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How to stop robocalls – Jolly Roger Telephone


I wanted to share my experience filtering calls to my 90-year-old mother who has had her phone number for 60 years and appears to be on every scam caller list. Every list. And she felt compelled to answer every call. Every. Call.

First, I switched her phone service from Comcast to Google Voice.  I won’t go into the technical details of the move, but it’s a two step process (Comcast to burner phone, then burner phone to Google Voice). This was my first step to filtering her calls because I believe Comcast customers are being targeted by scammers and I hoped that moving to Google Voice SPAM filtering would offer better control over her calls.

Initially, I moved to Google Voice as part of a cost reduction for my Mom, and it provides ‘spam filtering’ capabilities.  It turned out that the spam filtering wasn’t very good for faked local numbers so after some research, I went with the nuclear option and configured call filtering using Jolly Roger Telephone (link below).

Jolly Roger is *amazing*.  Robots answer the phone and hang up telemarketers and scammers and Mom’s phone never rings.  The record voicemail was 7.5 minutes…

To be honest, Jolly Roger is pretty good, but the Final Solution was to put every ‘good’ caller onto the whitelist and block every other area code in the United States, block all foreign calls and block all toll free calls. The whitelist was more of a challenge. I had a phone history of several months and included her doctors, friends, family, etc.  Jolly Roger includes simple check boxes to block 800 calls, overseas numbers, and similar.  Ultimately, I configured a ‘blacklist’ of prohibited callers using wildcard entries for EVERY AREA CODE in the US except two local area codes.

It seems extreme, but then we just had to deal with faked local numbers, and I had a large list of exchanges that I blocked.


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