BobRTC and Numbers, Let's Talk

The biggest complaint about BobRTC by far is about the numbers. We get it. We're also very aware that loads of scammers are trying to get their filthy hands into the site, and combine them with some individuals who aren't really scambaiters but spend more of their time disrupting other scambaiters---it's not an easy problem to tackle.

Let's address some of these points:

The most common complaint is wishing to dismiss numbers that are not working. I've seen complaints like this come in at 2AM in the New York Time zone, for a USA or Canadian phone number, including 6AM as well. Scammers know that their ploys don't work very well at oddball hours, and they do have to spend money to do robocalling campaigns. So it's not surprising that the volume of working numbers is going to dwindle GREATLY after 7PM. There is no realistic way of auto-sensing when a number is truly down forever or the scammer just went to bed.

If you take PTS as an example, they keep testing the waters and turning their numbers back on. Since we moved their numbers to highest-priority--they don't stay up very long before they shut them back off. If we delete PTS's numbers because they're not answering---are you going to have to enter them back in when they come back on? Even with user-side ignore... a lot of phone numbers that are down at night but up during the day you would be choosing to ignore.

We do have one idea to get around this but it doesn't seem ideal either, which is to have an indicator that a scammer is answering and then hope scambaiters flag it as answering as they're dialing. I would reckon that most people will ignore the feature.

To that end, we do have an idea on the drawing board which is to present different views based on what time it is in New York so that non USA/CAN users can be more familiar with what time it is and what the projected volumes of scams are at that time. We do have EU and AUS phone numbers available to call but they go down pretty fast, just as fast as USA/CAN numbers.

So the idea for off-peak scambaiting is to push certain classes of numbers to the very top---numbers that you should already know by heart. For instance CheapFlightsFares should always be a place you turn to when there's nothing else available to call.

Another big sore point is the quality of submitted numbers. We have been battling with several users since launch over their submissions. We now have yet another user that claims to be a scambaiter who is now sending us threats---all because none of the people who curate the phonebook found a single number he submitted to be credible or worthy of calling.

You shouldn't take it so personally when a number you submitted is deleted. Sometimes numbers are removed by accident and we've had a couple of those, but nearly all the ones that we've deleted tested bad. As in: it did not go to a scammer.

The decision to set a 580XP limit before phonebook entries are available to be submitted by users proved to be a sound decision. The first two weeks after launch we had to stop working and do nothing but calling and deleting numbers. One user finally discovered that every time he entered in a phone number of a McDonald's franchise that would hit a tripwire in the code and all his XP and call tokens would erase and his account would was automatically banned. We've since added over 30+ more tripwires like this and we are adding more.

Finally there are the "edge case" scams. These are scams that the community for the longest time has mostly avoided, namely Craigslist scams and certain inter-person scams such as that. You should already know when buying/selling/responding on Craigslist that you should have your "stranger danger" hat on when going on that site. People who can't seem to realize this---we can't help them. And wiping out someone's T-Mobile phone is not really going to stop them from posting more bullshit listings on Craigslist, is it? That's not what we're here for and BobRTC is not either.

That's also why we have additional bot filtering examining the number you submitted for clues that it's not going to a scam call center.

The BobRTC motto should be taken seriously; it's a platform for fighting *telephone fraud*. Namely scams that require a telephone as part of conducting the scam. Things that are not scams or things that the community wouldn't care to work are not going to be allowed on BobRTC. Given that entries are examined through automation and then through hand-testing, we're going to insist that those requirements be enforced.

No amount of screaming, no amount of bellyaching and no amount of vacuous threats are going to lower the bar of what we will accept or reduce what we reject.

Persist and you will be shadowbanned. Raise it up a notch and you will be formally banned and when your alts are discovered they will be banned in turn.

