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Should I beware of reverse phone lookup websites?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 WheresMySledgehammer

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 09:01 AM

I may be being too paranoid - but then again . . .

 

I keep getting this call on my landline from a "Doctors Group" at 202-602-0147. I never pick it up and no one ever leaves a message. It's not the only spam phone call I get, of course. But this morning I thought I'd like to Google it and see what I could uncover. Long story short, a lot of the reverse lookup sites were unfamiliar to me. On one of them I entered the number in a box then clicked Search next to the box. A website for some publication came up, and I closed it - and then I looked at the URL and part of it was in (I think) Japanese and it was just strange-looking. I did a quick virus scan (Avast free version) and things looked okay.

 

But here's my conspiracy theory that came into my mind - what if this is all a big setup - because others on two or three sites who'd gotten calls from this number supposedly got people posing as the IRS instead of a "Doctors Group." What if the point is to get a person to go to some of these myriad reverse lookup websites and click on something (which I thought afterward, why did I do that so trustingly on an unfamiliar site? :unsure: ) and when you click it would put a virus on your computer?

 

Like I said, this may not be a real scenario, but I would appreciate any feedback related to the topic of spam phone calls, what are trustworthy reverse-lookup sites vs. sketchy ones, etc. Thanks! :)



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#2 kokomodrums

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 09:25 AM

Keep in mind that it's trivial to "fake" a phone number on caller ID. A lot of spam callers will show up as real phone numbers, like US government agencies etc. Just my two cents.

-- Matt


#3 Queen-Evie

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 10:35 AM

http://800notes.com/ and http://whocallsme.com/

 

These are the sites I use. Enter the number, click search.

 

Results may turn up nothing on the number if no one else has reported it at the site.

 

You can try a different approach. Google "phone calls from Doctors Group".

 

When you do and get results which you look at you will notice that folks have been complaining about getting calls from Doctors Group for years.

You may not see them associated with the number that called you but you will see various numbers they have called from in the past.

 

And, yes the number could be spoofed. The area code you posted indicates District of Columbia. That doesn't mean they are actually in DC.

 

They could be calling from a farmhouse out in the middle of Nowhere, Montana.

 

Another thing about the sites I mention is that a someone could say calls from a certain number are from card holder services and later someone else will say the same number that called them was hawking home security or whatever else the bozos want to sell you.


Edited by Queen-Evie, 17 September 2014 - 10:47 AM.


#4 rp88

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 11:51 AM

Regardless of how trustworthy the sites are many phone lookup services don't work anyway, even if the site had all the publicly and privately available data within it's lookup databases it still wouldn't give you useful info about, for example, a mobile phone and sim belonging to someone who had bought it anonymously in a shop on pay as you go rather than contract. you can also gauge the inaccuracy of phone lookup sites by typing the same number into a few different sites, they might well give radically different information about it. One to say it's at lands end, on to say it's in john o groats.


Edited by rp88, 17 September 2014 - 11:52 AM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

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#5 frankp316

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 11:51 AM

Chances are pretty good that if the call is coming from a call center, it's not registered as a main number and won't be available on a reverse lookup site.



#6 WheresMySledgehammer

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 09:17 PM

Thanks for the replies. I did the Google of just "phone calls from Doctors Group" - the first time I'd put the number in along with the name and gotten no results. Should've thought to go back and do just the words, silly me. :blush:  I found out something else, don't know if it's true or not but one site said that some of the spam calls are pedophiles and they'll hang up if an adult answers but talk to a kid? If so, that's pretty evil. Well, anyway, I guess I'll just put up with the annoyance of my caller ID announcing "Doctors Group" several times a week - sounds like it'd be more of a hassle to try to track down who's really making these calls and even more of a headache trying to get them to stop. <_<



#7 Racket_Man

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 01:53 AM

I too have gotten calls labeled "Doctors Group".  That number is very familiar -----

 

As Queen-Evie posted 800 Notes and Whocallsme are fairly safe sites as I have looked up countless unknown scammer spoofed incoming landline calls.

 

NO you will NOT

1. be able to track them down\

2. be able to stop the calls

 

 

As for the US Federal AND state Do Not Call lists they are mostly a joke as scammers can easily spoof number these days AND they do not care about some toothless list.  Some of these bozos have WHOLE blocks of unused or out of service numbers to use.

 

On average our land line gets at least 2 or 3 of these scammer calls a day.


Edited by Racket_Man, 19 September 2014 - 01:54 AM.


#8 Angoid

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 08:01 AM

One to say it's at lands end, on to say it's in john o groats...

Ah, in a world of so many American figures of speech it's good to see one pertinent to the UK :)

 

Usual rules apply: Are you expecting the call?  Does the caller know you?  Can they tell you something about you that should know (if they really are a doctor?

 

I just tell any spam callers that they've got the wrong number and hang up.  They have got the wrong number - I'm not expecting their call!


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