our conversations who we call when they call for how long,if we send files,images shared yet cant prevent a number from being blocked?? ....Lame attempt to pacify our Goverment to do something about telemarketers. This attempt will just allow the scumbags to deliver their messages nothing more.
  • by jbmartin6 ( 1232050 ) on Thursday April 12, 2018 @09:17AM (#56423511)
    When will I get the ability to send numbers not in my contacts straight to voicemail? Why do I still have to look for an app to do this?
  • I get unsolicited calls on a regular basis that don't ring and leave voicemail.

    Currently I get calls offering to purchase property they assume I own. I do, and I know why these are coming, and it's disappointing that so many third parties share data in a way that exposes me to now daily calls asking to buy my property. I tell them to remove me from their list, but so far most immediately disconnect, apparently thinking this shields them from having to honor my do not call request. I'm already in the nationa

  • Thais good news. Is this work also use for app [windows10helps.com] that use in PC
  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Thursday April 12, 2018 @09:54AM (#56423827)

    Once upon a time Truecaller was a useful, simple phone spam app only needing access to your phone calls. These days Truecaller is a security abomination that constantly throws ads at you, requires access to everything on your phone and tries to replace your dialer and text messaging apps. It no longer has any redeemable value.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How are the real owner of numbers used in Caller ID spoofing protected against this?

    The Android Phone app (recent update) is now asking if a call from a number that isn't in your contacts was spam.

    There seems to be a lot of "same area code" caller ID spoofing to UK mobile numbers going on at the moment, so if your number is 07123 , a spammer will spoof caller id to be from 07124 to make it look like a genuine mobile call (but it's not of course, it's some robo over VoIP).

    However, if 07124 is used repeated

  • . . . to have the _option_ to get them, that is. With a non-factory OS on the Sprint network (via Ting), I never get voicemail notifications, because they depend on Visual Voicemail for smartphones. They don't offer the app in a usable form, plus it requires data access.

    I want my phone to receive the same kind of VM notification that a feature phone would. And then have the option to turn it _off_.

  • I have to ask because maybe someone knows. Could the phone companies have a way to attach a digital signature to caller ID data? Or maybe send the caller ID data out of band? That way my phone could discern between some spammer's VOIP bot and a legitimate caller. For example, many spammers spoof the phone number LATA to look like they are calling from the same area code / city. If there wasn't a digital signature attached to that caller ID data, I would hope I could tell my phone to not ring. I realiz

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