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PPI pushers now need consent to cold-call you

Rol

maybe....

UK Organisations could apply for a common number, which would replace their real number in all outgoing calls, but significantly is UK centric, so legitimately withheld numbers would always have the number, let's say - 01234 123456.

Any calls originating from non-member numbers or from outside the standard UK network trying to spoof this number, could easily be spotted and rerouted to a long winded recorded message, incurring the termination fees and thus contributing to the cost of maintaining the service.

If would then be an easy task to block all withheld numbers, yet still be able to receive calls from genuine organisations.

Calling the number back would give you a quick message informing you that this is a generic number used by officially registered organisations.

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> "Calls from "withheld" can be the doctors' surgery or the local council. Both of which cite "personal privacy" as the reason to avoid a lasting record of who called."

This one's becoming a bit of a gnarly problem. IME an increasing number of hospital departments have a departmental mobile due to an increasing number of patients not accepting callers who withhold their numbers; though we have had the occasional comment along the lines of "hurr, so that's why we couldn't get through, that happens all the time!"

Maybe it would help if they simply asked patients if it was okay to call them and if not to, oh I dunno, do something revolutionary like email or text. Which they manage to do when it comes to the inevitable "how did we do?" but not when it comes to conveying useful information.

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Calls from "international" may be friends who don't use Skype. AFAIK there's no qualifying CLI data to differentiate them from cold callers.

Calls from "withheld" can be the doctors' surgery or the local council.

All of whom can at least respond to a call-screening answering machine with "Hi xxx, this is yyy from zzz, I'll call back in 5 minutes". No need to give away anything personal ("It's about your STD check") and you can either pick up during the message, or answer when they call back.

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aks

I've had legitimate calls from withheld numbers. I know they're legitimate because it's in response to an issue I'd raised and was expecting a call-back.

Even my bank tried that and asked me for security details. I explain that I never give security details to anyone who calls me, only to people I've called. In most cases they fully understand this. I can only think of one example, where I had terminated a mobile phone contract. Their number was not withheld but was unrecognised by my phone's address book. The guy got very annoyed when I refused to give any security details. On looking up the number later, it was their outsourced "retention team".

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aks

Invoking "personal privacy" is complete nonsense. They're an organisation, not an individual. The reason they withhold the number is that they don't want you to be able to call them and reach the correct department. Much better to leave you to call the main number and fight your way through layers of menus and verbiage.

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DJV
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Flame

@Vometia Munro

Yep, fully agree with you. Yesterday I received a call on my mobile from a "Private number". I picked it up ready to tell them to piss off to find it was about booking a genuine yearly hospital appointment. I gave them several minutes of chastisement regarding the fact that they were withholding their number (something that I did when they phoned up regarding last year's appointment). They had already tried my landline but, as I've set that one to completely ignore withheld numbers due to the constant crap I was receiving, they had no luck there. Apparently, they are going to do something about it "Real Soon Now" - yeah, right.

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Invoking "personal privacy" is complete nonsense. They're an organisation, not an individual.

It's not for their protection, it's for ours. While most of us live on homes where we don't really have any embarrassing secrets, I'm sure there will be many where that isn't the case - and especially where the call is to a mobile where it could be a colleague that sees the call from a number the phone labels as (to pick an embarrassing example) the STD clinic.

Our local NHS trust no uses a presentation number from a local town for all the appointment related calls - so someone could infer that you had some interaction with the NHS, but have no idea what part (or at least, no idea which part of the local trust which is most things except the GPs' surgeries).

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@aks

At our place we have a policy that people can either show their individual CLI or the switchboard's number on outbound calls. When people ask why can't they just withhold their CLI entirely, we ask: "What are you doing that you don't want the recipient of your call to know our organisation is calling them?"

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@aks - Personal Privacy

Invoking "personal privacy" is complete nonsense. They're an organisation, not an individual

Maybe you're thinking of the wrong end of the call. Maybe the person at the receiving end doesn't want anyone else to know that they're in contact with medical, law enforcement, etc?

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Our local NHS trust does not call (at least not to your mobile), they send a text message that clearly identifies them in the first sentence.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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International friends have any number of ways of contacting me. It can be as simple as "leave a message".

Withheld calls? Sorry, blocked. They literally don't even ring. If you don't want to tell me who you are, I have no interest in talking to you. If you can block them officially or with the message "This number doesn't answer withheld calls"... problem solve. Guess what... if it's important, they still have to contact me anyway. Which means not withholding their number, or contacting me some other way.

For a) that's easily solved. For b) it's literally *their* problem, not mine.

Do you think I live in a bubble and don't have those things? Most of the time such places don't even HAVE my number. The local council certainly don't. And if they're too dumb to set the CLI on their switchboard to the main council building number, etc., then I literally don't trust them with my data.

