Who Called Me? How to Find Out

By Holly Doering

When you get a call from an unfamiliar number, call it back and there’s no answer, what do you do? Here is what I do. First, I go to a few websites where you can enter the number that’s bothering you and see if other people know who it is or what they want:

www.800notes.com (for area-code 800 numbers)

You can also Google the number, or run it through an online directory likewww.411.com or www.anywho.com. Use an “area code locater” website to find out what city and state the call is coming from.

Stopping unwanted calls isn’t easy, but legitimate businesses should put you on their internal do not call list if asked. You can also try using a call blocker.  According to the Who Called Us website:

  • Uniden DECT1288 blocks up to 20 numbers, plus Private and Unknown, with the reject tone, without ringing the phone.
  • Panasonic KX-TG106 blocks up to 30 numbers, plus all unidentified callers, with a busy tone, after the phone rings once.
  • JF Teck Caller ID with Ring Controller blocks up to 70 numbers, and can be set to always allow up to 100 to ring through.

If the pests won’t quit calling, you can contact your telephone company and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, which runs the National Do Not Call Registry. You can also complain at the Federal Communications Commission website or by calling 888-225-5322.

Personally, I have found that signing up with the Do Not Call list and switching to an unlisted phone number have drastically reduced the number of nuisance calls made to my family. (Be aware that your status on the Do Not Call list doesn’t prevent alltelemarketing calls—there are exceptions for groups like charities.)

To sign up for the American Do Not Call Registry go to www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone you wish to register. To sign up for the Canadian Do Not Call List, click here.


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