Unknown Phone Calls is this legal?

United States
January 6, 2011 9:33pm CST
I am fuming tonight! Tonight I had a phone call come into my cell marked "unknown". Wondering who was calling me so late I answered it only to find it a company calling me! Is this legal? Can companies call you on unknown lines? It makes me so angry! I'm not taking any more calls regardless of the time if they are marked unknown. Have you had this occur? Is it legal? What can you do about it? Namaste-Anora
2 people like this
13 responses
@erikmama (12929)
• United States
7 Jan 11
I am sure that the rules and regulations vary based on where you live, but the simple answer to that question is that yes, it is illegal. They are not suppose to make callas after 9 p.m. here, and are suppose to set their call logs to call in the right time zone as to not break these laws. It is not illegal to call from an unnmown number. You can be placed on the Do Not Call Registry, but this pertinas only to non-profit agencies. You can also get an anonoyous call block on your phone that would not allow thse callsto come through.
2 people like this
@celticeagle (121017)
• Boise, Idaho
7 Jan 11
The call block sounds like a great idea.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 11
Those are great ideas. How do I block anonymous calls to my cell phone? Namaste-Anora
@erikmama (12929)
• United States
8 Jan 11
It depends on what carrier your service is with. There is a service called CallTrap available with some phones that allow you to get the number, and this can be useful if you have told them to stop calling...HARRASSMENT... Anyhoo~*77: Anonymous Call Rejection If someone is attempting to call you and their caller ID is blocked, you can stop them from calling unless they unblock their number. It's also useful if you are going to call someone on a phone that may have the feature turned on. I have no idea what you are planning. But this is how you activate and deactivate the feature: To turn on feature: dial *77 To turn off the feature: dial *87 Not 100% that this works on cell hpones or with all cell phones, but it is worth a shot.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
8 Jan 11
Yup they do it all the time and if its before 9 pm and after 9 am they can do that. you need to put your phones onthe national do not call list! I have but they still get thru sometimes I never anser them!
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jan 11
Thanks Lakota. Yeah, I bet they'll always find a way.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
8 Jan 11
oh yeah een come with 800 nos. dont answer them either
1 person likes this
• Canada
7 Jan 11
It seems like telephone solicitation companies, assume that the bulk of consumers are away during the day working to earn their money, and are at home in the evening, so that is when I seem to receive the bulk of those calls. And no, I NEVER answer an "Unknown" or "Blocked" telephone number on my cell, as every call costs me money. In fact, unless it is urgent, and I know it is urgent, I don't answer any calls on my cell. I will take down the number, look it up on the internet, see who it is, if I know them, I will call on my land line for free. If I don't know them, I figure they can leave a message as to what they are calling about. If they don't, too bad for them and I assume it is telephone sales.
• Canada
7 Jan 11
I didn't answer your question, did I? Sorry, went on my own rant. Well, I don't think it is illegal to make one phone call to you, but it should be before bedtime, but that is variable with everyone. Many would say anytime before 9pm, but if they call between 9 - 11pm, it is still likely legal, I'm not sure. BUT, if you object, you are to tell them not to call again, and if they do, that is harrassment. You can report them as harassing to the telephone company, I think. I guess that would mean you would need to keep them on the phone long enough to ask them questions; 1. name of company, 2. a number to call them at (They won't give you that, they want to call you) 3. what are they selling 4. where are they, address?.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 11
Annie- Thanks. Now that I know who they are (because I answered) I plan to report them to the BBB and the FTC for calling so late. Namaste-Anora
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
7 Jan 11
I've received calls too with my cell written 'unknown'. Since I was not around to receive the call it was left as a 'missed call'. The unknown caller has not called back since. I wouldn't dare to answer 'unknown callers' as it might be from the debt collector's company. As long as we have a cell phone then we are exposed to many unwanted, unknown or prank callers. The legality of these callers have not been tested in the court of law.
• United States
7 Jan 11
Zandi- I suppose that is true. I just need to know not to pick up because if it is family out of range they should be smart enough to leave a message. Namaste-Anora
@erikmama (12929)
• United States
8 Jan 11
You can probaly set special rings for people who numbers are stored in your phone book. I have never had a number show up anonymou unless it was blocked...
