Last night, near 10PM, the phone started ringing, and it looked like some company was trying to reach us. My wife picked up the line, and no one was there.

It seemed odd, occurring on a Sunday night, so I did something that’s common to me; I looked up the company and phone number online. I do this at times to find out what kind of company might be calling the house. In this case, it turns out that the company was someone called ITL, and they’re a telemarketing company; their website is, but I’m not setting it up as a link because they don’t deserve more press than this. However, they don’t always sell products for companies. One of the things they do, based on what I learned, is just call numbers to see if they’re active, so they can then sell lists of phone numbers to other companies.

Frankly, I’d never heard of such a thing, but I guess it’s more common than I’d thought. After all, there’s a lot of spam email we receive that’s only true purpose is to see if the email address they’ve sent something to is legitimate, so they can sell your email address to someone else on the back end.

What’s more normal, however, is this type of call that I received earlier today. I saw the phone number on Caller ID and a person’s name, so I thought it might be a legitimate business call, as it was long distance. I picked up, and nothing. So I checked it out online, and learned that someone else had tracked it back to a company that offers scam credit cards to people. They get phone numbers under these fake names, bomb the phones with their software, and push these things. Most of the time they don’t call a second time, but every once in awhile they do. What happens is it calls anywhere from 4-10 numbers at a time, and the first person that answers is the one that gets the pitch; everyone else gets nothing.

By the way, I’m no the no-call list, which is probably why I’m a victim of these hit and run tactics. It’s hard for anyone to track these people down, but there is something you can do. When I look up these phone numbers, I invariably come across a list that someone is making of these phone numbers, saying who called, what the number is, and, if possible, what the person on the line might have said. Then these folks report it and, hopefully, the authorities try to track these people down.

I guess everyone needs a business, but these people should be shut down; oh well,…

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