Automatically screen phone calls

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  #1  
Old 04-27-19, 05:53 PM
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Automatically screen phone calls

I'm getting ready to move into my new home and would like to screen phone calls automatically. The goal is for "the system" to read the caller ID and compare it to a database and take the appropriate action based on the database. For example, if one of my kids calls, the system would notify me at any time of day. If a friend calls, and the alarm system is set to "night", it would ask them to leave a message. If a valid number calls, but it is not in the database, it would ask them to leave a message. If the caller ID is blocked, it would tell them we don't accept anonymous calls and hang up. If a valid number calls, and I have flagged it in the database as someone I don't want calling it would play a message. Basically, I don't want the phone ringing unless it is someone I want to talk to at that time of the day. I will most likely have a VOIP line and a landline that I want to screen.
I'm planning to have an ELK M1 alarm panel and HomeSeer automation. When I was researching this several years ago some folks were using a device called WayToCall, to do this. I was wondering if anybody has an idea of how best to achieve this.
 
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Old 04-28-19, 04:14 AM
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No need to build it, they already exist. Google for it and you'll find several options. This one is made by Sentry. I would look closely at all the call screeners to make sure they have the features you want.
 
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Old 04-29-19, 03:16 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I just took a look at several of them and none seem to have the flexibility I'm looking for. I would like to provide different messages to different callers depending on whether or not they are on my "friends" list, "family" list, an unknown number, or a blocked caller ID. I don't see anything of that nature being offered.
 
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Old 04-29-19, 04:53 AM
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Sounds like you need a computer.
 
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Old 04-29-19, 08:46 AM
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for "the system" to read the caller ID
One problem is that robot callers can easily spoof the incoming ID and make it anything they want.

Personally, I would never ever have a land line, I can not believe how many calls my inlaws and my mom receive at least with cell phone it's a tiny fraction!

Somehow the FCC has to get ahold of this, it's driving everybody nuts!
 
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Old 05-01-19, 06:12 PM
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I use a program (along with a caller ID capable PCI-E,PCI * or USB modem) CallClerk The program is not free but it has a lot of customization options and I am sure you can get it to do what you are looking for

*= If your computer still has a PCI slot as PCI is pretty much EOL and was replaced by PCI-Express
 
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Old 05-01-19, 10:37 PM
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Interesting program. Works with a USB modem. Definitely going to check it out.
 
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Old 05-02-19, 03:48 AM
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Very interesting and at a reasonable cost. I didn't read any details , but does this mean the computer must stay on at all times 24/7? Or can it reside in your modems memory or USB slot?
 
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Old 05-02-19, 03:26 PM
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Lightbulb

@Norm201
The computer must remain on all of the time if you want the program to work correctly.
 
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Old 05-03-19, 06:15 PM
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I think the FCC is going the opposite way, but on a recent episode of Reply All, hey reported that the telcos in the US are making a software change over the next year that should restrict the call masking issue.
 
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Old 05-07-19, 07:35 AM
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Isn't it a pain what we have to do just to keep pests from bothering us? Thanks for all the ideas. I'll check into these when I have a little more time. Super busy right now preparing for a three week business trip, while at the same time trying to move half way around the planet.
 
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Old 05-07-19, 10:10 AM
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since I ditched the local number and went to a Google Voice VOIP number, I have not had any robocalls. I still get them tho on my cell, and they are local spoofed numbers, so they really can't be screened.
 
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Old 05-12-19, 11:19 AM
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If you can find it, there is freeware PC software called PhoneTrayFree that monitors your phone line through a USB modem and does most of what you're asking.

The only problem is PhoneTrayFree is no longer supported, because it was replaced with a paid version. Fortunately, the last free version is pretty much bullet proof and doesn't need support.
 
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Old 05-15-19, 02:56 AM
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@Mad ScientistDo you know what was the last version of PhoneTrayFree?

I am an Epackrat (computer files take up no physical space, so I might as well keep old programs as you never know when it could be useful) anyway I have version 1.39 from August 16th 2012
 
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