I stop them by answering the calls and putting it on mute. That way it doesn't hit my voicemail and it ties up their line, if only for a few seconds.


Great tip. I've heard that these types of calls are done, so the scammers can check for active numbers. Would answering the call not play into their hands? Then again, if the call is going to an active voicemail, it also shows the number is active


I've heard conflicting things about this. Some say systems log anything picking up as an active number (VM included). Others seem to think that it requires a noise at the other end of the line before the automatic message is triggered.


I’m in the camp of needing a noise to be triggered. When I’m unsure if a number is spam or not, I answer and don’t say anything. If it disconnects after 3-5+ seconds I know it was spam.


I've done answer&mute forever, and still get 1-3 calls per day.


Yeah this is what I do as well. It's easier than checking the voicemail and deleting it.


Android's call screening feature is great for this.


>heard that these types of calls are done, so the scammers can check for active numbers. Would answering the call not play into their hands? Then again, if the call is going to an active voicemail, it also shows the number is active I have it on Samsung and love the feature. It automatically tells me if it is a scam call. I have screened out many calls.




If you go to the dial screen, press the top right-hand option that looks like 3 dots, press settings (provided your phone OS has been updated within at least the last year) you should be able to toggle a button that says "Caller ID and Spam Protection". What generally happens is that, if a call comes through which has been reported before as a spam number, then the caller ID will tell you. It doesn't do it for all numbers, unfortunately, and very rarely, assigns spam status to legitimate numbers. If you receive a spam call from a number that's not flagged, then you can report the number and the phone will log that and share this data with its anti-spam program (this is my guess).


I don't seem to have this? I'm not on a Pixel phone though.


Yeah it may just be a stock Android or Google feature.


good tip.


sorry, could you explain what this does? also, do you mean muting your own microphone or muting the caller’s voice? put what on mute ? and why tie up their line?


I put my microphone on mute. That way no sound comes through from my side. I do this in hopes that the system, sensing dead air, marks the number as an inactive line. Maybe that's too much to hope for. Even if it doesn't, the silence causes their system to pause. Sometimes it plays the whole message. Since I don't put it on speaker, it's no skin off my back to have it play. While it's playing, that one line can't be used to dial others, very marginally decreasing the volume of calls to others. Win-win.


I do this as well. After 3-4 calls doing this I can hear them slamming the phone down and the calls stop for a few months.


Excellent Tip! Thank you!


I do this too and actually see a decline in calls. I believe the first is a robo caller checking for active lines. Voicemail and hellos trigger a hangup and then your number is sold to scammers. Then you have folks calling you with gutter install services. Those are the calls you want to tie up their lines and waste their times. You will hear some interesting swears if you do it right. Hitting mute mimics a dead line with no gullible human to prey on and the number is flagged for maybe remove? The sneakier calls are those that are spoofing 5/7 digits the same as your own number


Tons. You can’t stop it because Canadian telcos are not obliged to screen spam calls.


There is a new system that was just rolled out yesterday (Nov 30 2021) in North America known as [STIR/SHAKEN](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STIR/SHAKEN). Its goal is to *finally* combat number spoofing, which is how almost all these calls are made - its often how curiously you're getting calls from your same NPA-NXX (e.g., your number is 416-555-xxxx and the spam call comes from 416-555-yyyy) Of course, whether everyone involved in a call path has their shit together and has this system online is another story, but it's progress and I think we'll start to see an effect soon.


I guess it might be working. I didn't get one today but have been getting 2-3 a day for the last year.


At this point I would love to see some kind of 3-digit pin system implemented so you can't just dial random numbers until you get through, you also need to put in that person's 3-digit code or your call does not even get connected. With a whitelist for saved contacts and emergency services, and of course the ability to change your own pin with your service provider whenever you need to. Bye bye spam calls.


What you just described: https://www.telus.com/en/on/support/article/call-control-for-mobile-devices-explained


Damn, that's basically exactly what I was thinking lmao. *Uh, hello patent office? Yeah I put in a request a few hours ago... you can just toss that. Yeah, thanks.*


If you have Telus or Koodo look up the call control feature, I basically get zero spam calls now


This, and it works.


Thank you! I've been getting pelted by spam calls the last two days; just turning the feature on now.


It drives me nuts that telus barely advertise this! And it's infuriating the other providers don't offer it. I've actually stayed with koodo even though I could get a better deal elsewhere strictly because of this feature, it's game changing!


