HH01499A.gif (1090 bytes)I don't have a real problem with telemarketers. My main complaint is that they invariably call you at dinner time. I found, and downloaded the following FREE SOFTWARE a couple months ago and had no occasion to use it for awhile. The other day, I got the first nibble. A telemarketer interrupted supper. Imagine my glee as I put Geoff's software to work and turned the tables on these guys. When it was all said and done, I had all THEIR information and they had not even gotten to give me their spiel. Now, the law says that they can't contact me again for ten years or I can sue for damages. Geoff has a great program here. It is a short download, easy to set up and use and, if you have ever been frustrated by the telemarketers, you will be delighted at the sense of empowerment Geoff gives you with his free program. highly recommends....


Enigma: Anti-Telemarketing Software
Help File

Version 1.0

Visit the Enigma Homepage

Copyright (C) 1998 Geoffrey Kloess

Last updated: January, 1999 (Troubleshooting hints)

  1. Introduction
  2. About Enigma
  3. How do I use it?
  4. About the questions
  5. Troubleshooting
  6. Uninstalling Enigma
  7. Where can I go for further information?


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This document contains my interpretation of the law which may or may not be accurate. Furthermore, while I have done my best to ensure that this software is of the highest quality, I can not accept responsibility for any losses you may suffer through its use.

Distribution This software is freeware. You may copy and distribute the Enigma Installation program (EnATSxx.exe) as long as it is not altered.

  1. Introduction

    Telemarketers are bottom-feeders and everybody knows it. When they're not trying to con your grandmother out of her life-savings and interrupting your dinner for that 'once in a lifetime opportunity' they're busy harassing your neighbors and their families. And Lord help you if you actually buy something from these charlatans, you'll find your name on a 'Sucker List' and then the phone calls will never end.

    While you'll never be able to stop all telemarketers from disturbing you, it is possible to ensure that telemarketers who do call you will never call again. Federal regulations require that telemarketers keep and maintain a Do Not Call List. This is a list of phone numbers that telemarketers may not call again for ten years. The next time a telemarketer calls make sure to tell them to put your phone number on that list.

    Those of you who are more aggressive may wish to do more than just get your name on a list, maybe you want to take up the telemarketer's time and make them squirm a bit. Enigma is here to help you. By reading through Enigma's questions you get to take up their time, get your name on their list, and make them pay for a stamp.

    If they really get under your skin, you may be able to file a lawsuit against telemarketers who violate one of the regulations enacted under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Although lawsuits are beyond the scope of this document, Enigma will assist you in keeping track of all of your telemarketing calls and helping you ask questions that determine whether they are in compliance with federal law.

  2. About Enigma
    1. What is it?
      Enigma will help you ask telemarketers the right questions. It will also help you keep track of the answers to those questions.
    2. Why would I want to do that?
      For several reasons:
      • When telemarketers call you they use a 'script.' This software provides you with your own script to use back on them. In my experience, when a telemarketer starts getting asked the right questions, they start getting nervous. This can be very amusing.
      • If telemarketers violate certain federal regulations while speaking to you, you may be able to sue them for $500. For more information see 'Where can I go for further information?.'
      • Most importantly, if you ask to be put on a company's Do Not Call List they may not call you again for 10 years.
  3. How do I use it?

    Enigma is split into two sections: Entering New Logs and Viewing Old Logs. When the program first starts it opens the Entering New Log screen which allows you to immediately start making a telemarketer squirm. The Viewing Old Logs screen allows you to browse previous calls.

    1. Entering a new log

      When Enigma first starts you'll see the Entering New Logs screen. You may also get to this screen by clicking on Logs|Create New Log from the main menu. You will use this screen to question and log the responses of telemarketers who call you. When a telemarketer calls start the program and wait until the telemarketer finishes the first part of their pitch. Then begin asking them the questions on the left hand side of the window and recording their answers in the spaces provided. Once you have asked them all of the questions fill in the Notes box with any comments you may have and click on the 'Save Log' button. You will likely discover that after asking a few questions the telemarketer will ask if she can transfer you to her supervisor. The 'Supervisors Name' box is for this all-too-frequent occurance. Note that you shouldn't ask to be transferred to a supervisor, that would let the telemarketer off of the hook too easily.

      For your reference, the 'The Law' buttons will bring up sections of the law in the 'Federal Regulations' box that are relevant to the question the button is next to. For fun you can start quoting regulations to the telemarketer if he starts to play (or actually is) stupid. All of the quotes are taken from Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 64 subpart L (also known as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act).

