Category: Blog

Sorry I’ve been quiet – things are happening deep under water

The podcast is not dead! I’ll get another episode out soon. Likewise with more entertaining calls.

We are working on some exciting enhancements to the service and to the web site. I hate “talking” about it – I would rather just announce it when we’re done. I’ve worked for too many startups that endlessly talk about cool stuff and never deliver. So I’m waiting until it’s finished before I post/tweet/announce. It’s driving me crazy that I cannot tell you about it yet.

I do want to tell you that we’re working on two new features. And if you’re a subscriber to the Jolly Roger Telephone Service, you might be interested in:

  1. Enhanced whitelist/blacklists. We are a few days away from alpha-testing the ability to intercept or ignore numbers based upon patterns, rather than the entire number. For example, if you’d like to allow only areacode 312 and have bots intercept all others, we can do that. Or if you want bots to intercept 800 numbers, or if you get international calls and want bots to intercept all calls from a certain country code, we can do that too. For now, we have to do it for you, so feel free to send an email to and ask us about any special whitelist/blacklist requests. We will be providing a web interface soon for you to manage this yourself. But we would like to understand the kinds of filters that you’d like so let us know.
  2. Email suppression. Some of you have asked us to stop sending emails for certain types of calls. For example, if you have whitelisted a number, then we should stop sending emails when we see a call to that number. The reason we currently do this is because there’s no web interface. So if you break up with that boyfriend and want bots to intercept his calls from now on, you’d have to find an old email from Jolly Roger Telephone to blacklist him. But if you’d like, we can now suppress those emails. Just tell us the code (in parenthesis) at the end of the subject line and we can turn those off. This feature is available now. If you get a lot of calls, the Jolly Roger service can be kind of email-chatty. Sorry about that.

There are four of us watching the ticketing system now, so send us a note at and one of us will take care of you!

Thanks as always for sticking with us!


Robot exposes two layers of DME Medicare Fraud

This is a call between a Medicare scammer and a robot. Two robots, actually.

My apologies for the length of this call – it’s a little more than 20 minutes. The entire call is pretty funny, but if you want to just skip to the interesting parts, here is a summary:

At 5:30 – “Is this a robocall?” confused and finally gets sucked back in at 7:20

At 8:45 – Layer 1 of the fraud is exposed (offering a back support at no cost to you – “it is your right to receive it as being a medicare holder”)

At 14:45 – Layer 2 of the fraud is exposed (coaching us what to say to the DME Hotline agent, then doing a “cold transfer” to manipulate their statistics)

This call came to my elderly father and was intercepted by these Jolly Roger Bots. If you are caring for your elderly loved-ones, I highly recommend you subscribe to the Jolly Roger Telephone service so (1) your loved-one doesn’t get scammed, and (2) so the scammer wastes time with a bot and doesn’t have as much time to call the next victims.

This call is funny and entertaining, but like so many of these calls, this one is educational as well. Actually, I think the “DME Hotline” and Medicare would both be interested to hear about this scam. As with most Medicare scams, this company wants to “give” you a back or knee brace at no cost to you. Of course, Medicare will pay for it so it’s free, right? But this call gets very interesting once they qualify you as an elderly person with Medicare and a doctor willing to state that you need a back brace. The scammer then says he’s going to transfer us to a “Medicare Adviser”, but he tells us to tell them we are responding to the TV ad. This is very important to the agent. We must state that we are responding to their television advertisement or they will not help us.

So was the first telemarketing company hired by the producers of the Television advertisement? The TV station? Who else would benefit from this. The “Medicare Adviser” is the DME Hotline (Durable Medical Equipment Hotline). I don’t know if they have a reputation for scamming Medicare or not, but they are certainly getting scammed by an offshore call center pumping traffic into their hotline. And these scammers are trying to manipulate the response rate from the TV ad.

Meanwhile, the bots did a great job keeping four agents busy. For most of this call, we prevented these scammers from calling someone else. I don’t know if both sets of agents were scammers though. The second set was duped by the first set.

Again, this call is pretty long and you may not be interested in listening to the whole thing. Just listen as you do other stuff, or skip to the parts referenced at the top of this posting. If any of you have connections at the DME Hotline, they might be interested to know their TV ad response statistics are wrong. And I’m sure Medicare already knows about the other fraud.

Thanks again for listening everyone!

Rachel with Cardholder Services transfers a robot to a pervert

WARNING – this call is really nasty. For those of you familiar with Jolly Roger Telephone, you’ll probably find it very entertaining. But if this is new to you, you might want to check out my other calls first.

