Buzzfeed often posts lists of “the most annoying” things about daily life: stubbed toes, traffic jams, forced iTunes updates, etc. No list of annoying things is truly complete, however, without the phenomenon of getting dozens of calls a day from an unknown number.
If you’re wondering “Who’s calling me?”, here are some simple-yet-powerful tools to help you quickly find the truth and stop any not-good vibrations on your phone.
How to Do a Reverse Phone Lookup
The easiest way to identify who’s calling you is to enter the mystery number into a people search engine and run what’s called a reverse phone lookup. You might be able to get a full name, age, address and more. If you still don’t recognize the person, you can run a quick search on the name itself to get a full report that should include more information.
Although occasionally unknown callers are friends calling from a new number, most are direct-marketing salespeople. These are also known as telemarketers.
Telemarketers are pesky, and for good reason: their business depends on you answering your phone. While many telemarketers, do work for legitimate businesses, many are scam-artists looking to cold call you into being their next victim.
Telemarketing calls can be tricky to spot, as they often use hard-to-trace (usually toll-free) numbers. If you’ve been receiving calls from strange area codes, you can easily enter the phone number here to see if they’ve been flagged as telemarketers. The site also gives you the option to file a complaint to help identity and report intrusive callers. Many telemarketing numbers will already have multiple reports filed by other users.
“Who’s Calling Me?” There’s an App for That…
People used to advise that you add yourself to the National Do Not Call Registry, which would supposedly remove you from telemarketing lists. Unfortunately, that list has proved totally useless in the fight against phone spam.
Fortunately, you can download a reverse phone lookup app to identify unknown callers and block them for you. So, the good news is that technology is solving problems that the government can’t.
So, get the app. You’ll find your life will be a whole lot less annoying.