• Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.

Keep getting message from previous phone number owner.

Nov 22, 2019
34
39
18
Good morning all,

in 2013, I got a new phone number from AT&T. I got some calls/text for the previous owner, which was fine the same year. Now we are in 2020, and I still get at 3-4 times a week automatic call/text. Some are spams, some are from the Republican party (or some groups supporting him) asking for donation, and some looks like automatic messages from some website offering gigs, fewer and fewer from relatives.
  • I have already replied STOP to many of them, I am registered on the do not call list,
  • I have wrote a letter to all credit bureau as well (many calls were collecting agency calls, it seems that the previous owner had many debt),
  • I have replied to some message sent by friends/relative of the previous owner to explain them the situation.
What else can I do? Many of the automatic calls are from debt collectors, so I can't explain them directly since it is an automatic call. I have tried to call back sometines, but it takes a lot of time and I am not sure they changed anything (or believe me). Also, the area code is from Texas and I live in California, so they call at 6am (California time) sometimes.

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
21,047
20,864
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Block the numbers that are calling and if you are on the Do Not Call list, report every one of those calls to them. I get debt calls for my ex wife and we’ve been divorced for 37 years.

Being on the DNC list isn’t enough- if calls are still getting through you need to report them.

Your only other option is to get a new phone number.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
21,047
20,864
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
One thing to know- getting a new number will not get rid of spam calls. Except for the debt collector, you have no way of knowing where the spam is coming from and it probably has nothing to do with the previous owner. I don’t even answer my cell if I don’t know who the caller is because it’s usually spam.
 
Sep 4, 2019
7
13
3
37
I suspect every so often old data is sold en masse to spam companies. I’ve had my cell number for 17 years and still get waves of calls and texts for “Beth” every few months. Nothing I’ve tried has succeeded in stopping it. Let us know if anything works for you.
 
Nov 22, 2019
34
39
18
Thanks for the suggestions, I usually block the numbers, and reported a few of them on FTC's website and will keep doing so. I don't really want to change number because it will be messy for me and no guarantee that I will not "inherit" of a number with similar issues.

After reading on the FTC website, it seems that th do not call registry allows debt collector and political party. I will keep patience then!
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
3,430
4,171
113
the United States
Further explanation about recommending a new number . . .

In the past I have contacted both the Do Not Call registry and the FCC. The answer has consistently been that they can only take action if there are multiple complaints about the caller. I have never seen a true resolution from them.

Next I tried multiple call blocking apps, but the best they could do is send the call to voicemail (this is what app designers label as "blocking"). During that brief test I discovered a) that this had no effect and b) that spamming technology can differentiate between an answer, voicemail, and a hangup.

The only "solution" with which I have seen success is to answer then immediately hangup. That has stopped some robocalls, but nothing can stop the political calls and texts. Our legislators have carved out an exception for themselves.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
21,047
20,864
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
This is why you should be reporting every single one of these calls that gets through. Unless they get multiple reports, nothing is done.

In NY State, the law is being expanded to cover live telemarketer calls beginning in March.
 
  • Like
Reactions: VoR61

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
331
646
93
33
Next I tried multiple call blocking apps, but the best they could do is send the call to voicemail (this is what app designers label as "blocking").
I don't know about all phones, but mine has a native call blocker that so far seems effective at blocking them and does not send them to my voicemail. I'm sure there's another way to do it, but when I hang up the hang up screen that goes up for a few seconds has a button that says block.

Of course this method means you have to answer them first. I currently need to answer numbers I don't know so I've been blocking any that are spam and not the calls from unknown numbers I'm expecting.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jsn55

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
3,430
4,171
113
the United States
I don't know about all phones, but mine has a native call blocker that so far seems effective at blocking them and does not send them to my voicemail. I'm sure there's another way to do it, but when I hang up the hang up screen that goes up for a few seconds has a button that says block.

Of course this method means you have to answer them first. I currently need to answer numbers I don't know so I've been blocking any that are spam and not the calls from unknown numbers I'm expecting.
I think it would be of value to test this. You will never know that it truly blocks a caller until then.

I thought ours did that until a caller was "blocked" and then left a voicemail. If the caller hangs up before the voicemail prompt ends, no voicemail is left.
 
