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ElliottH's profile

6 Messages

Friday, March 1st, 2024 6:30 PM

calls from disconnected numbers

Hey AT&T - why do I keep getting calls from phone numbers that are not in service / disconnected, and what are you doing about it?

Don't tell me about active armor or whatever - I have that but it only blocks a small percentage of the calls I receive - maybe two or three out of the dozen or more I receive PER DAY. I must have 500-600 blocked numbers on my phone by now.

What I want to know is what are you doing to upgrade your system so that calls from numbers not in service / disconnected can't even be made? What are you doing to block number spoofers at the outgoing end so your customers don't have to deal with it at the receiving end?

ACE - Expert

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14.3K Messages

3 months ago

There are legitimate reasons for spoofing telephone numbers, so AT&T isn't going to do anything about it. It's just part of life in 2024. For me, if I don't know who the call is coming from, I don't answer and send the call right to voice mail. If it's someone who really wants to talk to me, they'll leave a message.

6 Messages

3 months ago

Letting it go to voicemail is my current strategy, and the fact that I no longer live in the area code associated with my number helps, but still receiving calls from no-existent phones. 

What is a legitimate reason for spoofing numbers?

ACE - Expert

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14.3K Messages

3 months ago

A police detective calls a suspect from their desk phone. They don't want anyone to have that direct number, so they spoof the police department number. Companies, schools, hospitals, etc. do that all the time.

Community Support

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232.3K Messages

3 months ago

Hello ElliottH,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us! Let's work around your concern and get the help you need!

 

Unfortunately, there is a common scamming practice known as number spoofing where one’s phone number can be used to call other people and attempt to get personal and private information. This is illegal and almost impossible to stop.

 

This practice allows scammers to personally choose the number that will be shown on the recipient’s caller ID. Your account or usage is in no way affected by number spoofing.

 

Our recommendation:

Download AT&T Call Protect and AT&T Active Armor Advanced: https://www.att.com/security/security-apps/ In addition to blocking numbers from known fraudsters, AT&T Call Protect also provides suspected spam warnings and lets you manually block and report individual callers. 

 

We do have the option to change your phone number here: https://www.att.com/support/article/my-account/KM1011568/ which may act as a deterrent but is not a guaranteed solution. You can learn more about number spoofing and what to do about it on our Cyber Aware blog: https://about.att.com/pages/cyberaware/ni/blog/caller-id-spoofing

 

Just in case if you need further assistance, The Community Forums are a public support option where other users, and AT&T, will try and assist with high level support needs. This means we won’t be able to look into account specific concerns. To get the help you need for your unique issue, please review our Contact us : https://www.att.com/support/contact-us/, and choose the best option to reach out to us. You can call, chat, or reach out via social media, and we can review your specific issue and provide you support. 

 

If you feel your issue isn’t account specific, and can be answered generally, please let us know, and we’ll be happy to help.

 

Thank you for visiting the AT&T Community Forums.

 

David, Community Forums Specialist.

6 Messages

3 months ago

I can understand the need for a law enforcement detective to not have the local PD show up in caller ID. That's a special case, and I'm sure there are ways to accommodate that need.

When the school nurse calls me about my sick kid, the call is still from a school phone number with their caller ID and I can use it to call them back.

There's no reason for companies, schools, hospitals, whatever to be calling from a number that is not part of their phone system and registered to them.

AT&T - don't tell me that my account and usage are in no way affected by spoofing - it's an annoyance and a distraction. Get on it.

ACE - Expert

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14.3K Messages

3 months ago

There's no reason for companies, schools, hospitals, whatever to be calling from a number that is not part of their phone system and registered to them

They aren't calling from a phone number that's not part of their phone system and registered to them. They're just calling from a phone number they don't want to be on caller ID. If your school doesn't want anyone to call the nurse's office directly, they can spoof the school's main office number so that's the number someone calls back, rather than giving out the nurse's direct line. Same with a doctor's office where the invoicing department makes outgoing calls but doesn't take incoming calls.

AT&T - don't tell me that my account and usage are in no way affected by spoofing - it's an annoyance and a distraction.

An annoyance and a distraction doesn't affect your account or usage. 

6 Messages

3 months ago

Right, but when I call back it's a real number that is not disconnected. When the school nurse calls, the caller ID tells me the principal is calling, and when I call back I reach the school. I don't really consider that spoofing because it's coming from their phone system and is legit and I can reply.

So that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about, for example, Julie from "Medicare enrollment" blah blah blah robocalling me three times a day and if I try to call the number back it's disconnected / not in service. "Please check the number and dial again."

And if I'm checking my phone or watch to see who's calling me and whether I recognize the number or should ignore it, that is usage in my mind. I'm using my device to determine whether or it's a real call or garbage. So it does affect my usage, actually.

Again - AT&T - get on it.

ACE - Expert

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14.3K Messages

3 months ago

I don't really consider that spoofing because it's coming from their phone system and is legit and I can reply.

Well, it is no matter what you consider it, and it's precisely why AT&T can't stop spoofing.

ACE - Sage

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117.7K Messages

3 months ago

@ElliottH 

Unfortunately spoofing phone numbers or using a virtual number is not illegal unless you are engaging in some sort of behavior that is illegal.

    

All service providers that have companion devices like smart watches spoof numbers.   The programming which connects a companion device to the primary phone spoofs the phone's number as part of its software program.

If you are getting calls that are identified as spam, scam, or once you connect the call it proves to be a business that you have no connection with and do not wish to receive calls from, block the number.   

Call blocking software like robo killer and active armor build their database based on reports by customers like you and I. Each time we block a number and mark it as spam, they have the opportunity to continue to block that number for everyone who's registered with their service

It's not an AT&T problem. It's everybody's problem. I'm not with AT&T anymore and I still get the occasional scam call. Usually identified so that I can block the number

6 Messages

3 months ago

Well, if I'm on the do not call list and a robocaller is calling me anyway, and using spoofed numbers to hide from me and the FCC, then that is probably not legal, right?

My watch has a number and my phone has a number and both of those numbers are associated with me. No problem there.

An organization can route all their outgoing calls (from numbers associated with them) through one general number (also associated with them) so that any return calls go to the trunk number instead of individual desks. Also OK, because all the numbers are associated with them.

My complaint, for AT&T and all the phone companies, is regarding calls from numbers that are not in service (I've had two in the past five minutes). FFS figure it out folks. Maybe cut your bloated marketing budgets by half and give it to an R&D task force or something to do something useful in this regard. The responsibility to block calls that appear to come from numbers that are not in service shouldn't be foisted on the consumer. And I don't believe for a second that there is nothing the telecoms can do to stop it. I did notice AT&T's comment suggested that we work around my concern - why not actually address it head on? Too beholden to the immediate gratification of shareholders, perhaps?

I've been using active armor (or its previous versions) for years and must have hundreds of blocked numbers by now. Unfortunately the number of possible phone number combinations is much, much greater. So I could block twenty numbers a day for the rest of the century and not even put a dent in it. Maybe enough people doing it helps. A million bandaids on Hoover dam? Maybe.

Thanks for the advice, formerlyknownas. I'll keep blocking numbers with active armor as that appears to be my only recourse. Maybe if enough people gripe at them, the telecom industry will do something about it. I'm not buying the idea that they are powerless in this matter.

FWIW - just got another call that I ignored. Active armor retroactively told me it might be spam. Called the number back but the call failed - not in service.

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