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Thread: How to purge a phone number from calling lists?

  1. #1
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    How to purge a phone number from calling lists?

    I’m thinking of signing up for a Page Plus account with a new phone number and I want to make sure the number is clean before I actually start using it.

    There is a chance that if I sign up for a new account, the previous user of that number may have been on too many telemarketing and debt collection lists and that’s why they got rid of the number..
    My plan is to order a SIM and the $10 for 120 day pay as you go plan, activate the number, disable voicemail, signup for Youmail and have every incoming call bounce with a “this number is not in service” message and also have Page Plus customer service disable SMS services so every text message to the number also bounces as undeliverable.
    Even without Youmail, I would think that a number that just rings forevever and never goes to voicemail might also get removed from lists, but the out of service tones and recording might help that along faster with some automated systems.

    After 90 days of the 120 day billing cycle I would try re-enabling SMS, disable Youmail, put the SIM in an extra phone, leave it powered on all day for a couple of weeks and see if it ever rings or receives spam texts.
    If there are no calls or texts, then I will start using the number and renew the plan, otherwise I will request a new number and try again.
    My plan is to just use the number to receive SMS verification codes from services that don’t work with VOIP numbers like Google Voice and never give the phone number out for any other purpose to keep the number off all lists.

    The $10 plan charges fees for SMS both incoming and outgoing. So, I don’t want the credits wasted on receiving spam texts.
    Should this work or is there a better way to get a known good number?

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    i'm confused. if the number will never be used for call but only texts why do care about any marketing calls, etc ?

    you could either block all incoming calls so they go straight to voicemail(which you would ignore) or you could leave permanently forwarded to you mail or other destination. i can see the possible concern of spam texts but that i typically far less of any issue than calls at least in my experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robbyrobby View Post
    i'm confused. if the number will never be used for call but only texts why do care about any marketing calls, etc ?

    you could either block all incoming calls so they go straight to voicemail(which you would ignore) or you could leave permanently forwarded to you mail or other destination. i can see the possible concern of spam texts but that i typically far less of any issue than calls at least in my experience.
    Spam texts are a major issue for me especially if i were paying per message. Even “free” unlimited spam texts included in a plan would be super annoying.

    Why have telemarketing messages go to voicemail? They still leave the messages and keep your number to their database of known active phone numbers which will increase both the calls and spam texts. They will keep trying and hope that maybe they will eventually catch you answering the phone or you will listen to the voicemail.
    I think the only effective way to stop/reduce calls is if the phone number gets into databases of non-working numbers. They will at least remove the number from lists of people they thought the number was associated with.
    If they can’t ever reach anyone live at the number, they can’t leave a voice message, they can’t send a fax there and they can’t successfully send an SMS, then there is no reason to call again or even leave the number in their database of active phone numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by web1b View Post
    I’m thinking of signing up for a Page Plus account with a new phone number and I want to make sure the number is clean before I actually start using it.

    There is a chance that if I sign up for a new account, the previous user of that number may have been on too many telemarketing and debt collection lists and that’s why they got rid of the number..

    ....
    I briefly saw those two sentences and not yet read anything else.

    I believe, you have no way to know if your newly assigned number is clean or not. You may get lucky. You may be not lucky.

    I've been lucky (FOR THE MOST PART). Not too much junk my way until recently, after several months of nearly no junk messages. My suspicion is that if directly going to Tracfone service, greater likely to get assigned a number line with varied history and you'll get silly, wrongly directed calls, texts, and voicemails. If go to Page Plus Cellular, even though owned by Tracfone, maybe less chance of getting a dirty number. Maybe some other newer MVNO, also less chance of a dirty new number assignment. Really though I do not know how available cellular numbers are provided to the carriers so most of this is a combination of guessing and....

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    Quote Originally Posted by robbyrobby View Post
    i'm confused. if the number will never be used for call but only texts why do care about any marketing calls, etc ?

    you could either block all incoming calls so they go straight to voicemail(which you would ignore) or you could leave permanently forwarded to you mail or other destination. i can see the possible concern of spam texts but that i typically far less of any issue than calls at least in my experience.
    He will be charged for the texts and voicemails, according to the credit available in his PPC account. This is a reason that he should simply not setup voicemail (at least for the first 100+ so days) to do his trial test. The phone on or off, text messages will still take some credit off his account, although not too expensive really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joseg2016 View Post
    I briefly saw those two sentences and not yet read anything else.

