Stop all nuisance calls simply and easily with BT's new free Call Protect service

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  • Doc_NDoc_N Forumite
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    Ian011 wrote: »
    You haven't missed much. The BT Call Protect system seems to be inherently ineffective as the blocking is based on CLI - which can be faked.

    On the other hand, the Sky Shield (Sky) and Talk Safe (TalkTalk) systems (also built into the phone network) appear to be based on the highly effective trueCall system which is also available as a plug-in box or built-in to the BT 8500 and BT 8600 "Call Guardian" handsets.

    I use the BT 8500 system. It's very good. But even it can't cope with CLI spoofing, because they change the numbers spoofed very regularly.

    You can block off an entire code if you choose to, but that carries its own downside of course.

    It's fun sometimes, if you have the time, to play little games with the callers, but you do have to bear in mind that they have your name, address and phone number, so best not to make it too extreme. We did have one yesterday who we pretended to know socially. The wife and I asked her how she was getting on, was she well, how her parents were, and then how her brothers and sisters were. She put the phone down, saying we were asking her too many questions. :)
  • edited 7 March 2018 at 10:20PM
    Ian011Ian011 Forumite
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    edited 7 March 2018 at 10:20PM
    Doc_N wrote: »
    I use the BT 8500 system. It's very good. But even it can't cope with CLI spoofing, because they change the numbers spoofed very regularly.
    The core functionality of the trueCall system requires all unknown callers to speak and identify themselves, or otherwise state the purpose of the call, and push a button on their handset, all this before your telephone will starting ringing.

    Are you saying that nuisance callers are responding to the challenge and you are then accepting these calls, rather than pushing the 'reject call' button and getting rid of the caller without having to speak to them? Or, have you not enabled this functionality?
    Doc_N wrote: »
    You can block off an entire code if you choose to, but that carries its own downside of course.
    There should be almost no need to do this.

    Doc_N wrote: »
    It's fun sometimes, if you have the time, to play little games with the callers, but you do have to bear in mind that they have your name, address and phone number, so best not to make it too extreme.
    Marketing and other nuisance callers are usually dialling blocks of phone numbers, one number at a time in order, in the hope of finding someone who answers. They usually know nothing about the person they are calling.
    Doc_N wrote: »
    We did have one yesterday who we pretended to know . The wife and I asked her how she was getting on, was she well, how her parents were, and then how her brothers and sisters were. She put the phone down, saying we were asking her too many questions. :)
    I am not sure how these calls are even getting through to you. If you have a trueCall box, or a handset or phone network that incorporates that technology, your phone shouldn't have even rung.
  • Doc_NDoc_N Forumite
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    Ian011 wrote: »
    The core functionality of the trueCall system requires all unknown callers to speak and identify themselves, or otherwise state the purpose of the call, and push a button on their handset, all this before your telephone will starting ringing.


    Are you saying that nuisance callers are responding to the challenge and you are then accepting these calls, rather than pushing the 'reject call' button and getting rid of the caller without having to speak to them? Or, have you not enabled this functionality?

    Not enabled - I see it as too offputting for the many genuine calls that we get from different numbers. The regular ones could be saved to avoid that, but not the withhelds etc.. It's an option I could use, of course, but the number of 'problem' calls is low.


    Marketing and other nuisance callers are usually dialling blocks of phone numbers, one number at a time in order, in the hope of finding someone who answers. They usually know nothing about the person they are calling.

    The only problem calls we get are as a result of the TalkTalk data breach - virtually no others at all. We've been ex-directory for ever, withhold outward numbers and rarely give out our landline number - there are no marketing/nuisance calls apart from the TalkTalk ones, and with those calls they have all the old TalkTalk account details, including address and phone number.

