Why so many scam call reporting websites?
November 1, 2017 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Like many people, I'm getting increasingly frequent scam calls. Sometimes I'll search unfamiliar numbers online and will come across dozens of sites where they've been reported: 800notes.com, whocallsme.com, whycall.me, shouldianswer.com, whoscall.in, etc. What's the deal with these sites? They don't have any differentiating features. Are they their own scam?
posted by waninggibbon to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm pretty sure most of them just exist to get traffic and sell ads.

800notes.com is the classic that's been around forever and usually has the most complete information, shouldianswer.com is the site associated with a mobile app that blocks those calls, and I don't know much about the rest, but I assume they're generating revenue from getting a bunch of page impressions.
posted by ernielundquist at 4:01 PM on November 1, 2017 [9 favorites]

I think the sites are innocent enough, and probably there's a lot of them because they're easy to code and throw up there, and tons of people search for this kind of information, therefore a lot of potential ad revenue. As long as they're not asking for your personal info, there isn't really a way for them to gain by scamming you.

Not to be confused with the sites where you search for someone's phone listing and get a scammy white pages site where they try to sell you a membership to get the info. Those people can DIAF.
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:01 PM on November 1, 2017 [2 favorites]

I can't say I know for sure, but I think it's just a really easy "content mill" to have a website that shows up when any conceivable phone number is googled. Anytime I get a missed call from an unfamiliar number, I google it -- sometimes I google it while the phone is ringing to decide if I want to pick up. I have a friend who made a couple "content mill" websites -- useless websites that managed to get hits for certain search terms and earned ad revenue. The websites required no work on his part after he set them up, but he made a small profit of ad sales every month. I imagine that's why these sites exist. I'll click on a few of them trying to find a satisfactory answer to who is calling me.
posted by AppleTurnover at 4:15 PM on November 1, 2017 [1 favorite]

The things I forget as an adblocker.
posted by waninggibbon at 4:44 PM on November 1, 2017 [6 favorites]

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