Who Called Me?

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How often do you find yourself screening phone calls from a number that you do not recognize and asking yourself, “who called me?”?

In this article, I'll give you some tips and tricks on why you are receiving unknown calls and how you can unmask that phone number instantly.

Caller ID makes it simple to recognize an incoming caller by a quick glance at your phone screen or with an electronic voice that conveniently speaks out the name or the phone number of the incoming caller.

With this, individuals receiving phone calls are easily able to choose if they wish to answer the call, resulting in phone users asking “who called me?” less and less.

Where did the problem of receiving unknown calls begin?

Well, consumers are constantly handing out their phone number to unreliable sources without even realizing it.

Whether it be via online shopping websites, information forms at offices, or to salespeople in stores, our personal phone numbers pass through many hands on a daily basis, so it’s no wonder we all receive calls from telemarketers or individuals we do not know rather 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 off of data collected and analyzed over the last year and a half.

Unfortunately, this number is on the rise because scammers have been successful in getting phone users to answer their calls, despite not recognizing the calling 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 are left to not only wonder, “Who called me, but how did you acquire my personal number?”.

Who Called Me and why am I recieving calls

How exactly did you get my phone number?

The unknown phone call that most phone users find to be the most frustrating are 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 that they were on the phone doing almost anything else.

So how do these telemarketers get our phone numbers? There are a number of simple ways. Most commonly, we are unaware of how often we overshare our personal 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 a great risk for solicitors to get ahold of our personal information.

Specifically, when using the internet from our mobile devices, we often click the small box to accept 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.

History Lesson: Where did telemarketing even begin?

The start of selling goods and services through means of telephone calls was a brilliant idea discovered by housewives who wanted to sell their baked goods, so they began making phone calls from their homes to potential buyers.

By the mid 60’s, 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.

But, it’s not always telemarketers looking to sell their products when your phone rings and displays an unknown incoming number across the screen.

Many times, accidental callers innocently dial incorrectly, or they’re searching for the person who had your phone number before it became your own.

And 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.

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 back about your unknown caller, like the owner’s name, their 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 can I do?

Once you’ve determined your caller, you can easily stop them from becoming a repeat offender 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 completely 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 your phone numbers have been registered.

Today, mobile devices make it even simpler to block unwanted callers right from your phone.

You won’t have to keep asking “who called me?” once you’ve taken advantage of this feature.

In fact, iPhone users 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.

Additionally, you can download a variety of phone applications to help with this problem, or simply 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 how to use this service.

What should I do if I’m unsure who called me?

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

Oftentimes, 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 you answering the phone call.

Safety Tip: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) strongly urges phone users to let unknown numbers go unanswered and they provide a handful of tips on how to deal 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 they’re being contacted by scammers to report the phone numbers to the local police, Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint Assistant, or the FCC’s Consumer Help Center.

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 unrecognized 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 lead to your identity being stolen and/or your bank accounts being completely drained.

While you may think there is no one on the other end of the line, a computer is silently gathering an abundance of information about you right through your phone simply from you answering and saying “hello”.

Who Called Me Safety

How can you prevent this?

Simply 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 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 bad 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 in an attempt at increasing 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, 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!