Category: JollyRogerTelephone

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!

Roger


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!

Roger


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


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 http://tomwoods.com/ep-937-how-to-deal-with-annoyingscammer-telemarketers-sic-these-hilarious-bots-on-them/

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,

Roger

 


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 http://www.archersecuritygroup.com/robocallers-pretend-real/ 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!

 


Call for beta testers! New service to AUTOMATICALLY protect mobile phones!

I’m SO EXCITED to announce a new service from Jolly Roger Telephone that will AUTOMATICALLY protect your mobile phones! I’m calling it Pirate Voicemail for now.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Do I have to mention that messaging and voice rates may apply? Your mobile carrier will probably charge you for the call to 206-259-4950. If you do not have a plan with unlimited minutes, then do not use this service! Also, Pirate Voicemail will send you a text when it gets a real person, so don’t use it if you have to pay for messages!

The instructions below will tell you how to use this service. This is brand new and probably for the hard-core shakedown crew only. If you want to be on my shake-down crew, I’d love some help testing this. But please read all of this, especially the disclaimer at the bottom!

This is how it works:

Pirate Voicemail REPLACES your current mobile phone’s voicemail. So this gets tricky and it’s important you understand how it works. To activate it, you type in a code in your phone (I can support AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and all MVNOs using those services. Is there anyone else?) The code will set your phone to forward to 206-259-4950 if you don’t answer or if you reject a caller. So when you don’t answer your phone or don’t recognize the caller, the call will come to me. This is where Jolly Roger Telephone takes over. This is how I will handle the call:

  1. If it’s a telemarketer (according to my lookup with trueCNAM), I will answer with a bot (and send you the recording of course)
  2. If I don’t know if it’s a telemarketer, I will answer with a pleasant greeting asking the caller to prove they are human by pressing 1. If they don’t press 1, they are encouraged to leave a message.
  3. If they do press 1, then I will text you to let you know that caller was human. At the same time, I’ll tell that person I texted you, and ask them to call back, and you might answer the second time. They can leave a message here too. Once a caller proves they are human, I never challenge them again – future calls are simply sent to a voicemail greeting.
  4. Each caller will be challenged THREE TIMES (and warned). After three unresponsive calls, I will answer with a robot from then on.
  5. Note: Anonymous callers will always be challenged. When they press 1, you’ll get a text so you’ll know to answer when they call right back.

Please note that all telemarketers use predictive dialers (these are the machines that try to detect if you are a human). All predictive dialers will stop at step 2 because they think they have reached an answering machine. Almost all predictive dialers will throw your number back into the queue and will eventually call you back. They cannot help it, and they cannot ever stop. So eventually they will trigger step 4 and will get a Jolly Roger Bot, which will then engage the telemarketer and it will be extremely entertaining for you.

After EVERY call, you’ll get an email to tell you what the caller did or didn’t do. More importantly, there will be links so you can tell me what to do the next time that caller calls.

So next time you get a call from an unrecognized number, you can ignore/reject it and Jolly Roger will *professionally* handle your legitimate callers, or *unprofessionally* handle your telemarketers. It should work well for you small-business owners who get tons of calls on your mobile phones.

 

Disclaimers, etc.

This is new. Naturally, I try to write bug-free code. I’m pretty confident that I will not deliver your voicemail to the wrong place. I’ve handled over 400,000 calls so far and never mis-delivered a recording. And I’m pretty confident that I won’t answer with a bot when it’s not appropriate. My vendor, trueCNAM is really good about being cautious about their scores. But there may be various problems with the emails. You would be surprised how complicated this got. There are 25 possible “states” for the caller and I had to craft an email for each one. My servers could crash. Godaddy might flag me as a spammer. My telephone carrier may think I’m a text spammer and block my texts. The texting thing could get really expensive. Hopefully your $6/year will cover it.

No more “visual voicemail” from your carrier. I just email the recordings of your voicemail. Maybe someone wants to help me with a smartphone app that will provide a visual voicemail interface. Or perhaps someone can turn me on to a voicemail transcription service? Cheap.

Your voicemails will be emailed to you un-encrypted over the internet. If you get confidential or urgent messages, then please do not use this yet. If you listen to the voicemail greeting, you’ll hear me tell the caller that I’m just going to deliver via email. Maybe this isn’t a big deal. There are TONS of voicemail systems that do the same thing and none of those make it obvious.

This service is perfect for the young kids or elderly who don’t really use voicemail. If you are the parent of tweens or the children of the elderly, then you can get these emails sent to you. My kids have never bothered to record a voicemail greeting, so this is perfect for them. And the elderly get tons of medicare scammers calling, so you’ll hear these scammers speaking with bots that they think are your parents.

