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Unknown calls are a modern menace. No matter how careful we are not to give out our phone number to telemarketing companies, sooner or later, calls from unknown numbers start to appear on a daily basis. In this article, we are going to look at why this happens and how you can deal with the issue.

How Do Marketing Companies Get My Number? 

It’s fairly common to be asked for a contact telephone number when you buy something online. The company might need to get in touch to verify your order or delivery. All being well, this is where it ends. But some companies sell on your data or their databases are hacked. Data is a valuable commodity and before long, your precious telephone number has been included on lists passed between different telesales companies. 

There are also calling systems that dial numbers in sequential order or at random. If this happens to you, chalk it up to bad luck.

Unknown Calls

Identifying an Unknown Caller

Smartphones tell you if the person calling is an “unknown number”. They might be known to you, but if the caller has restricted the presentation of their number, it will show up as “unknown” or “no caller ID”. There will also be numbers that appear on your call list that you don’t recognize, as they are not saved in your contacts.  

Home telephones don’t always tell you who the caller is unless you subscribe to the service, although some phones have this built-in as a standard feature. If you are plagued with marketing calls at home, it’s worth asking if your telephone company offers a caller ID service. 

If you have a missed call from a number you don’t recognize, you can quickly and easily check who it is. In the first instance, Google the number. Telephone numbers associated with legitimate businesses will usually score a hit, as will telephone numbers linked to known scams and nuisance telemarketers.

Use a Caller Identification Service

A reverse phone number lookup service like Nuwber is handy if you want to find out more about an unknown caller. Type the number into the search field and see what information is available. You may find the caller is an old acquaintance or someone who you definitely don’t want to talk to, like an ex. 

Blocking Unknown Callers

The fastest way to prevent unknown callers from interrupting your day is to utilize the “do not disturb” feature on your phone, which is available on iPhones and Android phones. You can use it to block all calls apart from those from your contacts. Access the feature by swiping down or up and selecting the Do Not Disturb icon. You use it when you are busy or leave it on permanently. If an unknown caller leaves a voicemail, you’ll not see their missed call but you can access their message by dialing your voicemail.

To permanently block all calls from no caller ID numbers, ask your service provider if they have an anonymous call rejection facility. Verizon and AT&T both offer this service.  

Prevention is always better than cure, but if your telephone number ends up on a marketing company’s call list, use a caller ID service to identify the caller. That way, you know when to ignore the call. And if you keep being pestered by the caller, just block their number. 

Final thoughts

Unknown calls are annoying. And that’s the least they can be. Follow our advice to minimize unsolicited phone call risks and outcomes for yourself and those near you. If you have your own clever ways to handle such calls, please feel free to share your ideas!

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