You are not alone. As the number of spammers, scammers, and telemarketers increases each day, so do the flood of unwanted private callers to your smartphone. And chances are, there is a reason they’re hiding their identity when they call.
Who or what is a private caller?
A private caller is a person who has hidden or otherwise obfuscated their phone number. Typically, their calls will display on your phone as:
- Private Caller
- No Caller ID
Private callers can range from someone you may know, such as an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend, your local mechanic, or a scam artist posing as the IRS.
Some private calls are innocent and can contain important information. For instance, doctors probably do not want their personal phone number shared to avoid patients calls during the off-work hours.
Unfortunately, most of these private callers do not have good intentions. Calls from private numbers are common with current or former romantic partners, business competitors, harassers, and phone scammers. Calling someone from a private number is a popular strategy to avoid identification, getting someone on the phone who may not have answered if they recognized the phone number, or contacting someone who has already tried to block the caller.
Many private callers believe that calling someone from a private number will prevent them from getting caught or held accountable for their ill-intentioned calls. But as you will read, that is not actually true, especially with apps like TrapCall that unmask the number behind these calls
How to Place a Call from a Private Number
There are a few ways callers can place calls from private numbers. The oldest trick in the book is dialing *67 before a phone number you wish to call. The steps are as follows:
- Dial *67.
- Enter the full phone number you intend to call. ( Make sure to include the area code! )
- Tap the Call button. The words “Blocked”, “No Caller ID”, or “Private” or some other indicators will appear on the recipient’s phone instead of your mobile number.
Callers can also block their outbound Caller ID by turning it off on their call “Settings” on their mobile phone. By setting it up this way, their smartphones automatically dial *67 on all outbound phone calls. This way, all calls placed will appear as unavailable.
Lastly, callers can call from private numbers using phone spoofing. Phone spoofing is the practice of calling someone from a fake phone number or a blocked phone number.
Using popular services such as SpoofCard, private callers can choose what caller ID appears when they place an outbound call. For example, a caller could spoof their phone number to call from a phone number with a local area code or show their caller ID as “Private”.
Is there a surefire way to reveal private callers?
Though emergency hotlines like 911 can unmask blocked calls as well, TrapCall is the only mobile app that unmasks the phone number behind private callers.
TrapCall can unmask any private caller. We can even unmask the private caller’s full name and address on our Premium and Ultimate plans. If you don’t believe us, try calling us from a blocked number to see TrapCall’s magic at *67-334-212-5001!
Click here to see how easy it is to unmask blocked calls with TrapCall.
How Can I Effectively Block Private Callers?
Blocking private callers or Unknown Numbers is sort of possible using your iPhone or Android’s default functionality, but not without unintended side effects.
If you’re using an iPhone, you can block calls from everyone who’s not on your contact list by doing the following:
- Go to “Settings”
- Open “Do Not Disturb”
- Slide on “Manual”
- Tap on “Allow Calls From”
- Select “All Contacts”
If you’re using an Android phone:
- Go to the dial screen
- Tap “Settings”
- Tap “Call Blocking”
- Tap “Block List”
- Select “Block Anonymous Calls”
This solution will work beautifully if your goal is to block callers who call you from either a Blocked, No Caller ID, or Private number. However, as you may have noticed, this solution will also block any incoming calls from phone numbers that are not saved in your contacts.
This solution will prevent you from receiving important phone calls from your pharmacy, your doctor, a new job offer, and school updates if their phone numbers are not already saved as a contact in your phone.
Because of this, the best solution is to download an app for Android or iOS that can reveal the identity of unfamiliar or private callers and allow the option to only block the phone numbers you do not wish to hear from.
Go Beyond Unmasking Private Callers with TrapCall
It’s true that it’s important to reveal the true identity of the private caller you’re receiving blocked calls from for peace of mind, but what you do with that information is of even greater importance.
TrapCall is the #1 rated Private Call unmasking and blocking app for iOS & Android. Not only is TrapCall the only app to effectively reveal and block private callers – it equips you with the tools needed to take action against the caller if you wish to do so.
TrapCall will allow you to:
- Reveal who called you from a private number: Including their name, address, and a photo when available.
- Blacklist their phone number to ensure that your phone doesn’t even ring when they call you.
- Keep a record of spammers/harassers.
- Record conversations to hold the private caller accountable.
TrapCall’s ability to unmask private calls allows you to put the power back in your hands and gives you peace of mind. TrapCall is a simple and inexpensive solution that provides you the confidence and ability to always know who’s calling.
Click here to try TrapCall today!
Why Do You Receive Spam Phone Calls?
