New Fresh Hell In Voicemail Spam

In the last couple of weeks I have started to get voice mails from spam callers where the phone never rings and the call doesn’t show up in the Recents list. In other words, spammers have figured out how to spam me without me knowing I’ve been spammed until I listen to the message. I have Robokiller installed, and it doesn’t detect these calls either. Has anyone else experienced this?

Yes. I’ve also gotten a few of these voice mails that don’t show as recent calls on my iPhone 8, Not a lot but this has occurred over the past several months. I use Hiya as my spam detector.

I’ve gotten a few over the past year. I have Hiya (unpaid) and Verizon.

Not frequently enough to bother me (yet)


It is actually possible to directly call the voice mail number directly – bypassing actually calling the phone. You can usually call your voicemail system and send voice mail messages to other people who use the same service. All four major carriers allow this.

You can also use the app Slydial to directly leave a voicemail to anyone with a cellphone without having to know which carrier they use.

I don’t want any spam, but if the choice is between a voicemail showing up unnoticed and a spam call hijacking my phone screen while I’m using the phone to do something else, I say bring on the stupid voicemails.

Yes, I’ve had this experience on both home and cell. I’ve also started to notice another weird thing:

My home phone rings, and the call is dropped because I’m using Nomorobo (a decent service, BTW) Then the phone rings again and it has a specific number and caller ID, that Nomorobo doesn’t stop. That specific number and ID (608-371-6666 Janesville, WI) is now starting to show up instead of legitimate callers; a friend calls and I see the spoof number. Or I pick up an unknown number, just in case it’s legit, and then hang up. Then a call comes in from that same spoof number.

I am not an expert on telecom systems, but I know a few things, and I find it very hard to believe that phone companies cannot do anything about this crap. Yes, things are different since telecom moved to packet-switched networks rather than circuit-switched (the old analog system), but it ALL passes through the servers of the phone companies and ISPs. I would gladly suffer a slight delay on connecting calls so that their systems could confirm legitimacy.

It would be interesting to know whether someone that still has a legacy analog phone line has the same problems with spam calls.

This is how Nomorobo works. That 608 number is Nomorobo’s number; what happens is that Nomorobo did not recognize the number that called as legitimate, answered the call for you and issued a challenge, and the person calling was able to answer the challenge - so Nomorobo rings the call through from their own number.


Thanks, Doug, it didn’t even occur to me to look on their website! However, it only partially
explains what I’ve experienced. For one thing, the caller ID never says NOMO, it always says
Janesville, WI. And when that second call comes in, it doesn’t get blocked at all, it just keep
ringing unti VM picks up. And third, I have sent feedback on this “mystery number” several times
and nobody ever told me it’s part of their service. The whole stupid system is breaking down.

Overall, Nomorobo has worked about 1/2 the time–better on my home phone than the cell for some
reason. The situation with my cell got so bad once that I turned off the ringer!

– Eric

I’m not sure why Nomorobo doesn’t put their name on the Caller ID, but, again, this is how it is supposed to work. The second call is not blocked because it is the same call as the first - somebody (say, a friend of yours) calls you, Nomorobo picks up the call on your behalf and presents the “CAPTCHA” (the person hears numbers and has to enter them into the handset.) If they do enter the numbers properly, Nomorobo determines that it is not a robocall, and Nomorobo rings you back without answering it again, this time from their number.

I have programmed that number into my phone’s contact list as “Nomorobo” so I know that it is a legit call.

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Right, of course. And you’d hope at that point that Nomorobo would note that number as legit
(although I’ve had a couple legit calls get challenged more than once). But if the scammers are
people, or some kind of AI, that can enter the numbers, the concept fails.

– Eric

I would gladly suffer a 1c or even a 10c charge on every single phone call I made, in order to kill the entire phone advertising market. If phone companies/carriers were willing to charge 1c for every single call made by anyone, spammers would not be able to afford sending out millions of calls per day. For legitimate “broadcast” calls - say an emergency phone tree - the cost would be justified. What are the barriers to putting a system like that in place? Right now we are in a situation where telephony is slowly but surely becoming useless - I’ll miss important legitimate calls, simply because I’ve started ignoring my phone(s).