Various missed calls from mobile numbers

Bevan Price

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I had one trying to persuade me he was from BT Openreach and needed access to my computer to sort the internet problems I’d been having. I kept him going for 10 minutes before telling him I didn’t have a computer...
Did he have an "Asian" type of voice - if so it might be the same one who phoned me on my landline a few times until I blocked the number.
 
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AM9

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I've worked for a couple of telecoms companies, but I've never been aware of what the "presentation number" was - would you mind explaining?
BT, and other telecoms services offer business line users with PBX that has DDI (direct dialling in) the facility to always show their public number to caller ID devices. That means that calls initiated by an employee dialling directly out, (bypassing the switchboard) doesn't show the actual line number that they used for that call. In the case of a large installation, the PBX might have (say) 10 lines to the local exchange, (each of which has a nationally accessible number). The initiator of the call has no control over which line was allocated to their call, at best it might ring the same phone when there was nobody to answer it, or it may be barred altogether as a direct dial from outside. So the business can opt to tag the outgoing calls for caller ID purposes with a single number on which all incoming calls are received, (usually via a PBX switchboard operator, or these days more likely by navigating a menu system).
Inevitavbly, some scrotes out there have tools that they can hack the system with and get your caller ID to show a different number, e.g., living in St Albans, I would normally be less suspicious about a caller ID with a 01727 area code than an 'international' or 'withheld', - that was until there was a call from 'Microsoft Support' with somebody telling me that they had detected a virus on my PC and what he would guide me to do in order to fix it. He was wasting his time with me, but I decided to have a play and waste a lot more of it by giving him erroneous screen messages as responses to his instructions. after nearly 15 minutes he lost his temper and told me to **** off! That's what I call a result. :)
 

GusB

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BT, and other telecoms services offer business line users with PBX that has DDI (direct dialling in) the facility to always show their public number to caller ID devices. That means that calls initiated by an employee dialling directly out, (bypassing the switchboard) doesn't show the actual line number that they used for that call. In the case of a large installation, the PBX might have (say) 10 lines to the local exchange, (each of which has a nationally accessible number). The initiator of the call has no control over which line was allocated to their call, at best it might ring the same phone when there was nobody to answer it, or it may be barred altogether as a direct dial from outside. So the business can opt to tag the outgoing calls for caller ID purposes with a single number on which all incoming calls are received, (usually via a PBX switchboard operator, or these days more likely by navigating a menu system).
Inevitavbly, some scrotes out there have tools that they can hack the system with and get your caller ID to show a different number, e.g., living in St Albans, I would normally be less suspicious about a caller ID with a 01727 area code than an 'international' or 'withheld', - that was until there was a call from 'Microsoft Support' with somebody telling me that they had detected a virus on my PC and what he would guide me to do in order to fix it. He was wasting his time with me, but I decided to have a play and waste a lot more of it by giving him erroneous screen messages as responses to his instructions. after nearly 15 minutes he lost his temper and told me to **** off! That's what I call a result. :)
Thanks for the explanation. So, to give an example - a company I worked for had the "public" contact number as 353535 (as well as a few others), but outbound calls always showed up as 353500 - presumably this would have been the presentation number?

Apologies for the topic drift :)
 

swt_passenger

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I used to enjoy the calls about my “Windows” issues. Don’t get that many nowadays though?

I’d respond with answers as though they were the double glazing salesman I was expecting.

It should work the other way around too...
 

CrispyUK

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With many people still working from home I’ve noticed calls I’ve expected from businesses have come up as mobile numbers over last few months.
Absolutely, our team are certainly making a lot of calls out from their work mobiles, that would instead have been dialled from the “landlines” were they working in the office. I’m sure many other businesses are operating in a similar way right now.

Unexpected calls from international numbers could be where work is being handled by different agents/call centres from normal, or just that a different service/system is being used to facilitate dialling out functionality, and enabling calls to be made has been the priority over ensuring the right CLI is displayed.