Potential Enhancements

I’m working on a way to provide a VCARD (emailed and texted) so you can accept a pre-built contact for known humans. Some of you will probably want to record your own voicemail greeting too. But there are several recordings to deal with so that will get complicated too. Bulk whitelisting is another. And after a while you’ll probably want to see your whitelist and blacklist so I need a way to provide that too. Once we all use this for a while, we’ll come up with our own wish list. Please send that to me.

This service is available to ALL active Jolly Roger subscribers – Deep Six, Cannon Shot, and Summon a Pirate. I hope that it will replace Summon a Pirate and I’ll convert everyone over to Deep Six. This is probably NOT for the Google Voice users out there. I’m pretty happy with my existing Google Voice product.

If you are a subscriber of Jolly Roger Telephone, you should be able to use this. If you have any problems, please email me at support@jollyrogertelephone.com. That will generate a ticket so I won’t forget to handle it. If you don’t like it, feel free to tell me why. I can probably fix it, but there are limits to the integration with mobile phones.

Ready to try it?

Here are the codes to activate/deactivate the Pirate Voicemail on your mobile phone:

  • If you have AT&T, TMobile, or use an MVNO of these, dial **004*12062594950# to enable it. Dial ##004# to cancel it and go back to your regular voicemail.
  • If you have Verizon or an MVNO of Verizon, dial *712062594950 to enable it. Dial *73 to cancel it and go back to your regular voicemail.
  • If you have Sprint or an MVNO of Sprint, dial *282062594950 to enable it. Dial *38 to cancel it and go back to your regular voicemail.
  • If you have Cricket, I think you dial *742062594950 to enable it. Dial *740 to cancel it and go back to your regular voicemail. Maybe a Cricket user can verify this for me?

Immediately after enabling it, please call your mobile from a different phone and let the call last at least 6 seconds. When the call is over, you should get an email from me describing what I saw. If you do NOT get the email, then cancel this service and contact me at support@jollyrogertelephone.com to let me know that it failed.

Thank you everyone! This is my biggest announcement yet!

Roger

 

 

 


Jolly Roger in the New York Times! And other news…

I posted this a couple days ago to Facebook, but not everyone reads Facebook (which I totally get). So I’m finally posting this here. Jolly Roger Telephone was mentioned in a New York Times article about robocalls to mobile phones. I was mentioned alongside some big players in the industry, so I’m totally blown away. I’m gaining street cred! Someday I hope to get the attention of Apple, Google, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint because I really want to be able to protect mobile phones! Mobile carriers still do not offer this feature. Some clever (and well-financed) app developers have done some crazy workarounds to block your telemarketers, but none are redirecting calls yet. All it takes is “simultaneous ring” from mobiles and I can do it! Anyone know anyone who knows anyone at any of the mobile carriers?

Anyway, the NY Times article is here: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/11/smarter-living/stop-robocalls.html

There were some re-prints in other places, but then here’s an original story on Q13 Fox in Washington! http://q13fox.com/2017/05/11/robocalls-are-increasing-so-here-is-how-you-fight-back/

Anyway – thanks everyone for your support, interest, and kind words!

Roger

 


Travel Scammer Telemarketer threatens to send a robot to collections

Here’s an interesting scam. A travel telemarketer tells us that we have already put $698 down on a vacation, and there’s another $698 due. If we don’t pay, then they’ll send us to collections and we’ll still have to pay the $698, but we’ll forfeit the vacation. So they’re going to let us pay off the balance and keep the vacation. Isn’t that nice of them?

Actually, as I edit it and listen again, it gets very confusing. I think the scam just evolves based upon the victim’s responses. This call went to a robot named Salty Sally and she was friendly and agreeable, but didn’t really respond to the scam as expected so the telemarketer gets a little frustrated and gives up. There’s no swearing or abuse, but it’s entertaining and this “flavor” of scam was new to me so I wanted to share it with you.

Now, if you get telemarketer calls like this one, imagine how satisfying it is to waste thirteen minutes of their time with no effort on your part. All you have to do it conference in a Jolly Roger bot and mute yourself. One of my friendly robots will take over the conversation and you can go about your business. Please see jollyrogertelephone.com for details on how you can use this service to automatically intercept your telemarketers.

And thanks for listening


Roger in In Touch Weekly Magazine!

I’m so thrilled and flattered to be featured in this week’s “real life” section of In Touch Weekly Magazine!