This is another “Rachel with Cardholder Services” call – you’ve probably heard her a million times and you typically hang up. But there are a lot of people who still fall for this scam and no matter how many time the FTC announces some kind of bust, breakup, lawsuit, or settlement, Rachel just keeps on calling. Unfortunately, there’s nothing the regulators can do to stop this. We need a pirate.

In this call, a Jolly Roger bot named “Debbie Doldrums” has intercepted the call. We hear the familiar “Rachel” greeting, which Debbie recognizes and she punches through to an agent. The agent spends a couple minutes trying to get some credit card info, but then gives up and engages in some really nasty banter with Debbie. Naturally, he thinks Debbie Doldrums is a real live American female and he decides to get raunchy with her.

Depending upon your point of view, this is either funny or horrifying. Either way, you hopefully see the potential in the way I am protecting consumers from unsolicited telemarketing. We cannot stop the bad guys from making these calls. But we can set up automation at the individual consumer side to intercept them. You can block telemarketers or just hang up, but that just moves the scammers downstream to someone else. If you engage the callers with a bot, it ties up their agents and they cannot scam the next person. So please help me spread the word! Subscribe to the Jolly Roger Telephone service – the typical subscription is the “Deep Six” for a year’s worth of service.

Anyway – thank you everyone who are following me on this incredible journey. I’m just a quiet and introverted telephone guy trying to protect the network (and all of you) from telemarketing. I could not be doing this without your support!

Thanks for listening, Roger

Credit Card scammer scolds a robot for a while, then calls back for more.

Hi all! Thanks again everyone for listening to these calls and being so polite and supportive of this service. I haven’t been announcing big things lately but that’s about to change. Exciting news is coming soon!

If I’m reaching anyone new with this post – I want to say that I fight telemarketing by building robots to talk with them. You can use these robots to protect your phones from telemarketing. Here is an example of what you get.

I have a great call for you here. First of all, I LOVE Salty Sally. She’s one of my best bots. She intercepted a credit card “we can lower your interest rate” scammer recently and he got quite upset.

Actually, there are a couple interesting things that we learn in this call. Between the hostility and profanity, we learn that he is actually confused as to why we would want to waste his time. He wonders why we simply don’t say we’re not interested and hang up. I think we can safely assume he is NOT in the United States, so I suppose he doesn’t realize that we (and our telephone network) are crushed under the burden of handling these calls. I also suspect that he thinks he’s working for a legitimate company offering a valuable service to those of us in the United States. This is why it’s so important to get the attention of the bosses, managers, and owners of these scammer companies. It does no good to yell at the telemarketers. And *our* time is way too valuable to spend yelling at them anyway. We need to send them to Jolly Roger bots, who will patiently chat with them but never divulge anything useful. Eventually I hope to break the business model of these scammers. And I really appreciate all of you helping with this.

So, getting back to this call, you’ll hear a very entertaining exchange with this telemarketer. And he gets so angry that he calls back three times (each call was very brief), but each time he gets Salty Sally and he eventually gives up. One more win for Salty Sally. And the Jolly Roger subscriber who was the target of this scam was protected.

So thanks again for listening to these calls. Please help me spread the word about this service. And most of all, thank you for listening!


Female Green Energy slammer gets abusive with a female bot

Hello all!

This call was entertaining because it was a “legitimate” telemarketer (i.e. it was a legal entity trying to take over as your energy supplier) from a professional-sounding woman. A Jolly Roger Telephone bot named “Salty Sally” intercepted the call and turned the tables on this company.

About halfway through, the telemarketer thinks Sally is messing with her and says some pretty abusive things. But then Salty Sally manages to calm her down again. It’s pretty funny. If you have not tried Jolly Roger Telephone, I cannot convey the feeling of satisfaction when YOUR telemarketer gets caught by a Jolly Roger bot. It’s one thing to listen to these calls from other people, but think about the times you or your loved ones get telemarketing calls. I’ve had many people say they look forward to telemarketing calls now. And I can really use your help to waste as much telemarketer time as possible. I’m trying to put a dent in their business practice.

Energy slammers like this one need to disappear. Heck, all unsolicited telemarketing should disappear. I love telecommunications and I want to protect the telephone network and your phone!

Thanks for listening!


Fake DirecTV agent wants to upgrade our equipment

Hello all! I’m back from an epic road trip through Yellowstone, Devil’s Tower, the Badlands, and Mt. Rushmore! But I’m back and wanted to make sure I post another call before you all give up on me!

I found this call and thought it was kind of interesting. A “DirecTV” agent is calling all customers to upgrade their equipment free of charge. It starts out pretty legit and I can imagine plenty of people are fooled. Heck, for all I know, DirecTV really does outsource calls like this to offshore call centers.

