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Problem blocking calls where Caller-Id name starts with a digit

Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:18 pm
by Robek
Has anybody else run into an issue where one or more blocking rules end up blocking more calls than expected? Is there a way to test whether a given rule would block a specific name or number? The Call Logs don't include blocked calls, (nor do they indicate which rules blocked which calls), so that makes it a lot harder to troubleshoot any problems with blocking rules.

For the past year or so, I had received a small number of calls where the Caller-Id name matches the Caller-Id number. I couldn't set up a rule to specifically block those calls. Instead, about 4 months ago, I set up 9 rules to block calls where the name starts with one of the digits 0-7, or 9. (I omitted the rule for "8", to leave names like "800 service" unblocked.)

It took me several weeks after that to notice that I was only receiving calls from my Contact List. I did not get any other calls during that time, including any calls that the new rules shouldn't be blocking, (where the name starts with a non-digit character). I double-checked the obvious, that the new rules were "block-by-name", and not "block-by-number", and "Start With" a single digit. Did I miss anything? Is there anything else I should check for? I then deleted the new rules, and almost immediately started getting (non-matching) calls outside my Contact List again.

I got a couple more calls in the last few weeks where the name matches the the number, so I want to try to reintroducing the new rules to block those calls. I also want to verify that they only block calls that match the rule. However, the number of non-matching calls I got in the last two months has also dropped substantially, (from about 1-2 per day, to a few per month), for unknown reasons, which would only make it harder to troubleshoot any new rules.

Is there a better way to set up blocking rules for these calls, or to debug the rules?


Re: Problem blocking calls where Caller-Id name starts with a digit

Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:08 pm
by Robek
Does anyone have any better suggestions for how to block calls where the name is the same as the number? And does anyone else get useful names for incoming international calls?

When the name is a string of digits, the My Ooma Call Logs should just display it as-is, instead of trying to parse it as a phone number, "(###) ###-####", (after stripping off any leading "+" or "1"). And the "Export to file" function should quote the names, so that spreadsheets don't also try to parse them as a phone numbers.

I had not restored my old blocking rules, where the name starts with a digit, but now I'm starting to get more of these calls again. I was curious if the CNAM lookups were actually returning a number, or just failing, or if it was something else, so I tried plugging the numbers into a free online lookup tool. I got mixed results: some numbers returned "not found (yet)", while others returned "invalid or doesn't exist".

For the few international calls I get, the name is also the same as the number. The domestic numbers were unknown and possibly spam, but the international numbers were valid. I could whitelist them, (providing my own names), but again, I was curious what the CNAM lookup should have returned; the free online lookup tool I used doesn't accept international numbers.