What has happened to caller-id and the do-not-call list?

OK, so I’m an old fart. I still have a land line at home. (Well, it’s actually a VOIP line off of my cable modem but I only switched to that for cost savings reasons and I think that it’s immaterial to this discussion.)

I’ve noticed something in the last few months; I’m getting a LOT more junk calls, and the caller-id is often bogus. In the past, say a year a go, I rarely got a call on the land line, and when I did, it was from someone that was allowed, under the do-not-call list rules, to call me. (Even if I did still find it annoying.) Companies I had done business with, charities, etc.

There is a big mid-term election tomorrow and our phone has rang at least a dozen times today. And they not ALL election calls (although many were). But the interesting thing was that the caller-id was bogus on most. i.e.: 888-888-8888 or 000-000-0000, etc. I’ve never seen this before a few months ago. I though it was illegal, and difficult, to “spoof” your caller-id. All of a sudden, everyone is doing it.

And if I tell one of the non-political callers that we are on the do-not-call list and I need to know the name of their company so I can report them, they just hang up.

So what good is the do-not-call list if everyone can spoof their caller-id? There is no way to report violations!

If the reason is that it is possible to spoof caller-id because they are all using voip lines, that doesn’t make sense because voip is not new and the telemarketers were the first to start using it! At some point even voip lines have to enter the phone network and that point is controlled (it thought) by big telephone/internet companies that have rules. Have the laws changed so that they don’t have to enforce the rules any more?

Anyway, the result is that my home phone is useless because I’ve had to turn off the ringers. I guess I’ll just do what the younger generation is doing, drop my land-line, and just use our cell phones for everything.


Edit: I did recently double-check that my number IS still on the do-not-call list. There I noticed the form that you fill out to report violations. They want the name of the company and the phone number they called from. Not possible.

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