    The BT 8500 is a good system - I could use more of its functions (see above) but it's a matter of weighing up the advantages and disadvantages.
  • edited 8 March 2018 at 8:03PM
    Ian011Ian011 Forumite
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    edited 8 March 2018 at 8:03PM
    To have a trueCall system and not turn on the main functionality is akin to not having the system at all. If you are worried about some of your regular wanted callers who call from anonymous or unknown numbers being put off by the system, you can issue then with a PIN code to get through without being challenged. Those who call from a known number on a regular basis can be added to an "approved numbers" list such that they also get straight through.
  • Doc_NDoc_N Forumite
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    Ian011 wrote: »
    To have a trueCall system and not turn on the main functionality is akin to not having the system at all. If you are worried about some of your regular wanted callers who call from anonymous or unknown numbers being put off by the system, you can issue then with a PIN code to get through without being challenged. Those who call from a known number on a regular basis can be added to an "approved numbers" list such that they also get straight through.

    Thanks for the advice. I take your point, to a degree, but it still provides me with some useful functions.

    It's not the regular callers that are the problem - as you say, they can easily be saved so that they get straight through. It's the irregular but important calls that I'd be concerned about missing. No question of saving the numbers or issuing a PIN - I don't know who they are until they've called, and putting a blocking mechanism in the way would lessen the chance of those calls getting through when I want them.

    What would be useful, though, and I have no doubt that it's technically achievable, would be for international calls to come through as such and thus get blocked by the software instead of being allowed through as if they really were UK calls.
  • edited 10 March 2018 at 1:53PM
    Paul_VarjakPaul_Varjak Forumite
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    edited 10 March 2018 at 1:53PM
    I no longer use the call-block feature of my trueCall unit either. With scam callers now changing phone numbers on every call, trueCall is no longer as useful as it once was.

    The call-filtering features of trueCall can also hinder genuine callers getting through so I leave those switched off too, otherwise I can find myself wasting time and calling back genuine callers at my own expense.

    So, why leave my trueCall connected and switched on? Well, it has a very useful call record feature that can help in any investigations by the authorities.

    If I do get a scam call (often noticed by a number of an invalid format) I just put on my authoritative voice - that puts off persistent scammers for a few weeks at least. If I was to let trueCall handle such calls, the scammers would call several times a day until the call was answered by a human.

    I do add scam numbers to TalkTalk's call blocker facility (14258) however.

    By adopting the above methods and registering with TPS, being ex-directory and only ever making calls with a withheld CLI, I now only get one scam call every 6 weeks or so
  • Ian011Ian011 Forumite
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    I no longer use the call-block feature of my trueCall unit either. With scam callers now changing phone numbers on every call, trueCall is no longer as useful as it once was.
    This is where the call filtering technology comes in. This is unique to the trueCall call blocking system and is why it is so effective.
    The call-filtering features of trueCall can also hinder genuine callers getting through so I leave those switched off too, otherwise I can find myself wasting time and calling back genuine callers at my own expense.
    Regular callers can be added to an "approved" list or can be given a PIN code to enter. Others simply have to speak and press a button. Is this really too onerous?

    As for calling back, do you not have an Unlimited Anytime call plan? This costs around £9 per month and ensures there are no additional charges for calls to ordinary numbers (as long as each call does not exceed 60 minutes).
  • Mister_GMister_G Forumite
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    I have found the Truecall features of the BT8500 invaluable.

    In the two years we have had it only one unwanted call has got through and that was because the caller lied.

    It is a very flexible system and you can enable/disable the features that you want/don't want.

    I take the view that if it is important then the caller will persevere with the questioning. Obviously I do not know if I have missed an important call because they didn't, but there other ways of contacting me by either mobile or email.

    All in all, an excellent piece of kit that suits my personal needs.
  • ConnieConnie Forumite
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    Have now invested in BT 8600 handsets.
    Wonderful!

    Have set it so that all callers, except those on my "allowed" list, have to announce their identity.
    Result - since I got it, the phone has only rung when an "allowed" caller has phoned.
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