Here’s How Telemarketers Keep Getting Your Number

BernieP

Resident PIA

How is it that telemarketing is even legal?
Telemarketing (soliciting business by means of a phone call) is legal, provided the telemarketer complies with the law, including the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Consumer Protection Act. You might be surprised to learn that the Act prohibits:
  • calls to your home before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
  • robocalling without your prior written consent
  • robocalling without an opt-out mechanism
  • all calls that don't identify the caller, who they're calling on behalf of, and contact info for such person.
  • calls to anyone on the Do Not Call Registry (other than exempted calls).
How did they even get your phone number?
Most telemarketers purchase phone numbers from third party data providers. Here's how those providers may have gotten your number, according to the Better Business Bureau:
  • You called an 800, 888, and/or 900 number (they use caller I.D. technology and collect phone numbers).
  • You applied for credit.
  • You contribute to charities.
  • You're a registered voter.
  • You bought anything, or entered any contest, and gave your phone number in the process.
  • Your phone number is on your checks.
  • You call a business, and they have caller I.D. (which, you should assume they do).
The war is stacked against us. An infinite number of ways they can get your number and almost no way to identify them because the phone companies allow them to spoof caller ID. Who all as had a call from themself? How about Technical Support? If the number they choose to use is in your directory, it pops as that person or business.
Verizon Wireless's attittude is, oh well. I called to report the "Technical Support" call. Clearly it was a scam, so I hung up. But how many people pressed 1 thinnking htere was something wrong with their account?
 

Yooper

Socket 1, Intel 80486
PREMO Member
I gave up hoping any add-ons (hard- or software) could defeat these folks.

I decided on a simpler approach: if I don't recognize the number (or it doesn't show as someone with an entry in my address book) I don't answer. "They" are more than welcome to leave a voice mail. But as you already knew they don't.

I have, in the past, played a bit and would answer with something clever, but it's just not worth the effort.

--- End of line (MCP)
 

TCROW

Active Member
I gave up hoping any add-ons (hard- or software) could defeat these folks.
If you haven’t tried malware bytes, give it a shot. My employer puts it on our iPhones and haven’t had an issue since it was installed. Not sure if they have a version for android or not, depending on your mobile platform of choice.
 

Yooper

Socket 1, Intel 80486
PREMO Member
If you haven’t tried malware bytes, give it a shot. My employer puts it on our iPhones and haven’t had an issue since it was installed. Not sure if they have a version for android or not, depending on your mobile platform of choice.
Good call. I really like - in the main - Malwarebytes.

But I wasn't entirely thrilled with the results I got on my phone. It just didn't do as nice a job as I had hoped it would given I would have to pay an annoying license fee. This recurring payment is the reason I've gone to the "I'd rather just not answer my phone" approach.

Same with my computers: now that MB has gone to an annual subscription fee structure (I get it, it's the only way a company like this will survive) I'm not sure what my next steps will be. But for now my computers are all still running on the "buy a lifetime license" option and I'm very happy.

Thanks, as always, for the input/suggestion. Cheers!

--- End of line (MCP)
 
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