How to Emulate/Fake a telephone area code
August 12, 2007 9:55 PM   Subscribe

How to legally and economically emulate a remote telephone area code so to a person receiving my call, it appears I am calling from their area code?

I live in Austin, Texas and telephone to set up appointments with hot sales leads (people who have asked to be called based on their responding to a mail piece, and including their home and cell phone). Up to now, those leads have all been in Phoenix.

I have a Vonage account with an Austin area code and suspected that many of those folks were not taking my phone call when they saw the Austin area code on their caller ID.

Sure enough, when I changed my Vonage account to a Phoenix area code, my pick-up rate went up significantly.

My dilemma: I will begin buying leads in two or three other metro areas, and those areas may change from time to time. It would not be economical or feasible to add phone lines with those area codes since I may only use them for a short time.

Can anyone tell me any other legal and economical way to piggyback from my Vonage account and make my call appear to originate from the area code I'm calling into?
posted by lometogo to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was going to say check out the VoIP providers, but your more inside covers that. I vaguely recall one of them allowed you to have multiple indial numbers for a dollar or two each per month, maybe they offer the same for outbound caller ID.
If no knowledgable answer comes along you might need to contact some of these yourself.
posted by bystander at 10:19 PM on August 12, 2007

There are lots of companies that offer "caller id spoofing". I've never used the service but they claim it's legal. Try here and here or google caller id spoofing for many more.
posted by nelvana at 10:28 PM on August 12, 2007

I am only giving you this information because you have already conquered my hometown.

So, here is what your going to want to do:

Sign up for one GrandCentral account for every area code that you require. You most likely only need one area code for each metro area (Area codes in and around Phoenix are 602, 623, and 480 - Having any of these area codes will work, no need to have all three).

Now, you may have a problem signing up for another GC account if you use the same email address. It is probably against policy to own more than one account. Waahhh..

Ok... I know that you have Phoenix licked, but I am going to continue to use it in my example.

So, you sign up at GrandCentral and you select a 602 area code when doing so. Lets say your GrandCentral number is 602-555-0125. What you want to do next is forward this GrandCentral number to your REAL phone number. Now if anybody calls 602-555-0125 it will be forwarded to your REAL phone for you to answer or reject. If your REAL phone has caller ID, you are going to see their name and number.

Now, the trick is going to be calling them. There are multuple ways to do this. I think you can do it from your GrandCentral voicemail (Calling you GC number and entering you PIN to access voicemail and settings - I think there is a prompt to enter a number to call). The way I would do it, if you are going to be around your computer, would be to sign into and go into your Address Book. Enter the person as a contact and then hit 'Call.' Your REAL phone rings and as soon as you answer GC starts calling the contact. The contact sees your GC phone number, 602-555-0125.

I encourage you to login and play around with the settings and tools. I can easily give you another 5 or 6 paragraphs about how to set this up, but if you go in there, you will understand. If you do want further assistance though, email shizah at real304 dot com and I will assist you. This WILL do exactly what you are looking to do.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 11:07 PM on August 12, 2007

A voipjet account and the right software will let you call from whatever number you'd like. I think you can even edit the calling name info but it's been a while since I've used it.
posted by Venadium at 1:51 AM on August 13, 2007

I have used with some success, but I do't like the rates or the hassle.
posted by thilmony at 7:32 AM on August 13, 2007

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