Of course the scammers are still operating and trying to exploit COVID-19 where they can, so remain vigilant!
 

AM9

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Thanks for the explanation. So, to give an example - a company I worked for had the "public" contact number as 353535 (as well as a few others), but outbound calls always showed up as 353500 - presumably this would have been the presentation number?

Apologies for the topic drift :)
Yes that's right. If somebody knew your actual 'desk' extension number, they could dial in to it from outside. But any other person that you call randomly would only be able to reach that extension via the presentation number.
 

SS4

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I just ignore them now. Before I used to answer it and not say anything - in my experience bots hang up but a real person will usually ask if there is anyone there.

Part of the problem now is that scammers can use your number as a presentation number - at least in theory
 

PG

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I like to have a bit of fun with them as well. It’s especially fun as I don’t drive. :)
My favourite was when my sister was around 1 and a half and my Dad once handed the phone over to her.
I've had the odd bit of fun with the "I'm calling about your accident" brigade - yes, main side effect was amnesia... can't remember much about it or my car details etc.etc! Once spent ages with one of them gradually answering their questions re my accident before "revealing" that my accident was at home falling off a ladder, at which point they finally twigged :lol:

Part of the problem now is that scammers can use your number as a presentation number - at least in theory
Surely that'd be an obvious scam? If your own number shows up on caller ID, how are you managing to call yourself?

As an interesting aside some older members might remember dialing back in loop-disconnect days, IIRC, 147, a test number used by Post Office Telephones. It didn't connect but upon replacing the receiver the telephone would immediately ring and any unsuspecting person answering would be greeted by silence - ah what a lovely child I was <D
 

92002

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I've had the odd bit of fun with the "I'm calling about your accident" brigade - yes, main side effect was amnesia... can't remember much about it or my car details etc.etc! Once spent ages with one of them gradually answering their questions re my accident before "revealing" that my accident was at home falling off a ladder, at which point they finally twigged :lol:


Surely that'd be an obvious scam? If your own number shows up on caller ID, how are you managing to call yourself?

As an interesting aside some older members might remember dialing back in loop-disconnect days, IIRC, 147, a test number used by Post Office Telephones. It didn't connect but upon replacing the receiver the telephone would immediately ring and any unsuspecting person answering would be greeted by silence - ah what a lovely child I was <D
The best advice is if the number is not recognised. Don't answer the call. Since it could cost you to answer it. If no message is left. Check the number on Google which probably will point to a scam caller.
Then block the number. Not unknown for similar numbers to try again
Similarly block them too.
If it's a real call they will leave a message. If not its probably a scam call and best given a wide berth.
 

Bobdogs

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I used to get phone calls for a local skip hire firm, similar number. After a while I got fed up with it. One day a chap rings and enquires about a skip. I discussed the size he wanted, what day he required it and whether it would be on the street or not - in order to obtain a permit. I never found out the reaction when his 'booked skip' failed to arrive.
I used to drive for a skip hire company and shared a radio frequency with a local taxi firm.
If we were near an address that had requested a cab, we would pull up outside, sound the horn, and enjoy the bemused look of the customer as we explained that we had been sent as they were short of cars. No one ever took us up on the offer though.
 

185143

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I had a Sheffield number call me a couple of months back with a scam car accident call.

Bear in mind I was at work and the only person I know from Sheffield was in the same room as me...