    2. So I have to leave my computer on all the time?

      Of course not. In the directory where you installed Enigma is a file named Script.doc that you can print out to create your own paper logs. Log the calls on these and then transfer them to your computer for electronic storage when it's more convenient. Remember to edit the time and date fields after you save the log to reflect when you actually took the call. (Unfortunately this file is only available in Microsoft Word format, the file will not open properly in WordPad)

    3. Viewing old logs

      The Viewing Old Records screen may be accessed by selecting Logs|View Old Logs from the main menu or by the 'file cabinet' button on the button bar. This screen shows you previous phone calls that you have logged using Enigma. You may browse the records through the Logs menu or by the four arrow buttons on the button bar. The 'I received their written policy' button should be used if a telemarketer ever actually sends you a copy of their 'Do Not Call List' Policy as requested. This button will likely collect dust most of the time.

      By selecting Logs|Edit Log you may edit the current log. To save the edited log, click on the 'Done Editing Log' button. You may also permanently remove a log by selecting Logs|Delete Log.

      To search for a log by company name or phone number select Logs|Find. Enter a partial name or phone number and Enigma will find the first log that matches. You may continue a search from the current log by selecting Logs|Find again or CTL-F.

  4. About the Questions
    Every question is intended to help you take control of the conversation and find out what you need to know.
    • What is the name of the company you are calling for?
      Telemarketers will be thrilled to answer the first question. They'll think that you must be interested in their product, why else would you ask? Make sure you are getting the name of the company they are calling on behalf of, not the name of the telemarketing company they work for. It's unlikely that a telemarketer would tell you the name of their telemarketing firm on the first question, but I wanted to bring this up early as it will be a recurring theme.
    • Is this a telephone solicitation?
      Telemarketers will almost always say 'no' to this question the first time. When they do, press the 'The Law' button and look over at the Federal Regulation Excerpts box and say "Well, according to Federal Law a solicitation is a telephone call intended to 'encourage the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services,' is that what this is?" They'll start to realize that they may not be in control of this conversation. Sometimes they'll admit that, yes indeed, this is a telephone solicitation, but just as often they won't. Don't worry about it. Mark down their answer and move on.
    • Could you please tell me your full name?
      This is a fantastic question. They may have been suspicious after question number two, but now there's no doubt: You are not just going to say 'No thanks' and let them move on - they are going to be spending some quality time with you. Telemarketers seem to get very privacy-conscious all of the sudden with this question. They'll try to get away with just giving their first name, don't let them, the law says you get the whole enchilada.
    • And your phone number?
      Unfortunately telemarketers are not required to give you their home phone number. They are, however, required to give you a phone number where you may contact the business they are calling for. Remember, you're not looking for the phone number of the caller's telemarketing company, you're looking for the phone number of the company on whose behalf they are calling you.
    • And what is your company's mailing address?
      This one is usually a stumper. Again, we're looking for the address of the company on whose behalf they are calling, and few telemarketers seem to know what the company's address is. Don't be surprised if they transfer you to a supervisor here.
    • Does the company you are calling for keep a list of numbers it's been asked not to call?
      They better! It's a violation of federal law if they don't.
    • Does the company you are calling for have a written policy concerning the list?
      Again, they are required by federal law to have a written policy concerning their Do Not Call List.
    • Could you mail me a copy of that written policy?
      Telemarketers are required to provide you with a written copy of their Do Not Call List policy upon request. Of course, lying scumbags that they are, you'll never actually receive one of these, but it's always nice to ask.
  5. Trouble Shooting
    • Problem: The program does not fit on my screen.
      This is a known limitation of Enigma. The only way to fix this is to change your screen resolution or font size. Right-click on your Windows desktop somewhere and select 'Properties' from the pop-up menu. Click on the 'Settings' tab. If you wish to use large fonts than you should set your resolution to at least 1024x768. If you wish to use small fonts than you you should set your resolution to 800x600. Either way, the actual text on screen will likely be the same size.
    • Problem: I get an error message when trying to start the program.
      If the error message says that you do not have MFC42.DLL or MSVCIRT.DLL head over to the Enigma Homepage and download those files. If it says something else, it's a bug, please email me and let me know.
  6. Uninstalling Enigma
    From the task bar select Start->Settings->Control Panel, in the Control Panel double-click on Add/Remove Programs. Select 'Enigma' from the list and click on the Add/Remove button.
  7. Where can I go for further information?

    You may also wish to visit The Enigma Homepage.This guy shut down his page, apparently, but you can still get the download here

I hope you enjoy using Enigma. Please feel free to contact me with questions, comments or bug reports.

Geoff Kloess

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