Who Called Me?

How often do you screen phone calls from a number you do not recognize and ask yourself, "who called me?"?

In this article, I'll give you some tips and tricks on why you receive unknown calls and how you can instantly unmask that phone number as well as share results from National Cellular Directory’s "Who Called Me" survey.

Caller ID makes it simple to recognize an incoming caller by glancing at your phone screen or an electronic voice that conveniently speaks out the incoming caller's name or phone number. With Caller ID, individuals receiving phone calls can easily choose if they wish to answer the call, resulting in phone users asking "who called me?" less and less.

However, there are times when a call comes in that has an unrecognizable number. Unknown calls can occur for a multitude of reasons.

Where did the problem of receiving unknown calls begin?

Consumers constantly hand out their phone numbers to unreliable sources, often without realizing it.

Whether via online shopping websites, information forms at offices, or salespeople in stores, our personal phone numbers pass through many hands daily. It’s no wonder we all receive calls from telemarketers or individuals we do not know frequently.

Who Called Me?

Why Am I Receiving Unknown Phone Calls?

Most of the time, if your phone rings and you don’t recognize the incoming number, it’s likely a telemarketer looking to sell you something or a scammer attempting to steal your personal information or con you into giving up personal banking numbers.

According to First Orion - a call protection company, by 2019, half of all mobile phone calls are expected to be robocalls, based on data collected and analyzed over the last year and a half. Unfortunately, this number is rising because scammers have successfully gotten phone users to answer their calls, despite not recognizing the number.

Tip: In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported receiving 63,000 complaints about robocalls every single month of the year. By 2017, that number had increased dramatically to 375,000 complaints each month.

When these unknown numbers come in, phone users wonder, “Who called me" and "how did you acquire my personal number?".

Who Called Me and why am I recieving calls

How Do Callers Get My Phone Number?

The unknown phone call that most phone users find the most frustrating is from telemarketers. More often than not, they are trying to give information or sell a product that consumers have little to no interest in, resulting in a frustrated individual who would rather have spent their time on the phone doing almost anything else.

So how do these telemarketers get our phone numbers? There are several simple ways. Most commonly, we are unaware of how often we overshare our phone numbers.

Here are the most popular ways that our phone numbers get put into the wrong people’s hands:
Sign-up sheets
Information forms
Online shopping
Online billing sites
Social media networking
Public Record

In general, the high rise in the use of technology puts both landline and mobile phone users at great risk of solicitors getting ahold of our personal information. To be more specific, when using the internet from our mobile devices, we often click the small box to accept the Terms of Use without reading the conditions.

Unfortunately, when we do this, we willingly give our information to be harvested and sold to whoever may be interested in having it. This information can include cell phone numbers.

History Lesson: Where did telemarketing even begin?

The start of selling goods and services through telephone calls was a brilliant idea discovered by homemakers who wanted to sell their baked goods, so they began making phone calls from their homes to potential buyers. By the mid-’60s, professional businesses had picked up on this marketing technique, and it has since become the most cost-effective way to make sales in the business world today.

Because of the popularity and success of telemarketing, almost all phone numbers, home and cellular will continue to receive unwanted phone calls from unknown numbers for the time being.

However, it’s not always telemarketers looking to sell their products when your phone rings and displays an unknown incoming number on the screen. Quite commonly, these unknown numbers are often medical offices, old friends that you may no longer have contact information for, an ex-significant other, or work-related phone calls. These unknown callers could also be accidental callers who innocently dial incorrectly or search for the person who had your phone number before it became your own.

Who Called Me and how did you get me info

How Do I Know Who Called Me?

Fake and unknown calls are frustrating and annoying to constantly receive, and they can quickly cause permanent damage to relationships.

By using this free reverse cell phone lookup guide, determining who it might be that keeps making your phone ring is simple.

By typing in the phone number, you can quickly receive a plethora of information about your unknown callers, like the owner’s name, address, and the phone type and carrier they’ve dialed you from. Unlike searching through Google or social media, which has a low accuracy rate, the National Cellular Directory’s free service is correct more than 80% of the time.

With this service, you won’t find yourself repeatedly wondering and asking, “whose phone number is calling me?”.

Who Called Me Tips

I Know Who Called Me, Now What Should I Do?

Once you’ve determined your caller, you can easily stop them from becoming repeat offenders by following a few simple steps.

By adding either your landline or mobile phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry, you can significantly reduce, if not eliminate, phone calls from telemarketers.