An automated system asked if I had been in an accident recently and paused while I answered. So I said yes to see what happened, hoping to be put through to a human to waste their time. The machine then asked what injuries occured, I said I was decapitated then it proceeded to ask when the accident occurred! It hung up though when I replied with "tomorrow"
 

Busaholic

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My late father had a London area number code followed by 4321. When a new Sainsbury opened in the area, he started getting dozens of calls for them. He discovered they had been allocated (or, more probably, asked for) a memorable number also ending in 4321, but with a subtly different less geographically specific area code. In all the press advertising for their opening, they had quoted my father's phone no. - when my father got in touch to complain, he was told they wouldn't be changing their advertising, suggesting instead that he changed his number instead, which in the end he had to do. So Sainsbury got the number they'd originally wanted by bully boy tactics!
 

heart-of-wessex

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Thanks for the response, at least I know I'm not the only one having this recent spike! Yesterday had about another 3 or so, and similar before that as well, nothing today but then it is the weekend.

I've kept the phone on silent which is more pleasant.

Re the idea of googling the number to see if it comes up as a known scam number, I did try that but got nothing, just mostly about it being an 02 number and that's it. I tried the who called me website and no reports on there.

At least I know how the numbers have come about, and interesting reads of similar number incidents and wasting scammers times, I'd like to do that myself for a laugh if I get the chance!
 

92002

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Thanks for the response, at least I know I'm not the only one having this recent spike! Yesterday had about another 3 or so, and similar before that as well, nothing today but then it is the weekend.

I've kept the phone on silent which is more pleasant.

Re the idea of googling the number to see if it comes up as a known scam number, I did try that but got nothing, just mostly about it being an 02 number and that's it. I tried the who called me website and no reports on there.

At least I know how the numbers have come about, and interesting reads of similar number incidents and wasting scammers times, I'd like to do that myself for a laugh if I get the chance!
Not a problem. The more calls that you block, the less you should get. Just make sure its not a real call.

Google usually will send you to a number of checking sites like whocallesme.co.uk
Some of these scam callers have recently started using mobile numbers but these will show up too.
 

RJ

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I have long since given up answering any unknown number that isn't local. If it is kosher they will leave a message and I will add them to my address book before calling back.
Agree with this. My phone is set up to automatically block calls from withheld numbers and I won't answer calls from unknown numbers. If it's important, the caller will leave a message. Also got certain prefixes blocked, 070 for example and number series used by serial spam callers. Some of them have access to several numbers - I just block them all.

The phone tries to determine who is calling and displays the result if the number is unknown. I don't rely on this feature - the one of my banking provider's fraud team has flagged as "Potential Spam" and American Express has flagged as "Deep Clean Services Limited"! I tend to answer these calls as I recognise the numbers and usually know why they are ringing.

If I get a missed call from an unknown number I will investigate who it might be using various means. If I can't find out who it is I won't call it back.

As for cold callers I used to talk rubbish to them until they hung up, which was usually a quick process. One told me I had recently been in a car accident despite the fact I don't drive one. I responded by saying something like "I turned a corner, walked down the road, turned right onto Pythagoras Road and proceeded along the hypotenuse. Has that ever happened to you?" They cut the call at that point.

I can't say my life has been any worse for being selective about which calls to take!
 
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xotGD

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All this faffing about - it's a lot easier just to pick up the phone and say 'Hello'.
 

AM9

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All this faffing about - it's a lot easier just to pick up the phone and say 'Hello'.
Then all you have to do is sort out the problems when your number that they've harvested starts getting used against you. That bit isn't so easy as picking up the phone and saying 'Hello'. :frown:
 

Lucan

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I'm never usually contacted on my phone alot, and had it on silent all day as I forgot to turn the sound on, but I had a surprising amount of 5 missed calls today, no one in my contacts lists, just the numbers in a mobile format.
Welcome to the 21st century. The scam call centres are typically phoning many numbers at the same time so that their agents are not wasting time for them to be answered. When they finish talking to one victim, they just connect to the next victim that happens to pick up the phone shortly after. It is a very professionally run industry in certain parts of India in particular. If there are no free agents at the moment you answer their call the phone just goes dead, as you describe. In a scam call centre with a dozen agents they might be ringing fifty potential victims at any one time, which is why most of your calls seem to be missed ones.