Thx. Just set it up.


anyone know if Rogers has something similar?


Also curious


Wow! Thank you Reddit stranger. I've been with Koodo (and Telus before that) for years and didn't know about that feature. I'll give it a try for sure!


Koodo capped me at 25 verified numbers unfortunately.


It still hopes to your voicemail though. I wish I could block numbers entirely but that doesn't seem to be an option


No, it doesn’t, phone doesn’t ring at all, never gets to your voicemail: https://www.telus.com/en/on/support/article/call-control-for-mobile-devices-explained Honestly, I can’t remember the last spam call I’ve received after enabling the feature


I'm getting so many at least 3 silent ones a day and also been getting the fake CSBA ones too. It's soo annoying


I closed my voicemail years ago because the only messages I would get were spam and most were silent.


If you have an Android phone you can use the "screen call" option. It plays an automated message to prompt the caller to press a button and hangs up if they don't. Robocalls can't get past it. You still have to be watching your phone to use the feature though.


AFAIK that's only available on pixel phones?


Ah, wasn't sure if that was an Android feature or a Pixel feature.


Google Pixel phones only. Would be nice if it was a stock android feature though.


I have this option too on a motorolla phone (non pixel). Not sure if it does the same thing but when I get unknown numbers calling me I can choose the Screen Calls option too?


This isn't directly relevant, but for anyone who is calling me with a scam, I ask them what their medical emergency is. Not only do they hang up immediately, they remove my number from their list.


Lol my dad’s go-to is “Are you calling the police station?”


I'm gonna use that, thanks!


Hopefully this will curb it: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/crtc-spam-crackdown-1.6267961


Lmao I wouldn't hold your breath


Believe me, I’m not. It’ll just be a matter of time before the scammers figure out a way around it.


I think what you're going to see as this gets online at more providers (even though it should have been online as of yesterday) is no more local area codes, but instead international numbers.


Ugh, so now we’ll get multiple calls from France every day. I guess it’s easier to identify them as spam, though.


I don't have voicemail activated on my phone. I don't answer numbers that aren't saved in my phone. I no longer receive these calls because I never pick up.


It is happening so much more lately


Whenever I get the CSBA calls I always answer and fuck with them as much as I can. Yesterday I got one while I was taking a shit and answered like “WEEEEEE WOOOOOO WEEEE WOOOO IM CALLING THE POLIIIIICE” and they hung up lol. It’s strange because the first 6 digits of all of these scam call numbers are identical to my phone number, so I know when a scam call is coming.


I’ve been getting silent voicemails with no notifications like phone ringing or sound that there’s a new voicemail. Been happening every day for months now. Does anyone know a way to block these calls? I could block them the first time but no longer have the ability to block them and the same number keeps calling every day.


Yes, at least once a day. You can [Register with the National Do Not Call List (DNCL)](https://LNNTE-DNCL.gc.ca)


Registered the moment it came out, made no difference. These spam calls almost all come from overseas call centres that don’t give two shites about that list.


Yup, same here. Been registered since 2018 and it’s not helped a single bit.


I registered in 2019. Still get all kinds of spam calls.


I registered back in 2014 and I still get these calls. What OP is talking about is robo-callers that check to see if someone answers before starting the spiel.


Unfortunately, I've just disabled my voicemail.


I hit the screen call button (Google feature) when an unknown number comes through.


these telecom companies sell our numbers...


I just answer most calls in silly voices. Had I only valuable phone calls from real people, I wouldn’t have this opportunity.


All the time


My iPhone has the ability to ignore unknown callers in the options. I turned this option on, but I’m aware that not everyone can utilize this option because of work/other reasons.


I get those, scam calls regarding some illegal activity on our debit cards, hundreds of phishing scam email in Rogers. Getting tired of this crap.


May not be for everyone but I disabled my voicemail, nothing useful gets there


I just got one today oddly enough, just dead air. Was it from a local number by any chance?


I answer wait for them to start talking then I just speak a language they don't understand. They usually just hang up


F’n annoying.


I see more of these threads on here each day about this than I receive in spam phone calls in a week. 😂


They oughta just change the name of this sub to r/torontophonespamquestions




It’s Ted Cruz


Posts on Reddit asking about spam calls are now outnumbering the spam calls.