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How to Protect your Cellular Telephone Number from Telemarketers and Scammers.  

How to Protect your Cellular Telephone Number from Telemarketers and Scammers.

The Tech Team  OurOldNumber.com

April 30, 2023

 

With the increasing use of automated telemarketing to connect with potential customers (or victims), our ability to block these calls has become more difficult.

The following will provide some brief history of attempts to block unwanted calls and some possible solutions you may be able to employ.

How come I get all these unwanted calls?

Since the advent of virtually universal telephone service in the middle of the 20th century, reaching people by phone has become an increasingly common way for companies, politicians, charities, and others to reach potential customers or supporters.  This was completely legal and often welcome.  Up to a point.

We reached that point sometime in the mid 1980’s when complaints began to get the attention of both the federal government and the politicians.  In 1991 Congress amended the Communications Act of 1934 by adding the Telephone Consumers Protection Act.  This allowed the Federal Communications Commission to enact regulations to create a national database of telephone numbers that do not want to receive sales calls.

In July of 2003 the federal ‘Do Not Call’ registry was created, and consumers could register their number.  While the national registry has been around for over 20 years and there are 222 million numbers registered, by most accounts, it has been largely ineffective.  In 2015 there were 3.5 million complaints registered with the Federal Trade Commission.  While the government can and does impose penalties, they are largely ineffective as most large-scale telemarketing operations have moved offshore.

So, what can I do?

We have all become accustomed to giving out our cell number whenever a number is needed.  And many of us no longer have landline numbers.  So, if you need to give out a phone number for some reason, what do you do?

There are several options to help you protect your number from being used by telemarketers and scammers.

First, if you still have a landline number, give that number out whenever possible.  While you may still receive unwanted calls on that number, they won’t have your cellular number.

Second, investigate services that make your landline number ‘virtual’.  These services, like OurOldNumber.com, allow you to use your landline number to reach you or other members of the family but block automated sales calls.

Third, if you don’t have a landline number, you can get a ‘virtual’ number that provides this feature.  OurOldNumber.com offers the ability to pick a ‘virtual’ number that is assigned to you.  Then you can provide this number to anyone and when they call that number, they can forward the call on to your cellular phone.  However, automated sales calls are blocked, and the caller does not see your cellular number.

Using your existing landline number or a new ‘virtual’ number as your primary telephone number in ‘public’ will help keep unwanted sales calls from reaching your cellular phone.

What if I’ve already given my cellular number out?

Again, we’ve all been doing this for many years now and our numbers are all over the place.

One solution used by many of our customers was to get new a cellular number from their cellular service provider.  The process is quite easy but, in the end, your ‘old’ cellular number is now ‘virtual’.  Anyone can reach you on your ‘old’ cellular number.  However, unwanted automated sales calls are now blocked.

You can continue to use your ‘old’ cellular number when you need to provide a telephone number that will be in the ‘public’ domain.  However, your new cellular number will not be as exposed to those that would use it to make unwanted calls.

Conclusion.

It seems that it is almost impossible today to avoid unwanted calls to any of our telephone numbers.  However, with a little effort, there are some methods and services that can help you protect your important telephone numbers, both landline and cellular, from the majority of unwanted calls.

The Tech Team at OurOldNumber.com is made up of experienced professionals with decades of experience in the design and operation of telecommunications infrastructure.  They are responsible for the day-to-day operation of our systems and get all the credit for our 8 year run without a single system failure.

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