Indian Love Call

Been a bad few days: apparently I’m in trouble with the IRS, the Feds are suspending my Social Security #, and there’s something wrong with my Microsoft account.

Speaking of, why is this phenom never addressed by Presidential candidates?

 

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41 Responses to Indian Love Call

  1. Thagomizer says:

    A lot of political campaigning and fundraising is built around calling people. They don’t want people to be afraid to answer unknown numbers.

    Although really at this point verified safe phone calls should be a thing. With all of the internet remote DSLAM stuff, there’s just no reason to assume a phone call isn’t a scam.

  2. Rich w says:

    The Yangster does address this very issue

  3. Smithie says:

    Andrew Yang had it in his platform. (not sure he understands how spoofing works)

    Of course, he also wants to make PR a state, but I’m pretty sure Congress is fully on-board with that, and it is going to happen anyway. Heck, I’d rather cut PR loose, and annex Mexico!

    • Jacob says:

      Hell, Dr. Cochran, would you consider sharing your thoughts on the Dem presidential candidates? This race stands to attain the loftiest heights in American circus artistry. I even hosted a drinking game for one of the debates.

      Personally, I’m all in for Marianne Williamson. With the resources available to the office of the President, she can finally locate the Cintamani and do battle with Trump where it really counts — in the astral realm, of course.

  4. Dan_Kurt says:

    Do any of you realize how you seem to be writhing in code not standard English. How about less “in group” communications.

    Here are the code fragments: “PR ” by Smithie; DSLAM by Thagomizer.

    Dan Kurt

    • Alex says:

      PR is Puerto Rico and I’m not even American. This should not be considered code. From the context, DSLAM is some technical thingie. I do agree that there is a lot of in-group stuff, but that is to be expected, and this is not it.

      • Janet says:

        DSLAM = Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplier… a hardware device that allows many phone lines to be multiplexed directly into a high speed data link. Originally, these were “plain old telephone lines” and the DSLAM was an aggregator controlled by the telco. But now, your phone is an IP device, if not merely a piece of software. A spammer can run an arbitrarily large number of phones on a cheap server, then push that mass of spam into the phone system through a DSLAM. The resulting traffic looks exactly like every other phone call. DSLAMs are super cheap, “soft phones” (software only phones) are totally free.

        The phone system was designed back in the day, when nobody thought about trust and security; then it was hooked to the internet in the cheapest way possible, and now nobody wants to touch anything because it’s working now, and touching it would be expensive and maybe risk an outage. Unless everybody is forced to do it equally, it won’t get done. Thag is quite correct.

        But yes… from the context, “there’s a technical thingy which makes robocalls and spam calls really easy these days, and we should require some sort of verification before believing a phone call is real” is close enough, and obvious from context. If you feel like you must know more, then a search engine is one click away for you.

        • NumberOneCustomer says:

          Tragedy of the commons kicked in hard when VOIP entered. But also, this stuff was built by and for a high trust culture.

          I spent 20 years in telecom and got out about 5 years ago. VOIP had ruined it all by then (the NorthAmerican PSTN was a work of genius). And i’ll say it for the Nth time, if shitty cell phone quality hadn’t predated it, no sane person would have accepted VOIP.

          I’ve only read a bit about the STIR/SHAKEN stuff, and I don’t know if it will apply to more than VOIP calls. But it supposed to be an attempt to verify calling parties to some extent.

        • Alex says:

          Thank you for the detailed explanation. I had no idea things were so bad in the US.
          TO my knowledge, nothing like this exists in the EU. You can get called by a robocaller looking for feedback after using a support service, especially for your telecom provider. There are also infrequent political pollsters and people trying to get out the vote (which started after the politicians got goddamn American political consultants). And you can opt in for “tailored marketing offers” from your telecom provider in the form of infrequent text messages advertising department stores and the like.

          I guess the groundwork is there for a situation like the US, but different orders of magnitude.

        • savantissimo says:

          I used to administer nearly all the DSLAMs in the SE US.

          DSLAMs are used for providing DSL broadband internet lines, one DSL line per ordinary physical phone line. Remote DSLAMs are ones that are not located in a phone company central office. Typically green cabinets by the roadside in residential neighborhoods, they reduce the distance the high-frequency signal has to travel over crummy phone wire and thus increase your possible internet bandwidth.

          They have nothing directly to do with caller ID spoofing or robocalls, other than providing internet, which can be used for VOIP (voice over internet protocol). Very few DSL lines are used for VOIP since the DSL subscdiber automatically has a real phone line (very very rare exceptions have no phone #).

          It is VOIP that makes # spoofing easy, and it can run on any type of internet connection.

    • ROBERT SYKES says:

      PR is good Marine lingo, just like DR and Gitmo.

  5. Jacob says:

    My dad once stayed on the line with one of these guys for around ten minutes. Once they got to the information theft part, he asked the man “are you proud of what you’re doing?”

