Monthly archives: March, 2017

Roger is speaking at the ASCII IT Success Summit today (March 29th, 2017)

I am so flattered to have been invited to speak at the ASCII Success Summit in Anaheim, CA today! This is a thrill because this Jolly Roger Telephone service is SO GOOFY that it’s great to see it starting to become a mainstream and completely valid solution to telecommunications fraud.

Speaking of goofy, I also learned that I would get a table all day! So my wife, partner, and I put this together:

So there are a couple rotary phones, and the treasure chest contains a Raspberry Pi and analog adapter. When you lift the handset of the rotary phone, you hear a random Jolly Roger recording. I even have some rotary-to-dtmf converters in the phones so when you dial the keypad, it starts a new recording.

Those are chocolate coins. And that’s a little “bilge box” for trash.

I asked my wife to help me make a little one-pager to encourage people to lift the handset to listen to recordings, and also to attend my speech today. So she did. And then she

  • Crumpled it
  • Coffee-stained it
  • Baked it
  • Burned it

And now it looks like this:

She even made a little “Ship’s Manifest” for the sign-up sheet in case anyone wanted to be added to my mailing list.

I am not typically this creative. My wife is amazing. I often joke with her that “Courier New is good enough” when we need to make a brochure. She will usually take it from there, and she sure did this time.

My speech is the last one today, which is kind of cool. Unfortunately, it will not be recorded. But it’s very similar to my TEDx talk in Naperville last November.

Thanks as always, everyone! I owe all of you for the popularity of this service. Please help me spread the word so we can keep sucking up telemarketer time!



Back to Basics – Vacation scammer speaks with the original Jolly Roger bot

The core of the Jolly Roger Telephone service is wasting telemarketer time. I’ve had a lot of interesting calls, but this one demonstrates that the original bot is still going strong. For anyone new to Jolly Roger, I built this bot for my own line at home, and it took a couple years of tweaking to get it right (I could only test it on REAL telemarketers). When I posted the telephone number so everyone could use it, I got thousands of calls to it – I still haven’t listened to all of those calls from February 2016!

As a result, it’s the least interesting bot for me. I have some “new” bots that are more fun for me to review. But I wanted to play this call because I don’t want you to forget “there’s a bee on me”. This call demonstrates that it’s still funny.

In this call, we have a “free cruise” offer and he lists all kinds of great things. This agent probably believes he is giving away this vacation package, but a simple Google search is all it takes to see how popular this scam is. Fortunately, the subscribers to the Jolly Roger service are engaging bots to suck up some scammer time. This guy spent almost 8 minutes talking to a bot, and hopefully he didn’t have time to call you that day. Or your family.

Anyway, thanks for listening everyone! I’m looking forward to posting more fun, entertaining calls. They don’t all have to be educational or shocking. This one is just ear candy to any of you who get these calls every day.


Podcast episode 15 is online

Hi All,

Here is Episode 15 of the Jolly Roger Telephone podcast. I have SO MUCH to tell you! In this episode, I discuss the Windows Support scam, what I am trying to do about it, and some of the interesting legal and regulatory issues I’ll be dealing with. I play a couple clips from a Windows Support call. It’s good info, but not nearly as fun as some of my other podcasts. This is NOT the place to start if you’ve never heard one of my podcasts. You can just search your podcast app for “Jolly Roger Telephone” or click here for the SoundCloud link to all my podcasts.

Here is Episode 15:

Jolly Roger bot calls “Windows Support” scammer to waste her time

Here is the maiden voyage of this “Windows User in Distress” bot. I have discovered it is more entertaining to “trickle” the calls into the fake Windows support centers so the agents engage for a long time with the bots. The plan is for me to hit these call centers HARD with thousands of calls. They will have no choice but to shut down the number. The telecommunications industry has a term for this – TDOS or “telephony denial of service”. It’s usually used by bad guys. Naturally it sounds illegal. But is it? Stay tuned.

Anyway, this is a great call from my bot (she needs a name) to “Windows Support”. You learn a little about this particular scammer’s call center. The agent is pretty good. She sounds very professional and convincing. You can understand how the elderly and new users might be convinced as well.

Anyway, it is very satisfying to hear the bot keep her busy. I’m working on more of these and I’ll tune the algorithm as necessary. But this was a great shakedown voyage.

Please enjoy!