This reporter, Jaclyn Roth, was one of the nicest people you can imagine. She asked some great questions and was very patient with me as I talked about telecommunications and my bots. I love telephones and, in case you’re new to my blog, I made these robots out of love for the telecom network. I just want you to love your phone as much as I do, and telemarketers are the biggest reason people hate their phones right now.

Jaclyn wrote this great article and sent it to me. She gave me permission to post it on my blog (as of now, it’s not online at InTouchWeekly.com).

You can click here for the PDF of the story. Or click the image below for high-resolution.

I’m going to post the text of the article here so the search bots will index it.

We’ve all been through the same infuriating experience. The phone rings, so you drop whatever you’re doing to answer it. But the voice that greets you doesn’t belong to a friend or family member. It’s a telemarketer trying to sell you a service you don’t need or — worse — scam you out of your hard-earned money. Cue the steam pouring out of your ears.

But a mild-mannered telecom consultant named Roger Anderson is leading a one-man crusade to rescue us. His method of doling out vigilante justice? He’s designed a team of computerized robots that are programmed to trick telemarketers and phone scammers into believing they have a live human on the other end of the line. The bots waste the telemarketers’ time and, ultimately, scare them off that telephone number for good. “Telemarketers are blanketing the country with fraudulent calls,” says Roger, 47, who lives with his wife and four kids in the LA area. “My goal is to disrupt the industry as much as possible.”

His inspiration came a couple years back, after a telemarketer swore at his then-14-year-old son. “We’d get about five to 10 calls a day,” he says. “I was never worried about getting scammed because I don’t buy anything over the phone, but it felt like such an invasion of privacy.” Having worked in the telephone business for more than 25 years, “I thought to myself, ‘I’m a phone guy, I should be able to fix this,’” Roger recalls. “So I started building this robot.”

At first, it was just a hobby. Roger set up the program to intercept calls to his home. But after posting some of the funnier exchanges on YouTube and receiving positive feedback, he officially started the Jolly Roger Telephone Company. He began creating more bots that could convincingly pass as real people. “My favorite robot personality is ‘Kim the Kraken,’” says Roger, who originally voiced the bots but now gets help from his wife, friends, other family members and volunteers. His character Kim the Kraken is “recovering from pneumonia, so she coughs and says things like, ‘I’m really sorry, my phone slipped and you are going to have to repeat that.’ She can keep telemarketers on the phone for 10 to 20 minutes.” While it may sound like a minor victory to tie up just one agent, telemarketers are usually auto-dialing up to 30 people at once, “so it prevents potentially hundreds of phone calls from being made,” Roger explains.

So far, Jolly Roger’s robot army has fielded around 300,000 unwanted calls. A subscription to the service costs $6 per year (jollyrogertelco.com). When cellphone users get an unwanted call, they can conference in the bots, who then take over. Landline calls can be linked up so Jolly Roger will answer when it recognizes a telemarketer’s number. Once the telemarketers realize they’ve been fooled, “It’s in their best interest to stop calling you,” says Roger. In an ironic twist, many clients have come to welcome the calls they formerly dreaded, relishing the chance to eavesdrop on the exchanges. “When a telemarketer loses their cool talking to a robot, it’s just so satisfying. All of your years of frustration get vented,” says Roger. “Plus, it’s hilarious.”

— Reporting by Jaclyn Roth


Las Vegas vacation scammer wants to kill my puppy!

Do you get the “free vacation” telemarketer calls? These scams come in many flavors. It could be a high-pressure timeshare pitch, or maybe they tell you that they’re giving you a vacation so you’ll tell your friends and family about it and THEY will pay for their own. But I think we can all agree that the “free vacation” is a scam, right?

Anyway, this guy is calling to give us a free vacation in Las Vegas. He drops a couple resort names to keep us interested, but I doubt that he’s actually connected with them (I sure hope not!) so I bleeped them out.

He was talking to a female robot named “Jolly Jenny”. After a few minutes, he just wasn’t getting the expected responses from her, so he says a couple mildly shocking things, and when she doesn’t react to that, he says something even more shocking. And then he gets intimidating. If you love puppies, you’ll hate this guy!

These guys are invulnerable, invincible, and untraceable. They are clearly not “monitored or recorded for quality purposes” and they know they can say whatever they want. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Until now. Please do your part – subscribe to the Jolly Roger Telephone service so you can send your telemarketers to robots. This will delay the call to the next person on their list, and maybe it will prevent one scam for the day. It’s your civic duty to waste their time, but your time is too valuable. Let a Jolly Roger bot handle it.

Thanks for listening!

Roger