Fighting spam, one iPhone at a time

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Sandra Porter
The auditorium could have been empty as I focused on the slide overhead. Questions formed out the mist, and my heart pounded as I took a deep breath and began to my raise my hand.

"Da da da dah!  Da da da dah, da da da da da da da dah!!" 

Oh, NO!  The theme song from Indiana Jones!  Coming from my backpack!  Thousands of eyes turned disapprovingly to stare at my red face.  Scrambling frantically over people to reach the aisle, I ran out the back of the room and answered the phone.

"Hi, my name is Tim, and I'm looking for a financial advisor in your area...."

What!!  Who is this! The only people who call me are my children!  Who is this Tim?  Why is he calling me with tape recorded messages?  I'm not a financial advisor!  I'm not a puppet!
In the past few months, I've come to loath "Tim" and his search for financial advice.  So, I decided to fight back.  I searched the iPhone app store and the Apple web site in vain, hoping to find a way to block calls.  

I searched the internet with Tim's phone number, 925-935-6362, and found I wasn't the only one suffering the plague of Tim.  No luck.  

Then, I found it.  A wonderful, kind thoughtful person in some forum that I've forgotten had the answer.  And, since it worked for me, I'm sharing it with you.

1.  Make a silent ring tone

I did this with Garage Band, but I'm sure there are other ways.  Basically, I recorded an empty track and used Garage Band to save it as a ring tone.

2.  Put the ringtone on your phone.

3.  Make a contact called "Spam."  

4.  Assign the silent ring tone to Spam.

Figure 1.  My iPhone 

I was so happy the other day when I sat in a meeting and realized that Spam was calling me, and my phone wasn't ringing.  

Ha ha Tim!  This time, I won.

In fact, now I've starting mimicking my kids and assigning special ring tones for all the people that call.  This is fun!  And, of course I have my silent ring tone for those really special people.

Never again Tim, never again.

***Added 2/5/2009:  I don't know if this will work or not, but here is the silent ringtone that I made.  I don't guarantee that it will work, but you can give it a try.


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