Those pesky robot telemarketers seem to always be calling from local numbers. After a little investigation, I found out why.

Like most people, when I see a strange number I let it go to voicemail. On the rare occasion when I answer an unknown number it's usually what appears to be a local call. My mind immediately thinks that it might be important.

Of course, it's usually a waste of time from another telemarketer. Recently, something strange started happening, the first six numbers from telemarketer calls are always the same as mine.

TSM

Every one of those scratched out numbers is a telemarketing call. The ones that are so close to my number, according to National Public Radio are called 'neighbor spoofing.'  The area code and prefix are made to appear the same as mine to make the call look local. Local numbers increase the chances a person will pick up. The FCC describes spoofing as faking the identity on your caller ID, often used to trick people into attaining valuable information.

The craziest part is when I called back some of the numbers and they went to legit voicemails. One was a lady was named Susan, so sorry if people call you back all the time Susan. This was one of the numbers I had answered earlier today from a robot. My coworker said he knew someone who got a call from her husband's number and it wasn't him.

These robot calls are simply a waste of time and can lead to identity theft or scams. Here a few apps that you can download to help filter through the spam and junk.

  • Truecaller
  • Hiya Caller Id and Blocker
  • Mr.Number Call Block & Lookup

Be careful the next time you see a local number calling you that's not in your contacts.