There are many ways that your phone number can become a target of spam calls, but it is also very likely that your number was simply auto-dialed at random.
A good way to check if your phone numbers are publicly available is to search for them in Google or other search engines. You may find that your phone number is associated with social media profiles that are accessible to the public and easily scraped by call list collection companies.
Technology has made it easy to find ways to scrape your personal information on the internet and public databases to find mobile and landline numbers and sell them to both legal and illegal spam callers. This is typically more a prominent issue for individuals who have their phone numbers listed publically, such as real estate agents and small business owners.
Legal businesses also sell “call lists”. These lists typically contain phone numbers of legitimate leads scraped through social media websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and are cross-referenced with the Do Not Call List.
Organizations that partake in cold calling or telemarketing can purchase these lists or generate their own, but must comply with FCC or FTC rules and regulations. If they do not comply, they can face hefty fines and bad PR.
In other frequent instances, there is no method to the madness: your phone number is dialed at random. Using auto-dialing technology, spam calls can be placed in immense volume with little strategy or method to the phone numbers called. In these circumstances, the first call to the phone number is typically placed only to identify if it is an active phone number.
If the caller is unsuccessful in scamming or selling their product to the victim during their first attempt, the phone number will be flagged as “try again”. This could be due to the call recipient engaging with the caller, dialing a number to “opt out”, or requesting to no longer be called.
This, in turn, will increase the number of spam calls you receive – simply because the spam caller knows they’re under your skin. For this reason, it is important to avoid answering or engaging with unfamiliar calls as frequently as possible.
Source: FTC, How does a RoboCall Work?
Why Traditional Methods of Blocking Spam Calls Don’t Work
Though it is unlikely that Alexander Graham Bell foresaw spam phone calls becoming such a prominent issue with US consumers today, the unfortunate truth is that the problem is only expected to persist.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans made 5.3 million complaints about unwanted spam calls in the 2016 fiscal year, and that number is expected to rise in 2017.
As the technology designed to help spam callers reach your phone has evolved, effective smartphone call blocking surprisingly has not.
This is partly due to common misconceptions about effective spam call blocking solutions, and partly because phone and service providers have yet to invest in developing functionality that will help stop the problem.
In the next section of our post, we will address the reasons why the solutions you thought would stop spam calls are ineffective.
Mixed Responses to Local Presence Dialing
The above results prompt several questions, the first being: When a person notices a discrepancy between what caller ID displays and the presumed location of the caller, what conclusions will that person draw? To find out, we asked our participants what assumptions they make about the company’s motivations for using a local area code.
Suspected Reasons Out-of-State Companies Use Local Area Codes
The goal of local presence dialing is to get more people to answer the calls, and the results we presented above show that it is effective. They also show that people understand the motivations behind the use of local presence dialing: Seventy percent stated that the reason a business would alter its displayed caller ID is to increase the chance they’ll answer.
They’re right, of course—and this suggests that the practice may now be commonplace enough that people expect it.
Nearly Half Would Hang Up on Local Presence Dialers
Local presence dialing does increase the rate at which people answer calls from unrecognized callers. And once they realize that the caller is not local, most people know the reason the caller used a local caller ID.
How, then, does this affect the relationship moving forward? We asked how people would react if they answered a call from a company using a local area code, but found the company was actually out-of-state.
Reaction to Answering Out-of-State Calls From Local Numbers
These responses are very polarized. Just over half said they’d either ask about the discrepancy, not care or be only “curious” about it. Meanwhile, just under half said they’d hang up the phone because of it.
Given that these were anonymous responses to an online survey, it’s prudent to take them with a grain of salt. It’s possible that in real life people would not be so quick to hang up the phone. Nevertheless, this does serve as a strong indication. It at least tells us how people feel they’d react, even if in reality, their reactions might be a little less severe.
Respondents Divided on Reaction to Local Presence Dialing
Local presence dialing is just the first link in a chain: one that begins with a phone call and ends, ideally, with some form of business transaction. With the above questions, we’ve seen how answer rates can be improved with local presence dialing, as well as what people think and feel about the practice. But how does all of this influence the last link in the chain? Does local presence dialing affect business outcomes?
Impact of Local Presence Dialing on Likelihood to Do Business
What we see here is a large portion of respondents claiming local presence dialing would negatively affect their likelihood to do business with the caller. Interestingly, though, we see an equally large portion on the fence.
It seems likely that those expressing a neutral opinion, saying they’re “not sure” if their decision to do business would be affected, would base their decision on other factors, such as the content of the call, the sales pitch or the attractiveness of the deal or business proposal.