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Here’s how strangers get your number. Don’t do these 5 common mistakes

Beware of telemarketers Do you know, who is calling?

If you belong to those who are still sticking with a land line, you’re most likely not bothered by calls from telemarketers and don’t have to read further. But your cell phone is different. Have you ever been wondering, why are you receiving so much spam calls? We’ve been as well. And here’s what we’ve found out.

Lately, it’s getting super easy for marketing organizations to obtain your mobile phone number. The reason is simple. More and more people are moving to the exclusive use of mobile phones (instead of land lines) - and our mobile phone number is everywhere. In business cards, email signatures or even in our sushi orders.

The result is clear. There are more and more companies that are obtaining our data including a phone number - which are lucrative files to sale.

How do they get your number?

So what to do about it? Just don’t let telemarketers to get you number so easily. Here are the most frequent mistakes you probably do that help telemarketers to obtain your number.

1. You overshare your number

An online signup form, social networks, email signature or "only" a customer card that should bring you loyalty points or a discount in your favourite shop. Are you used to sharing your phone number everywhere? You put yourself at risk. Anytime you’re entering your phone number on a form or anywhere else, there is a significant chance that it will end up in someone else’s hands than you have expected.
-> Read more: Does Facebook have your phone number? You may be in trouble

2. You don’t read the Terms of Use

Let’s say this clear: though the most of today’s mobile apps are totally safe, there are also some which have but one goal: to get (and sell) your personal data, your mobile phone number included. So be careful, especially when you are accepting app’s terms of use. It’s better safe than sorry, right?

3. You call "800", "888" and "900" numbers

Your "800", "888", and "900" calls are a telemarketers’ popular way to obtain your mobile number. When you’re calling these numbers, your number may be captured by the so called Automatic Number Identification system (ANI). The ANI system can automatically identify and store the number from which you are dialing and match it with other online digital markers associated with you. Your number is then usually added to marketer’s databases or sold to other marketers.

4. When making a donation, you give your number away

Don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with charities. But when a charity hires a third-party telemarketing company to collect funds on its behalf, then you have a problem - since these telemarketers keep your personal information for themselves.

5. You are eager for credit or discount

Did you know that whenever you apply for credit (even the smallest one), you voluntarily give your personal information away? The price for an immediate spending power can be really high, because credit companies can sell all your personal data to third parties. And that’s not what you want to, right?

… and still there are those automatic dialing devices

Even if you are really careful about sharing your number, you can experience a lot of spam calls on a daily basis. How is that possible? You probably receive calls that don’t have another human on the other end. It’s because automatic dialing devices can figure out and call all possible phone number combinations, even unlisted numbers. Lately, the number of these robocalls has been growing rapidly (it’s been counted that in 2017, there were made more than 100 billion robocalls in USA).

So what to do about it?

First of all: try to avoid all those common mistakes above. Registering your number on the National Do Not Call Registry can also help, although not every telemarketing company takes this registry into consideration.

The safest way, how to protect your privacy (and time and money as well), is to use one of those mobile apps that can block every spam call before even receiving it. One of today’s most popular spam blockers is the Should I Answer app. It’s free and based on a community databasis of numbers, so it’s no wonder that the count of its satisfied users grows every day (nowadays, it has millions of users all around the world). You can download it for your Android for free anytime. In return, you’ll be freed from annoying calls for good. Enjoy! :-)

-> Download the app for your Android

(Not an Android user? Let’s check the new app for your iPhone)