This site allows users to report unwanted calls, register numerous phone numbers, and file a report should unwanted telemarketing calls continue to be received after their phone numbers are registered.

Today, mobile devices make it even simpler to block unwanted callers right from your phone. and you won’t have to keep asking, “who called me?” once you’ve taken advantage of call blocking and other features available to you.

For iPhone users, you can follow these simple steps to block unknown callers with just a click of a few buttons, while android users can do the same here.

You can also download various phone applications to help with this problem or pay your phone carrier an extra monthly fee to protect you from unsolicited or fake calls.

Each carrier will vary, so contact yours for further information on using this service.

Why Should I Not Answer An Unknown Number?

For starters, answering an unknown call could potentially be very dangerous.

Frequently, an unknown caller is a scammer looking to record your voice, learn personal information by asking just the right questions in a short amount of time, or gain remote access to our phones simply by answering the phone call.

Sometimes, users who do not recognize an incoming caller will answer their phone when an unknown number appears across the screen.

However, just because the call was answered, there may not be anyone on the other end. If you choose to answer an unknown phone number but hear radio silence once you’ve picked up, you might find yourself fishing to find out who called me because, as far as you can tell, no one is there.

Experts believe these types of silent phone calls are a part of a large fraud scheme that ultimately leads to your identity being stolen and your bank accounts being completely drained. While you may think there is no one on the other end of the line, a computer silently gathers an abundance of information about you right through your phone simply from you answering and saying “hello.”

Safety Tip: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) strongly urges phone users to let unknown numbers go unanswered. They provide a handful of tips on dealing with numbers you may not recognize.

In addition to registering your numbers on the Do Not Call registry and utilizing the robocall blocking service provided through your phone carrier, the FCC encourages those who believe scammers are contacting them to file a report. The FCC recommends filing a report to the local police, the Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint Assistant, or the FCC’s Consumer Help Center.

Who Called Me Safety

How can you prevent this?

Don’t answer unknown numbers that are making your phone ring.

It is estimated that one in every 2,200 calls is a fraud attempt, so to avoid being a part of that statistic, screen phone calls that come from numbers you do not know and report them to the various places mentioned above.

Even if the unknown phone number may have an area code that you might recognize, it is the safest choice to send it to voicemail.

Tell yourself, “If the person who called me needs me badly enough, they’ll find another way to contact me.”, and save yourself the headache of being caught in the middle of a scam.

In a popular effort known as “neighborhood spoofing,” scammers use numbers with local area codes to increase their chances of having you answer their phone call.

Consider solutions like white pages reverse phone lookup to verify all unknown calls.

Even if you recognize the area code, send it to voicemail. If you’re not positive that you know who is calling, send it to voicemail.

It is better to be safe than to be sorry!

Who Called me? Survey Results

National Cellular Directory’s research asked over 1,000 participants about their thoughts on unknown phone callers and how they handle unknown phone calls.

This research powered by Typeform provided several interesting results.

  • The survey found that 70% of the participants state answered that they receive multiple calls weekly from unknown phone numbers.
  • When receiving an unknown call, a majority (53% of respondents) stated that they do not answer the calls. Additionally, 27% of the respondents stated that it depends and 20% responded that they do answer the call.
  • When asked “Why don't you answer unknown phone numbers?” respondents were able to select more than one answer.
    • The most popular answer selected was “Popular scammer” with 41% of respondents choosing that option.
    • Possible telemarketer was selected by 28% of respondents.
    • Safety concern was selected by 27% of respondents.
    • Waste of time was slested by 21% of respondents.
    • Other was selected by 18% of respondents.
    • I’m busy was selected by 17% of respondents.
  • When asked “Have you ever tried to lookup the phone number using a reverse phone lookup website?”, 58% of respondents answered “Yes” while 42% answered “No”.

Further Understanding the Survey Results

New research from National Cellular Directory has helped raise awareness of unknown phone calls.

National Cellular Directory’s research has found that almost half of all survey participants still answer calls from unknown phone numbers despite there being a risk. Additionally, the survey also found that a majority of people receive multiple weekly phone calls from unknown phone callers.

Answering a phone call from an unknown phone number is always a risk. People should always be wary about picking up the phone unless they know who is calling on the other end.

National Cellular Directory recommends performing a reverse phone lookup search to lookup an unknown phone number instead of answering the phone call. Performing a reverse phone lookup can help those who want to know who is calling them find out without having to pick up the phone.

Full Survey Results:

Who Called Me Survey Results 1
Who Called Me Survey Results 2
Who Called Me Survey Results 3
Who Called Me Survey Results 4