    • Jason says:

      If everyone would troll these guys back whenever they get a chance to kill a few minutes, it would no longer be worth the effort to do this garbage.

      • Jacob says:

        You could hardly shame them more than he did, but you could be a lot more annoying. If you’ve ever wanted to ramble insane conspiracy theories at people just to hear the air-sucking cringe on the other end of the line — without being judged by anyone whose opinion matters — now’s your chance. Want to use horrible ethnic slurs without any chance of getting fired? Want to spin bizarre tales about your sex life? Want to work on your shitty Russian accent? These people will just listen and deal with it, because they probably understand that morons and lunatics are their best prey.

      • jb says:

        I saw something about a guy who set up a machine that would talk to these guys and agree with everything they had to say. “Yep. Uh-huh. Sure. Got it. OK. Right…” Endless affirmation and nothing else. It would eventually drive the callers into paroxysms of rage.

        (Just got one of those calls while I was typing this. I occasionally bait the callers, but it always makes me a little nervous. They do, after all, have your phone number).

      • gcochran9 says:

        At this point, adding up the pluses and minuses, I wonder if we wouldn’t be better off if someone took an axe and cut the optical cable to India.

    • mtkennedy21 says:

      My wife stayed on the line with one of the robocallers and found out that the woman was in Gambia. I do not have the patience.

  6. Ledford Ledford says:

    When the Microsoft boys call, I always ask them if their mother and father would be proud of what they’re doing. This upset one of them so much he yelled “you crossed a line” and hung up.

    With all the money we shovel into the NSA, you’d think they could figure out a way to stop this. It would be good pr, also.

    • cthoms says:

      he yelled “you crossed a line” and hung up.

      Thank you for allowing me to start my weekend off with one of the deepest and most satisfying laughs I’ve had in quite awhile.
      A few years ago I was in my cubicle at work when a more customer-facing coworker a cube over got one and spent probably 15 minutes trolling the guy. Since I was hearing only one side it took me a few minutes to figure out what the hell he was doing. Finally his boss piped up from another cube over, “Alright George, end that and get back to work.”
      Anyone who hasn’t seen this account by Sean Gallagher might find it entertaining.

  7. Steve Johnson says:

    I think if your SSN gets suspended you are immune to all laws and can just do whatever you want.

  8. AlanL says:

    There’s an entire youtube genre of people (claiming to be) reverse-scamming the “Microsoft” callers by allowing them to remotely log on and them p0wning them via the remote logon software.

    That was half an hour of my life I’ll never get back.

  9. Young says:

    I got the same call today from a number in Kentucky. “Press ‘1’ to resolve this problem” i resolved it by pressing disconnect.

  10. Dr J Thompson says:

    Look on the bright side: your bank account in Nigeria is not causing you any problems, or they would have rung you.

  11. gabriel alberton says:

    Perhaps it’s an important if unattractive part of the economy. Keeps the money flowing, taking it out of savings accounts towards destinations unknown.

  12. another fred says:

    I have a recurring fantasy where I win $500 mil in the lottery and spend half of it having these assholes hunted down and…

  13. dearieme says:

    What proportion of the calls involve real people, what proportion recordings?

    I ask because an old defence against real people – sex pests and the like – was to keep a boy scout whistle by your phone. When a real scammer speaks, give ’em a blast.

  14. sam57l0 says:

    You got off EASY. I’ve been DRAFTED.

  15. Mike1 says:

    One way I’ve found to generate true rage is to let them know they have called a financial institution and let them know you can’t proceed any further without their social. As the threats escalate, match the escalation with increased boredom and detachment like a real life long call center worker.

  16. nope@denada.com says:

    I have to restrain myself. I got incensed once, traced them back to their location in India, doxxed the owners, and almost set them up to be funding t$err#ts in P#kist@n- then set them up for a major no=nock oparation. Lulz….

    My esposa reminded me that the suckerz that werk there are not entirely culpable.

    But I waz verrrrry tempted to deal some fate. If we have flying crowbar I could access, a building would have been gone…

  17. nobody says:

    A scammer… You had me worried for you a moment! :/

  18. Stephen says:

    A reply that I have found useful:

    Thank you for your message. I am about to perform an operation of ritual magic which, at some time over the next four to sixth lunar months, will cause you to lose control of your bladder and bowels in a public place, as it might be standing in a supermarket checkout queue. If you contact me again, the consequences will be very much worse. Farewell.

    This does seem to work.

  19. Username Unavailable says:

    “will cause you to lose control of your bladder and bowels in a public place”

    Why would this bother an Indian?

  20. Gringo says:

    I do not pick up my phone until the caller answers my message machine. Judging by the number of times I hear “Please leave a message” but no message in reply , that approach seems to work rather well.

    “Mcrosoft” spammers are the few who leave a message.

  21. mitchellporter says:

    This also happens in Australia, and neither politicians nor phone companies seem to have any interest in stopping it.

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