A robocall is a call originated by a computerized auto-dialer that plays a pre-recorded message to the called party if/when they answer. Some such calls finish with a "press 1 to speak to...." option to be connected to a real person. Some robocalls may also include calls immediately connected to a real person but using auto-dialers to select the called number and initiate the call, only connecting to one of a bank of waiting “agents” if/when the call is answered.
The Mid-Rivers Robocall Blocking Program is designed to block the majority of all these types of unwanted calls. All Mid-Rivers landline telephone customers receive our Robocall Blocking feature by default, free of charge. Customers who do NOT wish to have this service on their line may opt out at any time by calling 1-800-452-2288, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or chatting with us. Learn more about how robocall blocking works below.
The main types of unwanted calls are:
This varies depending on the type of unwanted calls. Many illegal / fraudulent calls originate from overseas. These calls first pass through “interconnect” providers, who are the long distance carriers in between the calling party and the called party’s local phone service provider. These interconnect providers have little motivation to prevent these calls, since they get paid by call minutes for them, and they don’t have to deal directly with the end-users receiving the unwanted calls.
The first barrier to unwanted callers is getting the called party to pick up in the first place. Many end users have caller ID display these days, and many are very wary about answering calls with caller ID withheld, or from numbers they don't recognize, particularly numbers in different area codes or international numbers. So unwanted callers usually aim to present a caller ID in the same area code and prefix (406-XXX) as the called party. This has recently become known as “neighborhooding,” or trying to pass through fake caller ID number displays that look like they are coming from someone in your area.
These unwanted callers may use the same caller ID for months or years; may use it for a while and then take a break, then start using it again; may use it only for a very short period of time (hours or days) and then never use it again; or may use random caller ID information, each only for a few calls, or even a different caller ID for every call.
Some unwanted callers may obtain caller ID information through legitimate means, such as purchasing numbers from other providers. However, many unwanted callers use a fraudulent practice known as caller ID spoofing where the caller is faking someone else's caller ID or an unassigned caller ID. While many local telephone providers such as Mid-Rivers take steps to try and limit caller ID spoofing originating from our network, most interconnect providers in between do not, and there are many methods these callers use for getting their false information into the system that are nearly impossible to police.
Most will not. Most end users would recognize if a voicemail is from an unwanted caller and would never return the call. Moreover, many unwanted calls, particularly fraudulent ones, are aiming to use social engineering on the end-user and need to speak to a real person.
When Robocall Blocking is enabled on your line, unwanted callers will hear a message stating, “We’re sorry. The party you have dialed is not accepting calls at this time.” This is the feature that is enabled for all Mid-Rivers landline customers by default. You may contact us at any time to opt out of the feature.
Using third party "reputation data" on calling party numbers, our equipment makes the determination of whether to block a call or not. The third parties we use are industry-leading and have been in operation for many years. Their databases are constantly updating in real time based on several information streams (including publicly available lists, real-time calling patterns, and user reports of unwanted calling party numbers), and can react within minutes of a new unwanted calling party number starting to be used. Customers can expect a significant proportion of unwanted calls to be blocked.
Many genuine callers such as hospitals, schools, and utilities now use mass notification systems to send messages that you want to receive. The technology and reputation data providers we use distinguish these genuine callers from unwanted robocallers by using a variety of techniques and sources of information.
If a customer has both voicemail and Robocall Blocking Service, then if the Blocking Service rejects a call, the caller can leave a voicemail if they are still on the line after the rejection announcement has completed.
If you believe a number has been mishandled by the service, please contact Mid-Rivers at 1-800-452-2288, email@example.com, or chat with us on our website at www.midrivers.com, and provide us with the number to be added or removed from the database.
If robocallers engage in caller ID spoofing, then they usually consistently spoof a given caller ID (at least for a time) before moving on to a new caller ID. Our Robocall Blocking Service can block such calls, as it would for calls from any other calling party number that demonstrates a high calling pattern associated with robocalling techniques.
Some robocallers engaging in caller ID spoofing may make calls each with randomly-chosen spoofed called IDs. In that case it is harder for any call blocking service to identify them as robocalls. However, the equipment vendor we use for this service is actively engaged with their suppliers and industry discussions seeking to minimize the impact of such caller ID spoofing.
callGUARD is a telemarketer call screening service that prevents automated robocallers who will not record a name when prompted. It does not prevent unscrupulous telemarketers who press the digit suggesting they are not telemarketers when in fact they are, whereas Robocall Blocking Service would stop them if they were frequently calling from the same number. We now recommend the new Robocall Blocker service in place of callGUARD. A subscriber cannot have callGUARD and Robocall Blocking service on the same line.
Yes! The service is effective on individual lines, business group lines, multi-line hunt groups, PBX and Hosted PBX. For business group lines, the service must be enabled separately on each business group line that wishes to use it. On a PBX or HBPX, the service is applied to the PBX listed directory number and all the DIDs.
The very small amount of additional latency in the call setup process should not be noticeable to callers.