How do I stop websites listing my mobile phone number?

  • Before I start, I should say that I'm writing this from the USA. I'm sure that other countries will have other approaches to solving this problem, but I'm looking for help solving this for someone in the USA.

    I've had my cell number for at least 15 years. I had it originally with Verizon. About 4 years ago we switched to AT&T, but I kept the same mobile number. (You can do that.)

    About 6 to 10 years ago I started getting some phone calls from people, wanting me to help them with some business. At first I thought it was someone accidentally calling me by mistake. You know, they fat fingered the number and got me by accident. But then they continued. Finally I Binged my cell number and found the name of the company these people thought I was. (I won't bother telling you the name of the company. Let's just say that the name looks suspicious, like something you'd call if you were trying to get some escort service.) I contacted the website, told them they were listing my phone number for some business I have never been associated with. (Indeed, I'd never even heard of them until I started getting these calls.) They obliged and that was it for some years.

    However, now I've started getting a LOT of robocalls. Today, they're over 50. Yesterday was over 30. It's been that way for at least a couple of weeks. There are several characteristics about these robocalls that make me think they're originating from the same group of people. First, the message, whatever the whole thing is, is short. Very short. Like many of us I no longer answer any calls from any phone number I don't recognize. It goes to voice mail. My message for my voice mail is short, so these jerks (yeah, I'd so like to use a much stronger term here) have time to leave something after my voice mail greeting. But all that's there is something like, "... to be taken off our do not call list." The point is, these messages are always the same thing.

    The infuriating thing is that they're using different number phones. Many different number phones. At the beginning of this barrage of robocalls, I started blocking the numbers. But that is now failing. My phone blocks the message, but it doesn't stop these jerks from leaving their worthless message. And like I said, once they get the idea that I've blocked them (normally that takes a day or two), they start using a different phone number. (Although this is not the question I'm asking, as a side question, how do you stop this?)

    OK, now to the question I'd like to ask. I decided to go ahead and Bing my mobile number today. I was surprised to find it listed on other websites. One in fact that passes itself off as the US Chamber of Commerce. (It isn't, I checked that and found that the real Chamber of Commerce uses an entirely different URL.) But the problem is how it heck do I stop these websites from listing my mobile number? And they're all associated with that stupid, shady business. I'm beginning to think that the robocalling jerks have found my phone number on these websites, they think that I'm that business, and they're calling me to offer God only knows what for small businesses.

    Rod

  • Unfortunately, you're in a tough spot.  We can make lots of suggestions, but unless the unscrupulous party is shut down for good, good luck trying to get it resolved.

    That said, some thoughts...

    If you haven't already done so, register your number with the Do Not Call Registry.

    File a police report for harassing phone calls.  No, it's unlikely that they authorities will be able to do anything about it, but at the very least, you'll have something on record.

    Contact the FTC.  They're the ones who run the Do Not Call Registry.  I suspect they'd likely tell you to register, but it's also possible that might have other resources to resolve the problem.

    Consult a lawyer for advice as to how to tackle this.

    Hope this is helpful.  Good luck.

    +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
    Check out my blog at https://pianorayk.wordpress.com/

  • Step 1.   Stop posting it anywhere, and especially having it in your registration with sites like Google, Twitter, Facebook, and pretty much ALL of the social media sites.
    Step 2.  Stop visiting social media sites, with zero exceptions.
    Step 3.  Change your cell number and only give the new one to people you know and trust.
    Step 4.  Register the new number immediately on the DoNotCall registry.

    Anything less is probably not going to be effective.   It may be painful, but then again, it just might be worth it...   Of course, blitz call dialers that hit all 10,000 numbers in an area code and prefix combination are never going to be stopped until the penalty for doing that is high enough to dis-incentivize it.

  • Thank you very much! This is very useful information, I just couldn't figure it out myself for a long time.

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  • Yeah... that "Do Not Call" registry doesn't work.  People and companies basically ignore it.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

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