The boiler rooms housing most of our robocallers can be accused of lots of things, but new tactics will not be on the list:

In recent years Mrs. McG has noticed, I confess more than I have, that spam robocallers have been spoofing particular sets of numbers that share area code and prefix with their targets. Others online have remarked on this tactic as well. (I just don’t seem to have this problem, just as I don’t get as much spam email as others seem to.)

Well anyway, yesterday I got one of these calls, sharing the area code and prefix of my out-of-state Google Voice number.

How’s that for a milestone? And no, it’s extremely unlikely that the call was legit; the location has several number prefixes, so even if someone there had a legitimate reason to try to call me (no one would) it’s extremely unlikely the source number for the first-ever call I received from there would have the exact same one.

It’s especially galling, I submit, when the jerks spoof a number in my very exchange and then have the audacity to claim “OUT OF AREA.” It is no such thing. Of course, if I’m dealing with someone who’ll lie about something as mundane as a phone number, I assume anything they have to say is a lie.

Countermeasures, for the moment, are conspicuous mostly by their ineffectiveness, though surely this can’t last forever:

Eventually, of course, it would evolve into a system where you can preemptively block callers that don’t own their claimed source numbers, and spam callers will have to figure out some other way to intrude on your peace and quiet with their commercial spiels. I shudder to imagine how they’ll do it.

Telemarketing will continue so long as telemarketers are allowed to live.


  1. CGHill »

    10 August 2018 · 5:31 pm

    Four minutes after that posted, the jerks did exactly what I said they did.

  2. fillyjonk »

    10 August 2018 · 5:55 pm

    I don’t know how much it costs, but there used to be a way to set up a landline so that only “pre approved” numbers rang through, and all the others went to voicemail, with a message that essentially said “if this is a call I am taking, you will be called back within x amount of time”

    A friend of mine in grad school who had left an abusive relationship (her ex lived far far away, but he still kept trying to call) had it set up that way. So her parents’ number rang through, and her new husband’s office number rang through – but pretty much all the others wound up in voicemail. (I know, I called her once. She called me back right away, it was no big deal)

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