Updated 6/25/2019:

What is ringless voicemail and how did it become a problem?

Have you started getting random messages in your voicemail, but didn’t remember your phone ringing? You may be targeted by a special kind of robocall known as ringless voicemail. The concept is simple – businesses or organizations deliver voicemail to your phone without calling you.
Instead of ringing your phone, telemarketers use ringless voicemail technology to leave a message on your home phone or cellphone, with seemingly no way for you to stop it. They make your phone show that a message is waiting for you. By tricking you into thinking that you missed a call, telemarketers trick you into listening to their message.
Ringless voicemail was originally created to allow groups like doctors’ offices, schools, and churches to remind you or notify you of important events. Unfortunately, ringless voicemail also became an abusive tool for scammers and telemarketers. Seniors can be especially vulnerable to telephone cons using ringless voicemail, especially seniors coping with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

What’s changed with ringless voicemail?

When we first published this blog in 2017, some groups argued that ringless voicemail was not subject to the laws that regulate how businesses may call consumers. They argued that since the phone doesn’t ring – the message was not a “call”. Telemarketers argued that they could send you ringless voicemail without your consent. Scammers had a field day.
However, in 2018, a federal judge ruled that ringless voicemail is a “call” and therefore is subject to TCPA regulations (Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991). This ruling provides a basis to punish abusers. Unfortunately, a legal ruling cannot ensure that scammers and telemarketers will play fairly and obtain your consent before leaving you ringless voicemail.

How can you combat the latest ringless voicemail tactics?

Fortunately, you can choose between several options.

Follow these steps to stop ringless voicemails from bothering you or your loved one:

  1. File a complaint with the FCC if a scammer or telemarketer sends you a ringless voicemail without your consent.
  2. Register for the national Do Not Call list.
  3. Sign up for teleCalm Caregiver landline-style phone service to immediately block all ringless voicemails from reaching your loved one with dementia. teleCalm Caregiver also stops all other telemarketers and phone scammers.
  4. Or sign up for teleCalm Essentials for yourself for basic robocall, telemarketer and scam protection.
  5. Check out this site for more tips from the FTC on how to limit robocalls and avoid scam calls.


What is teleCalm?

teleCalm is landline-style phone service that protects seniors from telephone harassment and fraud, and provides many other benefits. We strive to provide the best possible phone service for seniors, especially seniors with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. teleCalm serves seniors living at home, in assisted living, and memory care communities.

Why sign-up for teleCalm?

teleCalm phone service is the best option to combat ringless voicemail and takes effect immediately. Other options are slow or ineffective. For example, telemarketers and scammers often harass you even if you’ve signed up for the do-not-call list. You can easily find yourself playing a game of ‘whack-a-mole’ by filing complaints to the FCC for each and every ringless voicemail. Such complaints may eventually lead to prosecution for one scammer or another. But then, just like the ‘whack-a-mole’ game, another pesky scammer will pop up.
In addition to eliminating ringless voicemail and telemarketers, teleCalm solves many other telephone problems frequently seen with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. teleCalm let’s caregivers manage issues like false 911 call habits, repeat dialing and late night calls. teleCalm reduces caregiver stress by limiting calls to pre-approved callers and providing notification when a loved one dials 911.
In short – teleCalm phone service improves the quality of life for seniors, families and caregivers alike. Seniors stay safely connected to family and friends, and caregivers enjoy reduced stress. teleCalm customers experience life-changing benefits.