Reducing Caller Spam

When I moved to the current place, I got a new phone number – not surprising, as I was in a new area, and a new (to me) house.  As always, I registered that number with TPS and so on, and made sure it was ex-directory.  I usually only use landline phones for broadband purposes – although it turns out I also use it here for some calls, as the mobile coverage inside the house is shockingly bad.  So I have a phone landline, and a phone connected to it.

Unbeknownst to me, the number I got had obviously been owned by someone else before me, and that person was the type of fucking moron who’d sign up for all kinds of promotions, and ran up all kinds of debts.  So right from Day One I was getting a couple of calls a week looking for the previous occupant. (Well, the previous owner of that phone number – it wasn’t a name connected to the house at all)  And because they were for a previous person, it turns out that TPS doesn’t really apply.  (Which is an interesting, and fucking annoying, loophole)

Even so, I re-registered with TPS, and put a spam-calls block on the line. (Which was absolutely useless, and so came off again) It was only a couple of calls a week, and usually while I was out at work. *shrug*

Over the last two years though, it got worse.  The phone’s call log would get filled up in the course of a week, all with “Number Withheld” and “International” numbers, along with the ones who didn’t conceal their numbers, who left messages and blocked up everything else.  I used a couple of other number-blocking services, none of which did much good.  Hell, if I were cynical I’d say they were the ones who sold the number on and spread it ever further. Not that I’ll ever know for sure, one way or the other.

Late last year, the situation was ridiculous. We’d gone from a couple of calls a week right up to filling the phone’s call log every day.  Nothing was working to prevent the calls, and it was just getting stupid.

So I bit the bullet, and changed my phone number. I explained to BT why I was doing it – in the hope that they now blacklist that number completely (although I doubt it, they’ll just have farmed it off on some other unsuspecting sap) – and got a new number allocated to me. Same set-up, it’s ex-d, and registered with TPS.

The big difference though, is that in the three months since I got it changed, I haven’t received a single solitary spam call. My phone call log stays blank (as I said, I don’t use it that often) and it’s lovely.

Sometimes these extreme measures are the ones we need to take. I wish I’d done this one two years ago…

4 Comments on “Reducing Caller Spam”

  1. Gordon says:

    I have a ‘home’ phone number.

    I don’t have a phone plugged in though.

    No spam calls for me! 🙂

  2. Lyle says:

    Agreed. If I had better mobile coverage at home, I’d almost certainly get rid of the plugged-in phone completely, and not worry any further.

    As it is though, it’s still useful to have when making calls from home. But it’s far less of a bind now that the spammers have fucked off. 🙂

  3. Z says:

    I have never signed up for any junk and I’m registered with the TPS but I get a load of spam calls. I can’t disconnect it as I get business calls sometimes, though I never phone out on the landline. I’ve recorded an answerphone message to ask callers to say who they are and, if they’re not cold callers, i’ll pick up. It works pretty well as the bastards just ring off and automated systems usually register that it’s an answerphone and ring off too.

  4. Lyle says:

    Yep, did all that with answerphone etc., and still the call frequency increased. All sorts of crap. Changing numbers was a last resort, but I’m bloody glad I did it.

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