I usually do not mention the company name, and I usually bleep it out before posting the recordings, but I would be interested in someone with DirecTV listening to this call. You can hear it start pretty legit, but it sure gets crazy. Either this is an outsourced DirecTV agent who can turn off the monitoring/recording feature of their phone, or this is a complete scam. Maybe someone familiar with this scam can post a comment?

I started all of this to protect your phone line, but I like to think that Jolly Roger Telephone is protecting the brands of these major companies too.

Anyway – please enjoy and thank you for listening!


Roger was a guest on the “Too Much Scrolling” Podcast!

I had the pleasure of being a guest with Steve and Chip on their “Too Much Scrolling” podcast. Thanks so much for the great time!

We spoke about telemarketers and the Jolly Roger Telephone Company. We all had a good time and I really appreciate them reaching out to me.

Actually, they recommended a book on the show that I’m looking forward to reading (Station Breaker by Andrew Mayne. Use this link to give Chip and Steve some love:

Also, does anyone remember three episodes where Rosanne Barr was a telemarketer in her home? I need to check those out!

Anyway, it was a fun show and I’m so flattered to be a part of it. Here’s the link to the show and thanks for listening!





Telemarketer chats with a ROBOT telephone technician and cannot hang up

Several months ago, I was asked to create a bot that never says “yes” to anyone. Here is that bot. He’s been unpublished for this whole time, but you can call him at 206-259-4977.

This bot sounds like a telephone technician that accidentally intercepted your call. He’s not very exciting. Actually, he’s pretty dull because he never really “engages” with the telemarketer. He’s so disagreeable and grumpy that most of them just hang up within the first minute. However, I still consider it a “win” because he breaks the autodialers. What I mean is, the telemarketer’s autodialer thinks he is a real person and cuts through to an agent. So even though he’s not as entertaining, he is still effective at breaking the telemarketer’s business model because the autodialer will always break when it hits this bot.

If you have never heard a Jolly Roger bot before, please don’t start here. This guy is not as funny as just about any other call you’ll hear on my YouTube channel. However, if you are familiar with my work, this might sound interesting. It’s also a good demo for the cautious people out there who don’t want my bots to upset their telemarketers. As you’ve heard from other calls, telemarketers can be scary and intimidating. And they know your telephone number and often your address. It can be freaky when they get upset. I’m over it, but I remember that feeling.

Anyway, please enjoy this call. You’ll find that it lasts a little longer than usual because the telemarketer is unable to hang up

Thanks for listening!

Jolly Roger featured on the Tom Woods show!

I did an interview with Tom Woods recently and didn’t realize that he was going to devote an entire podcast to Jolly Roger Telephone! I’m so flattered. That was a really fun interview. You can listen to the show at

Thank you for listening and to help spread the word, everyone! How did Tom Woods hear about me? One of YOU sent him the Business Insider article! Thank you for helping to get the word out that there is an entertaining, fun, and EFFECTIVE way to deal with telemarketers now. I really appreciate it and, as always, I’m really flattered that you are all helping me with this effort.

A heartfelt thanks,



Podcast episode 16 has been posted!

After a long delay I have recorded episode 16 of the Jolly Roger Telephone podcast. In this episode I discuss “ringless voicemail” and the “Can you hear me now?” scam that have both been circulating around the internet for a few weeks. I share three fantastic (and extremely vulgar) calls with you. If you don’t have time to listen, here’s what I basically think about these two issues:

Ringless Voicemail:

Somehow this turned into a partisan issue. I guess someone at the Republican National Committee supported a proposal to the FCC and now the headlines are saying it’s a Republican idea. But it’s just a proposal by various trade organizations to get around the “opt in” nature of telemarketing calls to your mobile. I cannot imagine this will ever be approved, but if it is, we will all just sign up for a voicemail transcription service and these messages will be filtered by a junk mail algorithm. Or we all just shut off our voicemail. I don’t think it’s a big deal.

“Oh my headset slipped. Can you hear me now?”

The headlines say “Don’t say yes! They can use your recording to force you to pay later!” This is another issue that surprises me. Even the FTC and BBB tell you not to engage. There’s a great article from the Archer Security Group at that discusses this. Kerry Tomlinson traced it back to the source and it seems pretty benign. A scammer threatened to take a business to court because they supposedly had a recording of him agreeing to purchase the services. I’m sure if the business had pushed, it would have fallen apart in court. But rather than deal with it, they just paid. Have any of you heard of a telemarketer successfully suing anyone because of a doctored recording? Yeah, me neither. And I don’t think we ever will. There are hundreds of recordings of me saying ‘yes’ on YouTube. Snip one of those and bring it on, telemarketers!

Anyway, here’s the podcast. There are three calls in here, and two of them are extremely raunchy so you have been warned.

Thanks for listening!