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Starting to get fed up with telephone pests ringing up at all hours, I had a hack on my Asterisk installation the other day.

Despite being registered with the Telephone Preferences Service, we're getting more and more tele-pests ringing up.  It's not that they're hard to spot or get rid of, but more that they really break my concentration and waste my time, grrr.

Adding the following to /etc/asterisk/extensions.conf has helped, at least by giving me a way to vent some frustration each time:

exten => 44myphonenumber,1,GotoIf(${DB_EXISTS(blacklist/${CALLERID(number)})}?blacklisted,s,1)

exten => s,1,Answer
exten => s,2,Wait(1)
exten => s,3,Zapateller
exten => s,4,Zapateller
exten => s,5,Playback(tt-allbusy)
exten => s,6,Hangup

The Zapateller bit plays some tone to supposedly foil the automated dialers into thinking the number is unobtainable.

I use Alison Keenan's fantastic speaking voice for tt-allbusy to assert that "all representatives of the household are currently assisting other telemarketers, please hold, and your call will be answered in the order it was received," before hanging up.

Now after getting off the phone to the latest pest, I can add their number to Asterisk's blacklist, e.g.:

*CLI> database put blacklist 01612494490 1

and 01613374400, and 01772821414, and...

Now to figure out what to do with callers who don't offer up a caller-ID.  Anyone invented telephone captcha's yet?

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