    I believe, you have no way to know if your newly assigned number is clean or not. You may get lucky. You may be not lucky.

    I've been lucky (FOR THE MOST PART). Not too much junk my way until recently, after several months of nearly no junk messages. My suspicion is that if directly going to Tracfone service, greater likely to get assigned a number line with varied history and you'll get silly, wrongly directed calls, texts, and voicemails. If go to Page Plus Cellular, even though owned by Tracfone, maybe less chance of getting a dirty number. Maybe some other newer MVNO, also less chance of a dirty new number assignment. Really though I do not know how available cellular numbers are provided to the carriers so most of this is a combination of guessing and....
    Yes, I know I won’t know how good or bad the number is until I get it. However, if I don’t need to use the number immediately, I thought maybe I could “fix” a bad number over 90 days by having every call and text sent to it bounce as undeliverable and then start using the number at that point. On Page Plus, that would only cost $10 and up to 120 days of waiting and I could then even move it to another Page Plus plan or even port the number to another carrier if I wanted.

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    web1b, you must keep your new line up and available for SOMETHING. Do you hope to turn on the phone, ready for YOU to answer any incoming calls, but have NONE of text messaging service nor voicemail service? Is this a plan to try to clean a potentially dirty-historied number?



    Now I finally found what you say next:
    Yes, I know I won’t know how good or bad the number is until I get it. However, if I don’t need to use the number immediately, I thought maybe I could “fix” a bad number over 90 days by having every call and text sent to it bounce as undeliverable and then start using the number at that point. On Page Plus, that would only cost $10 and up to 120 days of waiting and I could then even move it to another Page Plus plan or even port the number to another carrier if I wanted.
    That might be a possible good plan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joseg2016 View Post
    He will be charged for the texts and voicemails, according to the credit available in his PPC account. This is a reason that he should simply not setup voicemail (at least for the first 100+ so days) to do his trial test. The phone on or off, text messages will still take some credit off his account, although not too expensive really.
    Yes, I would want to turn off voicemail completely (not just not setup a custom greeting) so that no messages can be left at all. I have heard that Page Plus is one of the few carriers that lets you disable SMS. So, I would do that also, so every attempt to send SMS to the number would result in a failure error to the sender.
    I may also sign up for Youmail to play the error tones and then “The number you have reached is not in service. Please check the number and try your call again” message which may be a bit better at getting removed from lists than just having it ring with no answer.

    While this is happening, I would keep using my current number.

  9. #9
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    These days I don't believe any numbers get removed from spam lists. I don't think this is done anymore.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    These days I don't believe any numbers get removed from spam lists. I don't think this is done anymore.
    Yes, I know spammers don’t respect do not call lists or if you answer the call and request them to not call you again.

    However, if contacting a certain number wastes their time and resources, doesn’t get them in contact with anyone and allows them to reach fewer other numbers where someone might answer, then it’s in their own self interests to remove that number from their call list.

    If they make 10,000 call attempts per day and 20% of the numbers don’t go through, for the sake of efficiency, it would make sense for them to remove the “known bad” numbers and not include them again in their next cycle of calls.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by web1b View Post
    .............I’m thinking of signing up for a Page Plus account with a new phone number and I want to make sure the number is clean before I actually start using it...................
    What's your tolerance level for spam? There's no such thing as a clean number. Just because it may start with few spams doesn't mean that it won't be inundated in a year. Likewise a number that may start with allot (relative to your tolerance) it can die down in time. There is no spammer phone number call list. If there was I would have been dropped off decades ago.
    Spending $10 ever 120 days to find an assumed clean number that fits your expectation seems futile.
    Spam is a nature of the beast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpz1 View Post
    What's your tolerance level for spam? There's no such thing as a clean number. Just because it may start with few spams doesn't mean that it won't be inundated in a year. Likewise a number that may start with allot (relative to your tolerance) it can die down in time. There is no spammer phone number call list. If there was I would have been dropped off decades ago.
    Spending $10 ever 120 days to find an assumed clean number that fits your expectation seems futile.
    Spam is a nature of the beast.
    The numbers get on lists because they get shared from somewhere and becomes public. I had a phone number for years that had very few spam texts per year until I registered to vote and somehow that made that cell phone number a public record. At first I got a few texts about voting in state propositions, then I started to get random spam texts for various scams and commercial products. This all happened within a few weeks.

