Keep getting message from previous phone number owner.

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weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
Do not assume that you are getting calls to previous owners.

A technique that telemarketers are using now is to call a phone number and intentionally leaving an important message for a non-existing person, hoping that you will call back which services a few purposes... 1) it verifies that your number is a valid number, 2) you may inadvertently give out personal information (such as your name), and 3) it gets you on the phone...

For example:
"Hey John, I'm calling you about your job application. We are offering you the position but we need you to contact us immediately to verify a reference. If we do not hear back from you today, we may have to move on."

You call back to say it's from a wrong number. They will then start asking you for information and if your guard is down, you may have given them your name, etc.

We also do what Neil does.... any number that isn't registered or known is ignored.
Ignoring unknown numbers can lead to missing very important calls such as calls from a health system/hospital where there are many extensions that can be used. Buyer beware of this advice.
 
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Neil Maley

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Ignoring unknown numbers can lead to missing very important calls such as calls from a health system/hospital where there are many extensions that can be used. Buyer beware of this advice.
Any time a dr or hospital has called us they’ve always left a message. I’ve never missed an important call by not answering - if I knew I was expecting an important call, I answered regardless of if I knew the number or not.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Ignoring unknown numbers can lead to missing very important calls such as calls from a health system/hospital where there are many extensions that can be used. Buyer beware of this advice.
Sure, that's a risk. But there are alternative communications that hospitals use to communicate with patients, specifically web portals. If I were calling someone and it was an important call, I leave a message.
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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the United States
One way to mitigate the "risk" of missing calls is to use Google Voice for entities with whom you do business regularly. The default setting for GV is to show the GV number. That way you increase the likelihood that the caller is legitimate. Plus you can block numbers in GV before they reach your phone.

This is what we do . . .
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
I just realized that since I ditched ATT and got an internet-based phone, I get no unwanted calls. It's been maybe 3 years. So changing your number every once in a while works ... but makes life annoying while you update all your information on places from which you DO want to receive calls. I'll take the annoyance any day.
 
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Jul 7, 2018
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Which is exactly why we don’t answer our phones unless we know who is calling. And we run a business. If it’s important, they’ll leave a message.
Exactly what I do to. And if I get a call from a number I don't know and they don't leave a message, I scroll down and "Block this caller". Seems to have helped some.
 
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Feb 11, 2018
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Further explanation about recommending a new number . . .

In the past I have contacted both the Do Not Call registry and the FCC. The answer has consistently been that they can only take action if there are multiple complaints about the caller. I have never seen a true resolution from them.

Next I tried multiple call blocking apps, but the best they could do is send the call to voicemail (this is what app designers label as "blocking"). During that brief test I discovered a) that this had no effect and b) that spamming technology can differentiate between an answer, voicemail, and a hangup.

The only "solution" with which I have seen success is to answer then immediately hangup. That has stopped some robocalls, but nothing can stop the political calls and texts. Our legislators have carved out an exception for themselves.
The Do Not Call registry is practically useless. For one thing, many of the nuisance calls originate from overseas--not within the purview of a US agency. Also, any originating number has probably been spoofed, so you don't know where the call is really coming from. And spoofing will also defeat call blocking because they'll just switch numbers. I use the same technique as you--pick up, then immediately hang up. It's time the phone companies did something about robocalls, but, of course, they won't because it's revenue for them.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
The Do Not Call registry is practically useless. For one thing, many of the nuisance calls originate from overseas--not within the purview of a US agency. Also, any originating number has probably been spoofed, so you don't know where the call is really coming from. And spoofing will also defeat call blocking because they'll just switch numbers. I use the same technique as you--pick up, then immediately hang up. It's time the phone companies did something about robocalls, but, of course, they won't because it's revenue for them.
Things might change.
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/law-robocalls/story?id=68008423
 
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Jan 5, 2019
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Happy to say (as I knock on wood) I've never received a spam/spoof or robocall on my IPhone. Free Nomorobo on my home (Xfinity) phone has saved my sanity. Robocalls ring once then disappear into the cosmos. Nomorobo does allow recorded voice mails from medical/school/police alerts, etc. It is available for cell phones.
 
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Happy to say (as I knock on wood) I've never received a spam/spoof or robocall on my IPhone. Free Nomorobo on my home (Xfinity) phone has saved my sanity. Robocalls ring once then disappear into the cosmos. Nomorobo does allow recorded voice mails from medical/school/police alerts, etc. It is available for cell phones.
I have used Nomorobo for years. Some robocalls get through but very few. It is a sanity saver.
 
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But Nomorobo doesn’t work for cell phone numbers. We’ve had it fir years too. My wife and I both have IPhones and we get more junk calls than we do real calls on our IPhones.
Good to know. I'm surprised that Nomorobo doesn't block robo calls from cell phone numbers. I must never have gotten a robo call from a cell phone number, because absolutely NO robo calls get through. Something interesting, I was getting 8 to 10 robo calls a day before signing up for Nomo. Now I get 1 or 2 a day. It's like the scammers know I'm protected.
 
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Only works on VOIP landlines, not on real landlines. We have 3 AT&T landlines. Not only do I have reasons to keep landlines rather than switch to Spectrum VOIP, but if I were to do so, Spectrum in our area will only support two lines, not three.
 
Jun 13, 2019
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The last time I got a new landline number I had the number listed under all adults in the house. One of them had the same name as a well-known football coach. For years newbie sports reporters (experienced ones knew better than that) used to call us asking to speak with Coach ..... I got tired of explaining they had the wrong number and would simply hand the phone over to the family member to give HER opinion on whatever football issue had arisen. Not the same issue as the OP but it entertained us for years.
 

Mel65

Mar 23, 2015
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When I moved my elderly father into an Assisted Living facility I had to put in a landline. The number that he got had formerly been assigned to a Hookah bar. Dad was getting all sorts of calls about what time are they open, etc. he also has mild Alzheimer’s and was convinced the callers were looking for a “Hooker Bar”!
in any case, I ended up getting them to change the number.
Similar story. When we got a new number, we started getting callers asking, "May I speak with one of the Hookers, please?" I was pretty shocked until I found out the people who'd the phone number prior were Mr. and Mrs. Hooker, but it was pretty amusing, very briefly. We got a new phone number again pretty quickly since many of those calls were debt collectors and they would NOT believe me that *I* was NOT Mrs. Hooker.
 
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Neil Maley

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Oct 5, 2016
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Here's one article I found... https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/10/cybersecurity-101-robocalls/

One note is that iPhone now have a feature that automatically send calls that aren't in your contact list to voicemail... works great for me.
I use that feature all the time and it works great. It works under iOS 13.
Under setting select “Phone”.
At the bottom of the phone settings there is “Silence Unknown Callers”. When this setting is selected, all unknown callers go voice mail.
 

Mel65

Mar 23, 2015
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I use that feature all the time and it works great. It works under iOS 13.
Under setting select “Phone”.
At the bottom of the phone settings there is “Silence Unknown Callers”. When this setting is selected, all unknown callers go voice mail.
I'd prefer to NOT send them to voicemail so I don't have to hear those annoying VMs about my car warranty or "Rachel from card services" offering me a great deal, or of course being warned that if I don't call back the SS administration is going to put me in jail. My solution, so far is to put everyone in my contacts list into "groups": Family, Friends, Colleagues, Business, etc.. Each has an associated ringtone. My default ringtone is silent for anyone not in a group. Therefore anyone not in my contact list/groups is silent by default. Works the same and as I add people, they get added to the appropriate group, and I always know the nature of any calls that DO get through, which is a bonus.
 
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