Repeated calls from foreign telemarketer to cell. No way to stop them!
July 12, 2012 11:08 AM   Subscribe

I've been receiving calls every few days for the past few months from a company trying to sell me prescription drugs from India. I've tried telling them to please stop calling, putting them on, filing a complaint with the FCC, and even complaining to Washington state which seems to be where the calls are routed from domestically. None of these have worked so far...though that isn't too surprising. What does surprise me is that I'm unable to even put a block on the number because it has a 3 digit int'l prefix and Verizon's system for blocking can only handle 10 digit numbers! The number reads on 001-206-337-3269 on my phone. Pretty frustrating. Any other ideas? thanks!
posted by grammalvsu to Technology (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Just blocking 206-337-3269 doesn't work?
posted by Grither at 11:10 AM on July 12, 2012

Have you tried calling Verizon customer service (*611) and asking them to block the number for you? Do you use any of Verizon's online account management tools? Maybe you can enter a longer number in those?
posted by Wretch729 at 11:12 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Is it a mobile phone they are calling? If so, try downloading or creating a silent ringtone. Set the number to a new contact and associate it with the silent ring tone. That way you get some peace and quiet while you figure out how to permanently block the number.
posted by gemmy at 11:17 AM on July 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

You can sue telemarketers who won't leave you alone. Website devoted to the subject. Basically, the same law that created the Do Not Call registry also created a cause of action for violating it.
posted by valkyryn at 11:17 AM on July 12, 2012

Answer with "911 What is your emergency?"

This got some seriously naggy people to remove my number from their lists on more than one occasion.
posted by bensherman at 11:17 AM on July 12, 2012 [17 favorites]

Port your cell phone number to Google Voice, and take advantage of GV's number blocking or call screening features to get rid of this caller.
posted by dudeman at 11:19 AM on July 12, 2012 [4 favorites]

Alsp, You aren't the first.
posted by bensherman at 11:20 AM on July 12, 2012

I was getting weird spammy calls from a number that appeared to have only five digits. I called Verizon CS and they blocked it for me.
posted by rtha at 11:20 AM on July 12, 2012

Call Verizon. Their live customer service (when you get through the menu hell) has been completey sympathetic and helpful in my experience.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:31 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

001 is the international code for the United States. So there's a good chance just blocking 206-337-3269 will do it.
posted by the jam at 11:39 AM on July 12, 2012

I've also received persistent spam calls in the last few months that come and go. Last week we were getting 4-5 such calls a day. I finally called Verizon about the harassing calls. They said to hit *69 after hanging up, and the number would show up. (It's $.95 a pop). I reported the numbers that came up to Do Not Call Registry, and I haven't had another call since. It is only a week, but I've got my fingers crossed.
posted by Elsie at 12:07 PM on July 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Elsie, a lot of times hitting *69 doesn't work as the callers block it.

Just continuing to report them over and over is the best bet. They will get shut down eventually.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:26 PM on July 12, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses everyone.

I have indeed tried blocking the 10 digit number, and the calls still came through. Contacting verizon via *611 and email at first seemed to stump the reps who thought this method should work. Then they confirmed, in their latest email response, " have that number blocked on your account, but our system only allows up to enter in 10 digit numbers"

I'll probably try the google voice solution, or possibly silent ringtone. Both are good suggestions, thanks.
posted by grammalvsu at 12:30 PM on July 12, 2012

Some phones also allow you to set a contact to go straight to voicemail, so it won't tie up your phone while it's silently ringing. A silent ringtone will still vibrate in vibrate mode, too.
posted by WasabiFlux at 2:32 PM on July 12, 2012

Have you tried blocking 001-206-337-3?
posted by shivohum at 3:52 PM on July 12, 2012

Response by poster: @shivohum - I like that outside the box thinking. I'll give it a shot!
posted by grammalvsu at 4:22 PM on July 12, 2012

One way I've cut through a lot of annoying scam and robo calls is to have the annoying, piercing "this number is no longer in service" *booop booop beeeep* sound repeat twice at the beginning of my voice mail message, followed quickly by my voice assuring legit callers that this is still my number. Lost a ton of fake calls, never a real one!
posted by kuppajava at 5:09 PM on July 12, 2012

Btw -- just to check, but are you subscribed to Verizon's Usage Control ($4.99/month) and if so have you tried to add the international number on the My Verizon website? Just doing a quick search, it seems like they've recently added the ability to block international numbers using UC.

See for instance :

I am subscribed to Usage Controls. Once you subscribe to Usage Controls and are on your Usage Controls dashboard, click on "Add Blocks". Check the box next to "Name", and enter a name that designates the caller that you want to block (for example, "International Caller 1"). In the box below next to "Contact Info", enter the international number. According to the website, international numbers will need to include the international dialing prefix, country code, city code (area code) and local number. (Eg. 011-52-443-123-4567 or 00-46-340-1234-5678). Finally, select "Domestic or International Number" from the drop-down box, and click the "Add" button.
posted by shivohum at 5:22 PM on July 12, 2012

Set a "This number no longer exists" greeting for that number via You Mail (free).
posted by curtains at 8:35 PM on July 12, 2012

Response by poster: I'm not subscribed to usage controls. I'll check it out, though it'd annoy me to have to pay $4.99 due to these telemarketer scum..

Will also look into You Mail. Looks like a good idea.

posted by grammalvsu at 5:18 PM on July 13, 2012

You said you asked yhem to stop calling, but did you repeat the magic "take me off your list" incantation three times?
(I'm not being facetious, most companies require their agents to rebuttal the initial refusal three times, and if the respondent hangs up before that little ritual is complete, they might keep calling until they make it to the point in the script where they actually can do something. And at some places, the respondent has to use those exact words or it's coded as a refusal (which gets a call back) rather than as a do not call.

At least, here they are like that. Dunno about other countries.
posted by windykites at 4:32 PM on July 14, 2012

Response by poster: @windykites: Interesting, I'll try that, thanks.
posted by grammalvsu at 2:10 PM on July 16, 2012

Hope it works!
posted by windykites at 3:30 PM on July 17, 2012

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