Did you know that around 15 million people in the US got unwanted calls from telemarketers last year? This number keeps rising every year, which is very alarming to know. How do they manage to get your number? Actually, telemarketers do not have to go too far to do so; they can get it easily from a very basic data check.
You must be thinking: that’s impossible. Nobody knows anything about me online. If you think you do not have an online presence, then how do so many telemarketers know about you? The answer is simple. All of your online activity is registered by certain companies. These companies sell your information to call service centers, which are always interested in getting new contacts because their livelihood depends on it.
Here’s everything you need to know about keeping your number safe from telemarketers.
Know About the Data Check first
To understand how telemarketers and other callers get your number, you need to know where they get it from. You must have heard about data check websites, which contain all of your public information. A public data check is mostly used to find old friends and family members, to check for a criminal record, and more. However, not all of these sites are legitimate. What’s more, people can also steal your number from them.
The Agreement Option Before app Installation
When was the last time you downloaded an app? Did you read its terms and conditions form when clicking on it? Did you know that under these terms, you’re asked to make your private information accessible to the site? None of us care to read the long Terms of Service agreement while downloading an app or game. All our information is being accessed, analyzed, and even sold to service holders. The moment you click to accept the agreement, you fall victim to a telemarketer who randomly calls you offering their services. It sounds similar to a data check website.
Use of Special Technology to Dial Numbers
Several automated dialing technologies can computerize random numbers using an algorithm. Such software technology is used by automated dialing centers, call centers, and other service provides. Such software comes up with millions of number combinations for telemarketers to dial and offer services. As a result, your cell phone will ring. It might be a random bot who got your number from their daily combination set or from the data check to call at unwanted times.
Many third parties use caller ID apps to collect user numbers. Whenever you dial 800, 888, or a similar number, they get your number on their list. Moreover, every time you apply for a loan, register for a service, or enter an online competition, they get your contact number. Sim card providers also sell your number to such third parties, which in turn sell them to several telemarketing companies.
Firms that accumulate numerical information
You might find it hard to believe, but many firms are actively working to collect public information and numbers. They collect numbers from websites, public forums, comment boxes, and even from delivery orders. They categorize the numbers based on age, user preference, gender, and location and sell them to telemarketers. For instance, you have been scrolling through many sites trying to order products in a certain niche, and you suddenly get a phone call. The calls are from service providers, who got your number from firms that categorized your number based on your recent activities. Such firms include Transunion, Equifax, and a few others.
Adding your phone number at an event
Do you attend charitable functions, auctions, and community events? If so, then it is likely that telemarketers get your number from such functions. Many telemarketers collect funds from such organizations and directly get access to your number. Many organizations even have a list of all your details and personal information, which they sell to other organizations. The worst part is, you don’t have a clue of what’s going on.
The Do Not Call List
After many filed complaints about unwanted sale calls, the FTC decided to open the “Don’t Call List” in the National Do Not Call registry. Even though it has been years since it was opened and has blocked over 250 million numbers, service providers are not stopping. It may block all sale calls, but it has no power over policy calls and others. After your number has been registered in the Do Not Call List, the national registry will inform all telemarketers to stop calling it. However, if you have recently done business with a sales company, they will be able to call you after that.
The next time a telemarketer calls you, remember to ask them where they got your number from. Be careful about signing online forms which require your number to log in, and do not add your personal contacts in any club or charity event registry. Be smart and cautious. People who want to call you already have your number saved. Do not fall victim to random calls. Telemarketers may call you any day and at any time. Since they get commissions, many do not care about your security and privacy.