    If the number isn’t already on lists of current and active phone numbers associated with your name (or the previous subscriber’s name), it should stay off most robocall lists if you don’t start using it as your contact number with anyone.

    I would only use the actual cell phone number to register for MFA for SMS-only services and use a Google Voice number as my contact phone number. Not having the cell carrier number listed anywhere as your contact number also greatly reduces the chance that it would be targeted for SIM jacking attacks designed to intercept your MFA codes and break into accounts using SMS for 2FA login and password resets etc..

  13. #13
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    One way that I get rid of my number off of the spammers lists is use bad words because they do not like the bad words. Bad words in their eyes is the true bad words, scammer, imposter, and fake.

    The hardest ones that I have tried to get rid of is car warranty ones tho. Seems like if you waste their time, it helps the most. The time wasting talk is talk about like the weather, food, or something that is not about cars. Another thing that I have done is asked them what car has the warranty going on, and they say they do not know. Then I ask why are you calling then. After that, they sometimes hang up. If they do not hang up, just tell them a car from the 80's or older or that you do not have car. I have found they instantly hang up on you.

    This stuff has worked a few years ago even after having the phone activated for years without these calls. So I do not know if this stuff still works or not tho, but doing all this did cut my spam calls down to 2 or 3 calls in a week which did not bug me that much. Before doing this, I used to get 2 to 4 scam calls in a day for weeks, and it was really bugging me.

    Then I do not know how many phones have this enabled or if it helping, but ever since STIR/SHAKEN was enabled on the A51(my phone) and A50(my dad's phone/my old phone), my dad and I might get only get two or three spam calls a month now.

    STIR/SHAKEN should be enabled by June 30, 2021 for the larger carriers, and June 30, 2022 for the smaller carriers.

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    Some thoughts about your plan:

    Overall the plan is pretty good.

    Aside from anyone who had the number before you, something happens when there is a new activation of a number that frequently causes spam calls to start regardless of who had it before. It gets leaked somehow. Most of them will give up after a few weeks if you don't answer or reply.

    I encountered a special case of numbers that others had before me. The previous number owner had subscribed to info and alert services that had not been cancelled. These were very difficult to get rid of. I just got a new number and started over. New numbers are luck of the draw and hope for the best.

    Regardless of what you do, nothing will stop spammers who probe whole blocks of numbers. These frequently will appear to come from an area code and exchange near your number. They generally will not leave a voice message. They are probing to find numbers that someone will answer to compile a hot prospects numbers list to sell or call later. The spammers are spoofing the numbers. There is no point in blocking them.

    I was able to get Page Plus to disable texts to my number. Someone was repeatedly texting me about voting in the January 21 Georgia election. I don't live in Georgia and it was wasting my PP balance. I did not try disabling voicemail. I don't pay for those unless I use my PP minutes to check them.

    Using the "number not in service" tones as my voicemail and answering machine messages worked very well to knock back the number of spam calls. My home landline was getting scam calls every ~15 minutes all day long from 9 am to 9 pm. I put the tones on the answering machine. After a week, the calls were reduced to about 1 a week. I also used it on my PP VM to similar effect. This is only practical for numbers that friends, family, don't call to contact you.

    The tones are called Special information tones. The one you want for number not in service is called Intercept. You can play and download it at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_information_tone

    Good luck

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    If the number is subscribed to some type of notification service that is so dumb and antiquated that it doesn’t auto unsubscribe numbers that don’t go through, I would just change the number immediately at that point. However, a legitimate notification service would have an opt out or you could block the number because the it would be the same each time rather than being spoofed random numbers spammers use.

    If the numbers for new activations are leaked to spammers, then not having SMS available and having Youmail automatically send the out of service tones for every incoming call should get the number removed as invalid within a few weeks of failed attempts.
    The same for any service that just calls random blocks of numbers from 0000 to 9999. The number won’t get added to any “hot prospects” lists that are more frequently called if calls are never answered and they can’t send text or leave voice mail spams.

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