@ptower76 (1618)
• United States
13 Jan 11
Unfortunately, it seems this is a common occurance. It is also legal. I do not answer any call that is marked unknown or private regardless of time of day or night. Yes it has happened to me in the past.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 11
Not answering the phone seems to be the best bet. Namaste-Anora
• United States
8 Jan 11
It is legal for charities, telemarketers, etc. to call you unless you have your number on the Do Not Call list. If you do, then charities CAN still call you unless you ask them to take you off of their personal do not call list. I worked for the Vietnam Veterans of America for quite some time, and it was amazing how many people were nasty when it was either a) their choice to be put on the list or b) their choice to donate to us and therefore be put on the list. You have to ask to be taken off in these cases. One thing I learned while working for this charity is that it is NOT legal to call a home BEFORE 9:00 A.M. or AFTER 9:00 P.M. Any time between is legal, and if you are in a different time zone, charity or not, they must respect your time zone. I would highly suggest answering these calls in order to request to be taken off their list. For years I ignored the calls, only to have them continue. I began to pick up each and every time, and most of the time people were calling about a debt (my husband and I have zero debt) that belonged to someone we'd never heard of. We have lived in this house for about two years now, so at the time, they had the previous owner's name and information. Now we're "lucky" if we get one call per week since we've cleared up most of the confusion. Otherwise, go online to some consumer website and report the phone numbers and the time they call to places like Rip Off Report, donotcall.gov, and whocalledme.com (or something like that!). Let OTHERS know the issues you are having so you can help them, too.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jan 11
It's good that you and your hubby have no debt. Most of our debt is medical, and I suppose this isn't the place to go off on a tangent about how horrible our health care system is here in the US. However, the call was after hours and was marked unknown. I do not think it should be legal for any charity and/or business to be on a privacy list. They are a business and should have to disclose that information. Namaste-Anora
• United States
7 Jan 11
I would think it would be ok. If you knew you were an annoying company or a telemarketer would you want people to know what number you were calling from? It's just a phone call and you don't have to do business with them or like me don't answer it if you can't tell who it's from.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Jan 11
Mikey- Very true! Yeah, I'm not answering my phone from now on unless I know who it is from. Namaste-Anora
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
7 Jan 11
I have had a few of them myself and I feel the same...where did they get my number and why are they allowed to call me! I think in the US it's very legal..in fact all cell numbers went public within the last couple of weeks.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 11
Jill- I didn't realize that cell phone numbers went public! Wow. At least in MN we've got a pretty good General Attorney. We've worked with her before on some other issues and she's taken care of business. Namaste-Anora
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
7 Jan 11
I have had this happen. I look up the number on a reverse directory before I return the call--I do not answer any number I'm not familiar with because I pay by the minute. It's not illegal unless you enter your cell phone number on the Do Not Call List at donotcall.gov. If you haven't done so, do that and in 30-60 days you should see the incidents decrease or cease.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 11
Yeah, I'd look it up too if it were just a number but this one came through unknown. I think my best bet is to simply not answer. Namaste-Anora
• Philippines
7 Jan 11
Hello Anora, Sadly, I have only one answer to these kind of Calls. these are either Survey or Tele-Marketing Calls. I didn't think you guys would be aware of companies calling using an unknown number? DNC is supposed to be in place but i think it depends on the state? am not sure. this is profoundly why i hate the Out bound Agent position. you can have it complain though and have ur phone company put you in a DNC list from unknown calls, if that's possible.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 11
Letran- I'm going to be visiting the website later today to make sure both of our numbers on it. Namaste-Anora
@lingli_78 (12844)
• Australia
7 Jan 11
i received lots of unknown calls in my mobile phone as well where the numbers of the callers do not appear... but i can't say that they are illegal because i can't stop them... the only thing i can do is not to pick up the calls whenever i see unknown numbers appear on my phone... that's it... take care and have a nice day...
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Jan 11
lingli- That is probably the best way to handle it. Namaste-Anora
• United States
7 Jan 11
I do not believe it is illegal to call someone with the unknown feature as most creditors do it thinking that the person will not be wise to knowing it is a collector and or a solicitor. I believe it is not as you cannot block your number to any 800, 888, 866 number as they pay a special fee to assure that anyone hiding their numbers shows up on their screens. I am one that if you know me you will find me and I do not hide from the world so if anyone, ever calls me unknown I do not answer. So if anyone has the need to hide well then I do not need to speak to them. It got so ridiculous that I downloaded to my black berry the call blocker and put unknown caller in my block list, this way anytime any calls come to my phone with unknown I get a beep and sound and they go to my voice mail, so I added a no ringer silent on mine so I never hear them. Funny thing is that it has to be solicitors because they never wait for the voice mail and hang up. Also as an FYI, on rare occasions when I am outside of range the phone will still pick up the calls so even if the person is on my contact list they may come up as unknown number. I know this because it happen twice, when my daughter called me and I was at Target, the second time I was in an elevator.
• United States
7 Jan 11
This doesn't seem like it should be legal though. I have a right if I have requested a solicitor not to call my number to have them honor that. I don't like where we are going as a society to be honest where phone calls are concerned, numbers, and so forth. As you said the times I let numbers I don't know go to my voice mail they never do leave a message. I cannot tell you how angry I am still. Not to mention they called after my children's bed time and that is far too late! Namaste-Anora
• United States
7 Jan 11
My cell phone company will permanently block this feature maybe that might be an option for you. Verizon does not charge if we want that added. I do not use it as you just never know if it is one of the weird instances and I would get an important voice mail. Bill collectors and solicitors work different times as some of us and simply do not use common sense sometimes.
• Canada
7 Jan 11
It isn't illegal to do this. Your phone displays unknown because other people have paid for privacy. This way, you cannot call them back or locate them using reverse phone look up. I can give you two solutions: 1. simply take the battery out of your phone. 2. Spend some extra money and get a block feature where it only accepts calls if the number matches the number in your address book. However, there are friends that may not be in your address books so their calls will be blocked. What I suggest is to get the other feature where others cannot call in if they wish to remain private. At least you can call them back.
• United States
7 Jan 11
We actually upgraded our phones a year ago to have a block feature through our cell phone carrier only to find that the numbers we blocked still got through. Go figure right? All that extra money for nothing. So how do I set things so that those who have their number marked as unknown can't ring through? Also, what I was complaining about in terms of the "unknown" number is that it was a business. Businesses should not, in my humble opinion, be allowed to have any of the phone numbers private. It just seems wrong. Namaste-Anora