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Bizarre cell phone issue, anyone else?


madteaparty
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I've received numerous calls yesterday and today from numbers in the same area code as mine, telling me I just called them. Which of course I didn't. I called verizon and was told this is a new iteration of spam/spoofing where a spam caller imitates a real number (mine). So people see a missed call from my number and call me asking why I called. I see a same area code and pick up. Rinse, repeat. Per verizon, there is nothing to be done..

Help? 

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7 minutes ago, Rachel said:

Change your number?

 I’m so tired of the spoofing calls. I got one yesterday that had extra digits. At least I knew not to answer it. 

verizon lady said that might be just a temporary fix...I mean this is some sort of computer program literally going down a list of XXX area code numbers.. I am blocking each call back, after I have a nice long conversation about the fact that I did not call them because I do not call anyone ever...

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That's weird!  Were the people who called you back sales-call type places, or did they sound like real people who were surprised to get your call?  (I assume the first.)

I get more and more calls from sales calls/spam that come through numbers that share my small town area code.  I keep blocking them after they come, but they always route their way to a new number.  It really is frustrating.

I haven't experienced what you're experiencing though.

Most of the time, I don't answer my cell phone anymore unless it's someone I know.  If it's someone I don't know but is a real call, they'll leave a message and I can call them back.

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I flat out don't answer my phone unless I know who it is.  If it's someone who knows me and it's important, they'll leave a message or send a text.

Then I go through and block the numbers after they've called, but I never ever talk to any of them.  I would be worried that would put me on some kind of "this person actually answers the phone" list. 

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2 minutes ago, J-rap said:

That's weird!  Were the people who called you back sales-call type places, or did they sound like real people who were surprised to get your call?  (I assume the first.)

I get more and more calls from sales calls/spam that come through numbers that share my small town area code.  I keep blocking them after they come, but they always route their way to a new number.  It really is frustrating.

I haven't experienced what you're experiencing though.

Most of the time, I don't answer my cell phone anymore unless it's someone I know.  If it's someone I don't know but is a real call, they'll leave a message and I can call them back.

No, real people, which is why I feel awful. "Hi, you just called me". I am so stressed out with work, etc, that for the first couple I was like, Maybe I called you? by mistake? Sorry lady. ANd then I realised. They got a spam call from my number, did not answer, had a missed call from a XXX number, called back to see who it was...Argh.

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4 minutes ago, J-rap said:

 

I get more and more calls from sales calls/spam that come through numbers that share my small town area code.  I keep blocking them after they come, but they always route their way to a new number.  It really is frustrating.

I haven't experienced what you're experiencing though.

So what is happening is that if you see a missed call from that small town number, and you call them back to see who it was, you'd get the equivalent of me on the other line :)

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That's really, really weird.  I've never heard of that.  And what would be the point?  Have you tried turning off your phone for awhile and re-starting it?  I'm actually surprised that Verizon didn't have any ideas at all.  I wonder if you called them again and talked to someone else, they'd have some thoughts or suggestions.  

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5 minutes ago, J-rap said:

  And what would be the point?  Have you tried turning off your phone for awhile and re-starting it? 

The phone calls are clearly not coming from my phone, so turning it on and off would not work. The point of imitating the number is that if people see a number with their same area code they are more likely to pick up....I guess after running down the algorithm the spam folks ran into my actual exact number.

 

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Yes this is a common spoofing tactic now. I've been getting these calls for over a year, I think? It's really easy to spoof a number and spammers figured out that people are more likely to pick up if it's someone calling from the same area code, sometimes even the same prefix.

Since we move a lot and I haven't lived in my phone's area code for 10 years it's easy for me to ignore the calls. But yeah, calling the number back does you no good, nor does banning it. Here's a couple articles about it. Look up neighbor spoofing if you're still curious.

https://www.businessinsider.com/spam-phone-calls-caller-id-spoofing-area-code-2017-9

https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/16670-a-new-kind-of-phone-scam-neighbor-spoofing

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3 minutes ago, J-rap said:

That's really, really weird.  I've never heard of that.  And what would be the point?  Have you tried turning off your phone for awhile and re-starting it?  I'm actually surprised that Verizon didn't have any ideas at all.  I wonder if you called them again and talked to someone else, they'd have some thoughts or suggestions.  

The point is to get someone to answer.  People are more likely to answer a call from Oklahoma USA than Nigeria.

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5 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

The phone calls are clearly not coming from my phone, so turning it on and off would not work. The point of imitating the number is that if people see a number with their same area code they are more likely to pick up....I guess after running down the algorithm the spam folks ran into my actual exact number.

 

Ahh, I see.  Well if a different person at Verizon doesn't have an answer, I'd wait it out a few days and hope that the spammer moves on to a different number!  In the meantime I wouldn't answer calls unless you can see who it is.

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8 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

The point is to get someone to answer.  People are more likely to answer a call from Oklahoma USA than Nigeria.

 

I have gone to picking up the phone and saying nothing. That also takes care of the machine calls (which most of the spam is). But people tend to say something to make themselves known before hanging up.

 

I can't choose to not pick up local calls because there are calls I can't just "call back"

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It's been a common tactic for awhile. I'm surprised so many people who got your number called you back, not realizing what was happening. I know my number has been randomly used because I got one call a few days ago. Sounded like an elderly gentlemen. I guess I should have called him back and explained what was happening, but I just didn't have the mental fortitude at the time.

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I have actually gotten a call from my own number with my name on the caller ID. I am so sick of this crap. I get at least a dozen junk calls a day on my new tracfone. I never answer any that aren't in my contacts. I have my do not disturb set so it doesn't even ring unless it is someone in my contacts. But then, I don't use my cell as my regular phone, so very few people have the number. 

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Within the past week, I spent some time looking at Free Apps for my Android phone to screen out SPAM calls.  I had received a call on our magicJack number (I have their magicApp on my phone) from a number that indicated it was coming from the same Area Code in the USA as my magicJack number. The first digit of the prefix was different than our number. The last 4 digits were the same as our number.

And, on my Colombian cell phone number, I  had received a call from a number that was so far from normal that the blocker in my Motorola phone (Android 7.0) said it wasn't a valid number and couldn't be blocked. 

So, then I spent some time looking at several SPAM blocking apps for Android...  The most popular (?) one, when I read a Review that explained how it worked, was out of the question for me. It requires releasing one's phone book (Contacts and Numbers) for them to add to their data base.

The other one seemed much more acceptable.  Unless and until I get into the situation you are in, I am going to block SPAM numbers manually, but if I was in your shoes, I would look at getting a SPAM blocking App.

Good luck!

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