Jun 24, 2019
424
837
93
72
We are the only people in history with our land line phone numbers. (Land lines because cell phone service here is poor and Spectrum, formerly Time-Warner, formerly Adelphia, formerly Century, can't support three lines. )

Today we have had seven unsolicited calls. It's only 4:15 p.m. Three were from contractors, or folks who claim to be contractors. Two were political, and thus probably protected by the First Amendment. ("The President is under attack and needs my help." Same pitch twice. Different likely spoofed numbers.) One caller offered a free seven day Carnival cruise. One hung up. I have not heard from Marriott or Hilton in days. I have not heard from the IRS and the Social Security Administration for a week. Yesterday , I ignored a call from Apple telling me my account was compromised and my cell disconnected. The call came on my cell. Which wan't disconnected. Once a week I get a call asking for the "head of the household;" they claim to be a police charity.

Once or twice a week I get a call spoofing my own cell number.

I've given up reporting numbers to the Do Not Call list.

I've blocked a couple of dozen numbers on my cell.

Until someone figures out the technology that blocks these calls at inception, I feel stuck, especially as to the land lines.
 
Feb 14, 2017
3
13
3
67
When I moved my elderly father into an Assisted Living facility I had to put in a landline. The number that he got had formerly been assigned to a Hookah bar. Dad was getting all sorts of calls about what time are they open, etc. he also has mild Alzheimer’s and was convinced the callers were looking for a “Hooker Bar”!
in any case, I ended up getting them to change the number.
 
Nov 30, 2018
42
62
18
62
I'm sorry, this won't really help the OP unless it helps them laugh like these posts have helped me to laugh.

I got my cel number in 2005. Innumerable scam calls, a bunch of them in what l believe to be Chinese, but not sure.

And best of all, texts from someone(s) who must be young based on context and abbreviations (I was born in the 1950s) wanting to meet up. When I text back "wrong number" they don't believe me ("Bae!"). I can only imagine these people showing up to Xyz and realizing someone has given them a fake phone number.

There is no way to control phone scammers, robocallers or people who give out fake phone numbers to people they meet in bars. I just don't answer phone calls or texts from people l don't know. Not even the ones to Bae, anymore.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,026
9,697
113
San Francisco
This thread is laugh-inducing. Better to laugh than to cry over a situation that has no solution. Maybe we should think about going back to landlines with mechanical answering machines that you can hear. When the unwanted callers start talking, you can disconnect the call. If it's a call you want to take, just pick up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BittyBoo
Feb 3, 2019
201
417
63
The Washington Post ran an interesting piece a couple of years ago on why we get so many spam calls on DNC-registered numbers.

The short answer is, the spammers will never stop calling, and will always be one step ahead of those trying to block them. They have so much money at stake that it will always be in their financial interest to find a way around whatever controls anyone tries to impose on them.

I'm with Neil - I never answer a call to any of my numbers if I don't know who it's from. If the caller actually wants to reach me, they can leave a voicemail (they almost never do). I can block numbers directly on my Android phone and/or with my carrier without having to first answer a call, and my phone has a Do Not Disturb setting that I can set to only allow calls from certain numbers at night. All together, these have greatly reduced the number of spam calls that actually ring through on my phone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Carol P

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
1,206
1,326
113
Yes, I started blocking nuisance calls a few months ago and it has miraculously cut down on the number/day that I now get.
More importantly, as Neil recommends, I never answer calls from unknown numbers. Recently the head of the local Sheriff fraud department told us to Never answer phone calls from unknown numbers. When they don’t leave a message, that IS the message.
 
Dec 19, 2014
590
1,573
93
47
Do not assume that you are getting calls to previous owners.

A technique that telemarketers are using now is to call a phone number and intentionally leaving an important message for a non-existing person, hoping that you will call back which services a few purposes... 1) it verifies that your number is a valid number, 2) you may inadvertently give out personal information (such as your name), and 3) it gets you on the phone...

For example:
"Hey John, I'm calling you about your job application. We are offering you the position but we need you to contact us immediately to verify a reference. If we do not hear back from you today, we may have to move on."

You call back to say it's from a wrong number. They will then start asking you for information and if your guard is down, you may have given them your name, etc.

We also do what Neil does.... any number that isn't registered or known is ignored.