What do you think they do for the old deaf people, those who are out all day and don't have an answering machine, those who don't speak English, those who don't own a phone at all? Life goes on just the same.

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Anonymous Coward

CLI is a waste of time

Some, no actually quite a lot of phone companies charge extra for CLI on a landline

Then there is number spoofing.

I've had several calls and when I've checked the numbers, they are for 1) a Hospital, 2) A leading UK Charity and 3) the number that my Credit card company uses for you to call from overseas.

Short of hanging the Directors of the scammers up by their short and curlies for a period of a year there is little we can do to stop it until the phone networks move away from SS7 signalling.

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Anonymous Coward

"Invoking "personal privacy" is complete nonsense. They're an organisation, not an individual."

It is your "personal privacy" they are attempting to protect. There are instances where someone does not want other people to know with whom they are communicating on sensitive matters.

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If so, it is easy, the call should come out with the public general number of the hospital.

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Anonymous Coward

It says

oxo on the side of busses but I wouldn't try making gravy with one.

Just because it says its from the NHS, doesn't make it so!

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Re: @Vometia Munro

" I picked it up ready to tell them to piss off to find it was about booking a genuine yearly hospital appointment. I gave them several minutes of chastisement regarding the fact that they were withholding their number (something that I did when they phoned up regarding last year's appointment)."

Because berating the front line staff is the key to getting policy changed? Well done.

I'm sure that shouting at the checkout staff at Sainsburys will me a cheaper grocery bill

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>If so, it is easy, the call should come out with the public general number of the hospital.

Even that could be classed as sensitive. Where I used to live in the UK there was a separate "trust" for all the less glamorous specialities, eg STDs, mental health etc.*

*I don't agree that these should be farmed off into another group BTW...

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I still use the old fashioned technique of letting my answer phone answer the phone, and then seeing if it's someone I want to talk to.

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Anonymous Coward

Calls from "international" may be friends who don't use Skype.

If your friends use Skype, they are not your friends.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Vometia Munro

I'm sure that shouting at the checkout staff at Sainsburys will me a cheaper grocery bill

Funnily enough, it will. Next time you visit, a large security guard will recommend you shop at Lidl instead.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Vometia Munro

I was taught a little trick by someone who knew what they were talking about (and frankly ought to be running their own religion by now).

When complaining, tell the poor rep on the other end 'Please bear with me, this is absolutely not your fault. Your bosses, on the other hand, should be taken out and shot.'

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Last time I checked, international calls come up with the full CLI and not the word 'international' - I believe that only a few of the crappier phone service providers in the UK don't pass full CLI for international calls.

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Doctors surgeries should not be allowed to withhold their CLI. It's 2018 for fucks sake!

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Re: @aks - Personal Privacy

Then they can disable Caller Display on their phone. Either they want it, or they don't.

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Re: @Vometia Munro

"Because berating the front line staff is the key to getting policy changed? Well done."

That's why they're called 'front line staff'. Who else are you going to talk to? Unless you've got time to say 'Before you deal with my appointment, could you please put me through to the member of staff whose responsibilities include setting the outgoing CLI on your outbound phone calls?'. These organisations have no other person to talk to, other than the person who is on the 'front line'. Obviously you don't need to berate them, but you could try and get across how annoying it is.

I've missed several appointments from the doctors because I won't take withheld calls. Tossers.

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"IME an increasing number of hospital departments have a departmental mobile due to an increasing number of patients not accepting callers who withhold their numbers"

It's a _legal requirement_ in the UK that outbound callers on a PABX be able to uncloak their numbers if caller-ID is suppressed by default. A lot of outfits don't comply, but complaints to Ofcom are worthwhile.

For the most part all you need to do is tell the doctor surgery, etc to add 1470 before your number - and hope they add it to the phone number in the system.

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Not their's you womble, the recipient's

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Boffin

Re: maybe....

Ofcom has allocated numbers in the 08979 range for these calls, but the number is not intended to be released to the called party.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @aks

At our organisation, our number is withheld when we dial out....

As might be imagined, when trying to talk to someone in a different organisation, sometimes the recipient understandably ignores calls from "unknown number", causing some real headaches when trying to get a part manufactured.

Anon, because, er...

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National? I dont know

But my local NHS Trust DOES have the capability to switch on CLI when making a call; remembering to do it is another matter entirely.

IMHO, there is no excuse for not using CLI.

Other the other hand, West Mercia Constabulary (hereafter referred to as "The Rozzers"), dont have a choice; all calls are stripped of CLI data.

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Anonymous Coward

Won't make a bit of difference

The scammers will just route their calls via a foreign country.

I'd like them to stop

- People from India named 'John' and with a heavy Mumbai accent from telling me that I have a problem with my Internet.

- Calls using an American female voice saying that my IP address has been compromised...

And

- calls telling me about some Government scheme that would give me free double glazed windows.

