Spammers Leaving Voicemail

I recently switched phones and as a result, plans and underlying cell network from Republic 2.0 Moto X to Republic 3.0 Moto G4 (now GSM). So I’m betting that my underlying number got changed on the cell side to something else. Since that time there has been a dramatic increase in spam calls I can’t control. Specifically:

  1. Direct to voicemal callers who are not in my contact list. Phone doesn’t ring, no evidence of the call in the call logs, just a voicemail is received. This is worse than under the 2.0 plan where I at least had the log and could intercept some of these spammers before they left an annoying voicemail.
  2. Calls coming in on the cell network when the phone is clearly on the wi-fi network. Is there any way to just prevent the spammers from calling the underlying cell phone number directly?

I do have the “Block spam calls & voicemails” option selected in the republic app, something ironically I didn’t have when I was on the old plan.
Any suggestions? Can I request a change to the underlying phone number on the cell side?

Hi @thomas.filliman,

None that I’m aware of.

If Republic’s call blocking isn’t intercepting these calls, opening a ticket is the next logical step.

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Thanks. I opened a ticket.
Wondering if disabling republic’s spam management may actually help?

No, and it may hurt. It’s better to catch some spam rather than none. :thinking:

With current spammer techniques (e.g., spoofing originating number), it’s a miracle that Republic or anyone else catches any spam at all. It’s not Republic’s fault: the underlying protocols make spamming way too easy. For instance, see https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/24/technology/personaltech/stop-robocalls.html

It might be a technical problem on Republic’s end, I have opened a ticket.
The issue is the calls are somewhat blocked, they never ring my phone at all. So somewhere it is getting blocked from calling my phone, just not the voicemail.
On the 2.0 plan (where there is no republic provided blocking) the spammers would make it through to the phone, and it wold ring, and ring (silently). Many spammers set their systems to give up when it took too long and a voicemail was rarely left.
Now it seems that they think they have a valid connection and start talking as if they have a human on the line. That’s what I get on the voicemails, they’re expecting someone to be pressing keys.
My family has three lines of service on both the 2 and 3 republic plans so we can compare behaviors across plans and devices fairly easily.

Hi @thomas.filliman,

Do you have Republic’s call blocking feature set up to also block sending those calls to voicemail? Republic describes that here:

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Yes, the option for both (spam & voicemail) is selected in the Republic app.
I did hear back on the ticket I opened. Republic thinks a change on their end will help (they didn’t say what the change would be). They have to make the change while the phone is on wifi so I’ll let the thread know the results after it happens.
Thanks.

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You would think it’d be easy to track down the companies making billions of phone calls annually (I’m assuming from land lines), and give them actual jail time rather than slap on the wrist fines.

Hi @ryans.x236nt,

Sadly, it’s not at all easy though I’m not saying it’s impossible. In many instances, the miscreants aren’t even in the U.S. One need not be in the U.S. to obtain a U.S. telephone number. In fact, one doesn’t even need a telephone number to make telephone calls (only to receive them).

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), the same technology that powers the WiFi portion of Republic’s blended WiFi/cell service makes it both possible and cheap to easily spoof (impersonate) a telephone number. If one knows what they’re doing, one can make it look like they’re calling from most any phone number in existence. Even the FBI has been victimized: https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/richmond/news/press-releases/fbi-richmond-warns-the-public-of-scammers-using-spoofed-numbers.

Spoofing, isn’t in and of itself illegal (or even bad). If one has ever received a call from a toll-free number, one has received a spoofed call. Toll-free numbers by definition can only receive not make calls.

Like all technology, some use it for legitimate purposes and others choose to abuse it.

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