Instead of playing that game---go beg someone for their disused FireRTC account or go back to TextNow if the rules of BobRTC are too strict for you, or crack open some manuals, learn how to code and go build your own dialer platform. BobRTC is meant to provide a service that's beneficial and effective; it's not a personal play toy, and neither is it owned by any particular scambaiter or scambaiting content creator with a fan club that's constantly at war with other scambaiters.

We ain't got time for that shit.

Thank you for making this post. Thank you and the people that work on Bob to have it everyday. Well said.

First of all, this program is great. Well done to the developers. These last couple of days I experience the “connecting:” button flashing all the time and nothing happens. I experience this even with a brandnew number. I refreshed the page several times but that did not solve the issue.

any idea what this could be?


@jerry#111093 Hi there

We have replaced some security keys in response to the connecting complaints hoping that this clears it up and also did a full reset of the entire system hoping that it's back in balance. I have seen the problem myself from time to time on Wifi networks but not much on hardline Internet.

We are going to start moving around traffic in the coming weeks and hopefully that should clear it up

@kenzo#110991 Excellent post. We did notice that adding a number to the BobRTC directory with a link on scammer info does not guarantee that Bob will connect. Latest example is 516-558-5473 which looks to be fine but does not connect to Bob. Some really easy scammers here. Happy hunting!

@MQ9#111216 This issue was fixed this morning in a patch

On a more positive note:

We have added a new NumberLobby IRC channel. This channel is available to you by default when you open up a number to dial on BobRTC. Look at the bottom to see the additional channel. This is more of a server lobby where you can communicate to all BobRTC users who happen to be viewing it.

If you're on a number that is working it helps to let everyone know that it's working in the NumberLobby

@kenzo#111220 Thanks. Noticed it connects perfectly. Slamming the bastards as we speak!

@MQ9#111231 Now using BobRapid RAPEDial to hammer GG on the new GG number

What about having the site detect when a call is connected for X amount of time (like, long enough that it’s likely been answered) and then marking those as “recently active” and ranking them up? Or making note that a number has a poor ratio of call uptime to number of attempts and ranking it down? Likewise, having a sort function that lets you sort by “hasn’t been called recently” or “currently active” would be a good way to let good eggs do a little janitorial work and call some numbers that are underattended.

Just a thought, probably retarded.

@MQ9#111216 what causes Bob not to connect. Are all numbers not accessible with a dialer?

@FattyMatty#111336 The reason why the “BobRTC will connect your call” is to let you know that you’ve properly hooked up to the equipment. If you get a hangup/disconnect right after that announcement then the number is likely to be down.

If you don't hear the "BobRTC will connect your call" at all then there's usually a problem on your side, nearly always (but not always) it is that microphone permissions on your browser were not granted, in which case you can sort that out on the Preferences screen.

We did have one bug, now fixed, where we had problems with numbers that did not have a link. That's been patched.

@jerry#111093 try asking on the discord the have the devs there

Is anyone having an issue with toll numbers connecting and then saying you don’t have enough credits. I refresh and it dials. I have over 6000 credits. Is it the scammers phone saying that?

@jerry#111093 I’m having the same problem… I’ll follow the post

Can someone please help with what to say when I call the scammers? I kjeep saying that I was just disconnected but it doesnt work all the time

I would flag the number as answering or not if the feature was there!

@Angeld40#111403 That is from the scammer side. We used the Bob “Rapid Rapedial” to screw Grasshopper and others out of 8,079.36C. Then we start the rough stuff with their mothers.

Thank you for all you do. You are doing a great service to the citizens of the various countries that are being scammed. Know that your work is appreciated.

I do have one program request. Instead of having only the option to dial a number from the phone book, it would be very beneficial to go to the info page for the number before dialing. Sometimes there is useful information there that should be read and considered before dialing. I find myself clicking on the call button and immediately hanging up to see if there is more important info before making the call.

Thank again!

@Angeld40#111403 I heard the “have no credits” thing today a couple of times… but like you I also had plenty of credits. Didn’t stop me from refreshing the link and sending out another call to the scammers tho! Lol! Thank you for making Bobrtc!