PPI and Accident claims calls are so 3-5 years ago.

Posting as AC for pbvious reasons.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Won't make a bit of difference

WHAT obvious reason?

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Rather than attempt to fine the disposable cold calling outfit, make the company who hires them responsible for their actions. No more washing their hands of activities carried out in their name and at their behest.

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"make the company who hires them responsible for their actions."

THIS, in spades. Joint and several liability, per call statutory damages, multipliers for willful violations (as in, breaching the DNC lists) and the right of private action is the key to stopping the illegal calls.

A company hiring a spammy marketer will shrug and move onto the next one if the spammer goes under. If the spammer's activities have a direct impact on the bottom line, they won't do it again.

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There's a simple way to drastically reduce nuisance calls*.

Don't plug a 'phone into your landline. Get legitimate companies to contact you by email. Ask all your friends to use your mobile number. You'll receive remarkably few nuisance calls or texts.

*I do realise that this doesn't help the considerable minority that live in cellular wireless shadows.

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Thumb Up

0845

i used to have an 0845 number that I would give out to any non friend / family member. i don't recall getting any junk calls. It was a number that didn't cost me anything, but equally didn't generate revenue.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 0845

I used to use 0870 numbers, more for the call handling than revenue generation as an incoming call could ring in several locations at the same time (manchester, midlands and lincolnshire)

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Re: 0845

I have an 0701 702 Flextel number for this. Even more expensive !

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Re: 0845

"i used to have an 0845 number that I would give out to any non friend / family member."

I have a 070 number (£1.50/min) that I still have and use for the same purpose. It gets a few scam calls and it's quite easy to get them to stay on the line for 20+ minutes.

I don't get any revenue, but the telco I get it from makes sure they collect.

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Unhappy

They've needed your consent to send emails and text messages since the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive 2002, but that hasn't stopped them.

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Anonymous Coward

"Hello, my name is being Keith and I am calling of you straight out of London excuse line quality because I have been noticing of a very bad virus on your PC/Injury on your back due to accident on road/win on lottery."

"Fuck off."

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That reminds me. We have a persistent male caller (sometimes 3 times a day) with a thick Indian accent pretending to be from BT. He normally informs me that somebody is using my router for phishing attacks and they (BT) are going to disconnect me today unless I blah blah blah...

During the last call from him I asked him to stop gabbling as I couldn't understand what he was saying. After a while I interrupted him and told him he must be really stupid to keep calling, day after day, when it always ends with me hanging up. At that he became really angry, told me to "fuck off" and hung up.

Surely I'm not the only one receiving these calls and BT must know that someone is using their name for nefarious means and being abusive to boot. But BT patently don't care.

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Anonymous Coward

Driven to death by phone scammers

One of the more depressing articles I've read regarding phone scammers/robocalls was this:

https://www.cnn.com/2015/10/07/us/jamaica-lottery-scam-suicide/index.html

That was until I read this article about Ajit Pai which was even more depressing:

https://securitygladiators.com/robocalls-fcc/

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Anonymous Coward

>I'd like them to stop

>- People from India named 'John' and with a heavy Mumbai accent from telling me that I have a problem with my Internet.

>- Calls using an American female voice saying that my IP address has been compromised...

I f*cking love these calls !

I spend my days sorting out broadband problems (yes I work for Openreach, stop booing at the back) and I love having fun with "John from BT"

"We have seen a problem with your Internet, we are going to disconnect you"

To which I usually reply for a few minutes as a confused nonagenarian then start asking if the problem is with the DSLAM or with the copper line or is it a PPPOE issue ?

Sadly all I usually get after that is a click as the call is terminated :(

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Anonymous Coward

I just ask them what are they wearing

Then, long slow breaths...

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Anonymous Coward

How long have you kept them on the line?

I normally go through the robocallers of the accident that wasn't your fault until i speak to a real person then describe at length the accident i had in a hotel, the one where i tripped over a loose cable and hit my head on the nightstand...... when i was climbing off their mother. Its normally good for a 5-10 minute call that they have to pay for.

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Re: How long have you kept them on the line?

The robocallers cost them nothing.

The call costs them pence.

About the only thing they're paying for is the person to listen to it, likely way below minimum wage in a foreign country somewhere.

And yet they wasted how much of your time, and what's your normal hourly rate?

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The powers, which came into force on 8 September, will require payment protection insurance (PPI) pushers to check that the person has consented to being contacted.

These businesses ignore the current regulations so i'm quite sure they'll ignore the new ones as well.

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chain of command

The problem is that the PPI (and other) companies pay other companies for leads. These companies pay other companies to do cold calling. These companies are based in India and not under TPS regulations. So who does the ICO need to fine? Does the buck stop at the PPI company, who (unlikely but possible) might not know how the leads are being brought in?

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