Free Phone Tracer

How Cell Phone Pranksters & Telemarketers Find You

My cell number isn't in the public phone directory, so how are telemarketers and other unwanted callers finding my number?  Unfortunately, there are different ways that a telemarketing firm or a crank caller can obtain your wireless data.  That said, not all unwanted callers acquire your contact information through the same methods.

The following are some of the more common ways a telemarketer can obtain your cell info:

  • Signing up for a contest, sweepstake, etc.  Any time you sign up for something, whether it is a contest, a subscription or registering on a website, you are usually required to give out personal information, which includes your phone number.  If you give out your cell number and click that you accept the terms and conditions of the website, or sign a form, you are usually authorizing the company to call you and/or sell your contact information to other telemarketing companies.  Thus, you essentially allowed a telemarketer to contact your mobile.
  • Establishing a business relationship.  When you order a product or service from a company and provide your cellular number as part of your contact information, they will contact this number to sell you additional services, and may even sell it to their affiliate companies.
  • Automatic Number Identification (ANI).  Any time you call a "900", "800", "866", "877" or "888" number, your telephone data may be captured by the ANI system.  This technology utilizes equipment that can identify and store numbers automatically.  Simply by matching your ten digits with other computerized lists and street address databases, your name and residential location can be found and added into the telemarketer's directory.

As far as other unwanted callers, such as pranksters are concerned, there are essentially two common ways in which they obtain your cell phone number:

  • The person who is crank calling is someone you know.  Many of the prank attempts at contact that people receive are nothing more than a friend, family member or co-worker playing a practical joke on them.  On the other hand, some unwanted phone calls are made by ex-lovers or ex-friends who are holding a grudge against you and are exercising their retribution through wire harassment.   Nevertheless, despite how annoying or upsetting the call, the person has obtained your cell number because you gave it to them or they got it through a mutual friend.
  • Random dialing.  Sometimes pranksters, particularly youths, dial blindly and you become a random target of their mischief.

When it all comes down to it, if you want to keep your cellular phone number safe from prank and telemarketing dials, refrain from giving it out.  You should also take action and identify prank callers with a reverse phone lookup so they can be dealt with, inform telemarketers you want to be placed on their do-not-call-list, and make sure you register your number with the National Do Not Call Registry.

Recent Cell Phone Numbers Privacy & Safety Articles