Do Not Answer Calls From (202) 480-5620!!
Have you recently received a call from (202) 480-5620, only to hear a "ship's horn" and a message from your "captain" claiming that if you take a short survey you will receive to free boarding passes for a wonderful cruise?
Well, I have. And (momma taught me not to use this phrase, but) I hate them. In an attempt to make them stop, I pressed "1" to take the survey. 8 or ten questions about things like income, age, diabetes, household income, etc, (that I answered inaccurately), and then the operator comes on to take your information for your "free" cruise.
At this point, as politely as possible, I let the operator know that I wanted to be removed from their list. She said "certainly. Hold the line while I transfer you to our 'Do Not Call' department. Then: silence, followed closely by dial tone.
I did some research online, and it seems that the number is a 'fake' - or 'spoofed'- number, used to hide the REAL number that is calling.
My research brought me to the 800notes.com website, and "Alec" had this bit of information:
1) If you answer your phone (or when asked, "press 1," revealing your number), your number is stored with a list of other "valid" numbers and later "sold" to telemarketing companies as a valid number to call. This is like email scammers who, if you reply to their emails, know your email address is a "real" email address - which they can sell to other email marketers.
2) If you get to the point of actually answering their survey questions, your answers provide them with specific demographic info about you - allowing them to sell your number to telemarketers who use "targeted" marketing. In short, if you answer their survey questions, your number is more valuable to other telemarketers.
To stay legal (assuming they want to), they might even give out a single "free trip" to the Bahamas one a year. But, it's probably just a scam to get as much demographics out of you as they possibly can.
The Digg website had posts on the subject as well, going as far as revealing who is running the company that is placing the calls. So it looks like this company may be tip-toeing the 'legal' line, which could keep them under the FCC radar. And it also looks like the FCC can not do or has not done anything to stop the calls.
I am still going to go to the FCC website to report them.
And, btw, if you have never put your phone number on the Do Not Call registry, I suggest you get that done now.
I received this email just minutes after posting the story:
This number has been calling our home phone and our cell phones for weeks and it will not stop calling and of course you know when you answer you hear like a ship horn go off--It is so annoying it continues to call all our phones like every other day and this has been going on for weeks--And we are on the do not call list as well and yet they continue to call very very annoying and was glad to hear you speak about this so apparently we are not the only ones getting this annoying call over and over and over--thank you
Send me an email and let me know if you have had this number calling you, and let me know what you did about the call... firstname.lastname@example.org