Why have I been getting spam calls one after another all of a sudden?
June 29, 2022 10:10 AM   Subscribe

I had a slew of about ten spam calls one after another (intervals of about 1 minutes or less) and from all over the country. I picked one of them up and they just hung up. One of them left a message and it was just a few seconds of silence.
posted by sounddelalladaya to Society & Culture (15 answers total)
Response by poster: P.S. Before today I almost never got spam calls.
posted by sounddelalladaya at 10:10 AM on June 29, 2022

Do you know for sure they are spam calls or just weird numbers calling you? Some years back a co-worker started getting weird calls and she figured out some robo-caller randomly used her phone number on their faked caller-ID so she was getting all these calls from people asking why she called them.
posted by Captain_Science at 10:14 AM on June 29, 2022

If you have Android the (free to try, $14.99 a year) app Hiya cut my garbage calls to nearly nothing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:30 AM on June 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

Check out my question I asked a few days ago. I suspect that someone is spoofing your number and these are people getting missed calls from the spoofed your number and after they search to see if it is spam and it comes up with nothing, they call you back. I must admit that I have no definitive proof of this. Just what it feels like.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:49 AM on June 29, 2022

These calls are not coming from "all over the country". They are very likely coming from one spammer who is using widely available technology to provide fake caller ID information.

You are getting these calls all of a sudden and one after another because the spammer just got your number, and has poor systems so they're calling you over and over again.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 10:50 AM on June 29, 2022 [7 favorites]

Someone is messing with a Robo-caller and your number is first on the list, unfortunately. They're also faking the caller-id so it appears to be from all over the place. You're just unlucky, IMHO.
posted by kschang at 10:51 AM on June 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm seeing a sharp uptick in spam calls lately. I used to get 1-2 a week. Now I get 1-2 a day. Various friends (all different area codes, cell service providers, locations) tell me the same is true for them. I think there may just be more spammers right now, for some reason.
posted by decathecting at 11:07 AM on June 29, 2022

yup, phone spam is like the weather. It ebbs and flows and none of it is your fault.
posted by Sauce Trough at 11:11 AM on June 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Many of my spam calls come in pairs, but not in long sequences like you describe. Spam dialers spoof the numbers they're using for caller ID. Some of them will try to spoof numbers in your area code, or even within your area code and prefix ("neighbor spoofing") but what I've seen recently is that I'll get two calls in quick succession from entirely random parts of the country. I think they're just trying their luck, or maybe their systems aren't configured very well (who would have thought that scammers wouldn't worry about configuring their systems well).

As for the silence and lack of message: spam dialers dial preemptively based on a prediction that an operator will be available by the time the call is answered, and sometimes the predictions are wrong. Sometimes they will route the call to a recorded message in the absence of a live operator ("press 1 to be connected") and sometimes they try to detect whether a live person has even answered before routing the call at all. For that reason I've stopped saying "hello" more than once. If the robot isn't initially listening and doesn't catch my initial "hello," it'll hang up on extended silence, but if I say "hello" again it'll connect me to "Tyler" with "Technical Support of Windows" or whatever, and then I have to waste more of my time fucking with him.

My favorites now are the ones with a system that emits an audible "bloop" when connecting you to an operator. I say "hello," there's about a second of silence, then there's a "bloop," and I just hang up before "Brian" can start his spiel about how he's from the local electric utility (he's not) and they're calling to offer me a bogus discount.
posted by fedward at 11:16 AM on June 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

FWIW, Pixel phones have Google's "call screening" service even if you don't use Google-Fi as your carrier. Basically it answers the phone as if Google Voice answered it. "The recipient you call is using a Google call screening service. Please state your name and purpose of your call", and you can decide whether to answer or not. Generally spammers hang up in the middle of the screening message.
posted by kschang at 11:25 AM on June 29, 2022 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: As a quick note: one of the calls I got left a message and just said "Goodbye" in automated voice. For a little added context I'm organizing a pretty escalated action in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade and am wondering if this could be someone trying to intimidate me.
posted by sounddelalladaya at 12:53 PM on June 29, 2022

Way more likely to be robo-dialler shenanigans. And even if it is somebody trying to intimidate you, assuming it's robo-dialler shenanigans and just hanging up takes the wind out of their sails anyway.
posted by flabdablet at 1:22 PM on June 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

FWIW, as a random anecdote by a random MeFite in the US, yesterday and today I've been getting 3 calls a day on my cell phone number. Origin numbers are from all over the place. All but one didn't leave a voicemail. One of them left an empty (no sound) voicemail. This was not happening prior to yesterday; previously, I'd get 1/day maybe ever few days.

Considering the current economic trends, I'd place my bet on scammers looking to take advantage of people who are worried about money.
posted by StrawberryPie at 1:38 PM on June 29, 2022

This totally happened to me too, exactly today, for about 1hr around 10am pst.
Same as you I rarely get spam.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:00 PM on June 29, 2022

Response by poster: I see. It seems pretty clear after these replies that what is happening to me is not unique which is a relief. Anyway, thanks for all the responses, everyone.
posted by sounddelalladaya at 10:08 PM on June 29, 2022

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