The best advice is if the number is not recognised. Don't answer the call.
Depends on your lifestyle. That might be OK if you are a basement dweller with no family or responsibilities, but not for everyone. A simple example is that we were once phoned by someone a few streets away who had found our cat injured, and rang our number that was on its collar tag.

Since it could cost you to answer it. If no message is left. Check the number on Google which probably will point to a scam caller.
Then block the number.
I don't think it is possible to be charged for just picking up the phone, only if you start pressing buttons during the call (as they might ask you). There is no point in blocking as these guys can play the system and change their apparent originating number at the drop of a hat. They are doing it continuously anyway.

Anyway, I enjoy baiting these blighters. I once kept one going for 50 minutes, half of which was him getting access into my PC (could have done it in 2 minutes if he had been competent - I had to help him) and the other half was him looking around in it. He never knew it was a deliberate honeypot I'd set up in a virtual machine, and all he found was Indian prawn that I had put there specially for these occasions. I' not in the Jim Browning league though, and even if you don't have time for baiting, it is satisfying just to tell the scammers to go to hell.
 
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SargeNpton

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If I get a call from any number I do not recognize, I ignore it then block it. Looking back there are hundreds of blocked numbers in my list.

Let's hope that none then were genuinely important calls from people/organisations you wanted to talk to.
 

GusB

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I find it somewhat amusing that some people find it insulting that someone should dare to call their number without explicit permission! It may be something as innocent as a wrong number dialled, or a friend who has taken on a new phone contract and not bothered to port their number over to their new supplier.

When I was at BT it was a regular thing for people to call up and demand who it was that called their phone. Even if it was physically possible for me to do a reverse lookup, I couldn't give out that information anyway due to data protection.
 

Jamesrob637

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Let's hope that none then were genuinely important calls from people/organisations you wanted to talk to.
I'm sure Bobdogs has Googled most if not all of the numbers, and as people here have said, if people genuinely want to speak to you they'll leave a message with a suitable ring back number.
 

Lucan

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I'm sure Bobdogs has Googled most if not all of the numbers [of calls he has ignored as number not recognised]
Isn't it just quicker to answer the phone? Presumably you need to go to the phone anyway to find out what the caller number was, and then need to Google it. Google probably will not tell you anyway - I have Googled scam callers' numbers (after the call, so I know they are a scam) and found nothing. These guys are changing their numbers faster than Google can keep up.

Not picking up unknown numbers would be advice I'd give to my 90 yo mother, but are there really people here on this intelligent forum who are afraid they might blurt out their bank passwords to someone they do not know, or be persuaded to transfer £500 to them because their PC is supposed to have a virus?
 

92002

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If you have went to the phone the easy way to find out who it is if you don't have caller display. Is to lift the phone and hang up without talking. Then check the number on Google and then go back and block it. No need to talk to any nusisnce caller. Some pests may call back again with a slightly different number thinking they are smart. No need to check again, just block the similar number. May need to be done a few times. They eventually get the message.
 

Bobdogs

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I'm sure Bobdogs has Googled most if not all of the numbers, and as people here have said, if people genuinely want to speak to you they'll leave a message with a suitable ring back number.
Until I realised that you could google search numbers on this forum, I didn't bother and will not in future
As has been said if someone wants to communicate with me, they can text or write to me, (no answer phone on my phone).
Slightly off topic, but I lose the will to live after listening to crass repetitive music when you contact call centres, after about 5 minutes.
I hang up and write them a letter. Hasn't failed yet.
 

xotGD

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My phone just rang. A number from Wigan I did not recognise. I answered it. Wrong number. Job done.
 

SS4

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Surely that'd be an obvious scam? If your own number shows up on caller ID, how are you managing to call yourself?
I meant more if your number was being used to contact other people. Say my number is used as a presentation number to ring Bob and then Bob either googles my number or calls me in a huff demanding to know why I called him. For me that is luckily still hypothetical
 

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