By in Business

Why are they calling me? Scam?

Throwaway phone

I decided to buy myself what is sometimes called a "throwaway phone" because they are cheap and may sometimes be bought by criminals, used once and thrown away (hence "throwaway"). Funnily enough, Amazon only allows you to buy about 3 of these in about any 3 month period, don't know why?

Business Use

The phone was for my website. I want to go into online marketing once I have finished my studies but as a relaxation, I create websites and put them online (sad?) and had been earning a few dollars occasionally. I don't want the tax people coming after me, so decided to create a business for this, even though the overall costs would be negative (that is, I spend more money than I make) but at least it keeps me legit.

Business Bank

I went to a bank I had been using for a long time (at least 10 years) and asked to open a business account. After a 1 hour telephone conversation, they turned me down, which was annoying and one of the reasons was because I didn't have a phone number on my website for customers to contact me. By this time, I was beginning to wonder if they knew anything about online marketing! I explained that I had no intention of getting spam calls to my personal phone from the website but they still wanted a contact number on there, so I bought the throw away phone and a 1p (2cent) SIM card and put the number online. But they still turned me down!

Every Day

I turn that phone on every day to check for messages. the SIM card I bought was supposed to be brand new (it came through Amazon UK) but I have had missed calls from particular numbers. You can check these online and a number have been from debt collectors, so I ban those numbers emoticon :smile: ! Two phone calls I got while online were asking for the same person, a Brian Cox, who I don't know and mentioning an address some hundreds of miles away. I don't mind keeping up a conversation with these people, if I have the time. One asked if I was in England and I told her "no". (I am not), so she asked had she called India by mistake! (The Welsh accent must still be recognisable!)


Now, this was (supposed to be) a brand new SIM card. It's not a smart phone, just text and phone messages and I use it ONLY for checking in case someone wants to contact me from my website. Why is it getting debt chasing calls for someone I don't know? Do these call companies just check up on EVERY new phone number and call to try and find out personal details? I don't think they are coming from my website because that is obviously a "female" website, so they presumably wouldn't be asking for a male. And one call was from a car sales company, together with a voice message but I think they must just have dialled the wrong number. It's a funny business!

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Scorpie wrote on November 7, 2014, 9:12 AM

It sounds like random number fishing to me.

SLGarcia wrote on November 7, 2014, 9:37 AM

I agree with you - I believe you're right.

LoudMan wrote on November 7, 2014, 11:06 AM

Google the phone number and I bet several entries come up. I block them via Google Voice so, these kinds of slobs don't bother me.

Feisty56 wrote on November 7, 2014, 11:06 AM

Sorry, but your dilemma gave me an idea: These throwaway phones, used by criminals -- can you imagine how hilarious it would be if a bad guy was trying to do something stealthy, but his phone kept ringing from these phishing folks? I know, I brain works sideways sometimes.

It must be aggravating to get these calls. If you find a way to make them stop, please let us know. You could make a fortune just from that info alone!

nbaquero wrote on November 7, 2014, 11:48 AM

MegL I think they just do random calls to see who fall for their scams. Is there a way of blocking those numbers? Or could just let all the calls go to Voice Mail to screen them and the call back to those that are legit only?

melody23 wrote on November 7, 2014, 2:29 PM

Once a number has been inactive for six months it goes back into circulation to become someone else's new number so that they never run out of numbers because so many are lying in a pile dormant somewhere. Your sim card will be new but it will have previously been someone else's number, that will be who all the calls are for.

melody23 wrote on November 7, 2014, 2:32 PM

I know how stop them in the UK but not in the US unfortunately. There is a particular letter you can send them (google 'telephone harassment by debt collector') in this case you could edit it to say that the number no longer belongs to the person they are looking for. If they contact you by phone after receiving the letter (plus a few days for processing of the letter) they are breaking the law and you can sue them. Maybe a similar thing exists in the US?

MegL wrote on November 7, 2014, 3:04 PM

Ah, that explains it. Thanks

MegL wrote on November 7, 2014, 3:05 PM

Yes, several entries come up with comments from others. I block those numbers.

MegL wrote on November 7, 2014, 3:09 PM

Once I google the number and find it's from a site like that, the phone gives me the option to block that number but those firms must have lots of numbers to try and overcome the blocking effect. That would make very funny story!

MegL wrote on November 7, 2014, 3:10 PM

Thanks. Useful to know.

melody23 wrote on November 7, 2014, 3:16 PM

I have unfortunately dealt with this a lot. actually I may write some articles on it, thank you for the inspiration.

Kasman wrote on November 7, 2014, 3:34 PM

Scams are everywhere and some of them rely on automated calls - if you answer your number goes into a data bank of 'live numbers' for further investigation.

carolscash wrote on November 7, 2014, 9:27 PM

I am sure that it is some sort of scam or someone that is fishing for numbers. I say let it go

BarbRad wrote on November 8, 2014, 6:26 PM

I never use my cell phone for anything but calling out while not at home or trying to avoid long distance charges on my land line. No one has my number but web sites who need to send a verification code when I change a password or relatives and close friends. My phone is off 99% of the time. I only turn it on when it might be important for someone to get through to me.

AliCanary wrote on November 8, 2014, 10:39 PM

I guess phone numbers get recycled, and Brian Cox used to have the number in question. How tiresome!

opa_js wrote on November 9, 2014, 8:22 AM

I hate scams!
There was once, I received a call from a so called bank number. It sounded like a robot on the other end of the line, anyhow it wanted me to confirm my credit card transaction.
It is because of that peculiar robotic sound on the phone, that made my suspicious, I decide to cancel the call. Right after that, I tried to call up the bank and verify this issue.

Thank goodness, it was a scam.

gulp_burp wrote on November 9, 2014, 8:56 AM

It would be very interesting for a news story to come up about a criminal getting caught because his phone kept ringing nonstop.

Ruby3881 wrote on November 12, 2014, 9:40 PM

It's not your SIM card that's recycled, it's your phone number! This will happen even if you get a new phone number for your landline.

scheng1 wrote on December 2, 2014, 3:40 AM

I think they recycle the numbers after a few months of inactivity.