Toledo Talk

RoboCall Hijacks My Phone

Hmm... this is a new one for me. Some organization which is probably opposed to SB5 left a message on my answering machine which included "press 3 to speak to Gov. John Kasich right now and tell him how you feel!" Although I was not home, and certainly did not "press 3" I was apparently connected to the governor's office anyway. His mailbox was full ... I was politely disconnected ... end of message. It seems weird to me that someone can remotely dial my phone and remotely get my phone connected to a third entity without my permission.

If this is possible through technology, what's preventing me from robocalling City Hall phones and having them autoconnect to highly inappropriate phone chat lines? Not condoning this plan -- just an example! ;-)

created by viola on Jun 29, 2011 at 04:14:14 pm     Technology     Comments: 10

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Comments ... #

While I don't condone this type of activity in any manner, they didn't hijack your phone. You set up your answering machine to automatically answer any call that comes in. This is a technology fail at both ends of the communication.

posted by brainswell on Jun 29, 2011 at 04:21:12 pm     #  

"You set up your answering machine to automatically answer any call that comes in."

I thought that was the idea of an answering machine to allow someone to leave a message when you are not there? Maybe I am missing something but I don't see how that is a technology fail.

Viola I am sure it is fairly easy to do with three way conference call functionality to immediately forward on whether you answer or an answering machine.

posted by glasscityguy on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:54:46 am     #  

Yeah, maybe I shouldn't be so touchy! :-) I was just startled that the whole incident went beyond "leave a message." My phone, in my absence, dialed a number at the state capital and could have been connected to a state employee. As it is, the governor's mailbox was full, so the call was eventually disconnected.

It seems different to me, somehow, that someone outside my home, without my knowledge or permission, places a phone call using my equipment.

As I said ... hijack.

posted by viola on Jun 30, 2011 at 01:49:29 pm     #  

Viola, same thing happened to me, robocall on voicemail, govs mailbox full, but this was weeks ago! I have a feeling that it will always be full, they just want you to listen to their message all the way thru and feel like you at least tried to do something, lol.

posted by nana on Jun 30, 2011 at 02:23:47 pm     #  

Maybe the message was a default; designed for recipients without touchtone. Did you actually hear the 3-button tone during the recording?

posted by Trilby on Jun 30, 2011 at 02:29:58 pm     #  

Viola, the phone call wasn't placed using your equipment, that is impossible without access to your phone. Your phone line was busy taking their call, it could not have dialed out.

They called you with a machine from their number, your answering machine picked it up. Their machine does its thing and places a three way call to the governor's office. From the perspective of the governor's office, they only know they are connected to the number doing the robocalling, not yours.

If they could place calls using your equipment, don't you think the 1-900 crowd would have picked up on this before the special interest groups?

posted by brainswell on Jun 30, 2011 at 02:45:50 pm     #  

Oh, thanks, brainy, ANOTHER thing to worry about! :P

posted by Anniecski on Jun 30, 2011 at 03:24:46 pm     #  

I do some phone work, and my best guess is they have a modem pool, one line calls you it saw the line was picked up and then initiated another call with another one other lines and bound the two together.

These are horrible though. I've been having a similiar problem with some bill collectors who have been trying to et ahold of the guy who had my phone # last. I've had this line over a year now lol and still getting calls.

What's worse is "thanks for blah blah, if you continue to stay on the line you agree that you are John Smith, please hang up if you are not John Smith... thanks for holding we have agreed you are John Smith this is a collection call, blah blah blah" and since my answering machine picks up they assume I'm the person.

So I share your pain :)

posted by INeedCoffee on Jun 30, 2011 at 03:49:51 pm     #  

Are advocacy groups exempted from national "do-not-call" lists?

(NeedCoffee + Viola, are you on the do-not-call list?

This seems a severe abuse of your phone line for some sort of political point and you are not available to give consent. Bad.

posted by oldhometown on Jun 30, 2011 at 04:41:26 pm     #  

personally, as I said, I think its a fake. I dont think they try to connect anyone to the gov, they're probably not even dialing, it's bullshit. maybe some people might say, 'hey! I wanted to talk to him!' and then try to get him on their own (good luck), but most people will be all, 'huh, o well'.

posted by nana on Jun 30, 2011 at 07:11:39 pm     #