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My girlfriend has been getting calls on her iPhone from a hidden caller ID for several days in a row now. She has not answered any of them because we figured it can't be anything good if it's hidden. However, as the calls are relentless, we are curious as to who or what it is about and she is thinking of answering the next call.

What could be the dangers of this and how bad of an idea is this?

  • In many countries calls with hidden caller ID's are quite common, your question seems to imply that for you that's not the case? – Teun Vink Mar 29 '19 at 10:04
  • No, I have honestly never faced this situation. If it means anything, I am living in Croatia. My girlfriend however has moved here from the Netherlands – Chooba Mar 29 '19 at 10:14
  • @Chooba it might be a caller from the Netherlands trying to call and the Croatian phone carrier cannot display the number. – schroeder Mar 29 '19 at 10:50
  • @schroeder I wasn't aware that was possible. I've been called from other Europian countries before and I could always see the number so I didn't consider this. Do you have any source to back this assumption up? Edit: just asked my girlfriend and she confirms she can see Dutch numbers from when her friends call. – Chooba Mar 29 '19 at 10:54
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    If you answer, wait about 3 seconds before you say anything. The weeds out a lot of automated systems that use silence detection to determine if they're talking to a voicemail system. Most people speak immediately when they answer the phone, and voicemail or answering machines have a short pause before playing the message. – Steve Sether Mar 29 '19 at 19:49
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If you do not say anything, then the only danger is that the caller knows that the number is live. But that does not seem to be a big risk since they appear to think it is live anyway.

Just answer but say nothing except "who is this please?" then put the phone on mute to help you resist the temptation to say anything. Phone scammers are experts in playing on people's emotions to get them to engage. The trick for you is to not say anything except to ask questions. Do not give any information but turn every one of their questions back into a question. It might seem childish and rude, but it's effective.

There are lots of legitimate reasons for legitimate companies to call you while hiding their number. If you find out that it is legitimate, then you should be able to go to the official website to get a number where you can call them back on. Aim to do that.

If it is not legitimate, then call your phone provider to get the calls blocked.

  • Here the government for example uses 'anonymous' numbers to call you, their call-back-service works like that. At some point I decided to block all incoming calls from 'anonymous' because I was getting to many prank/idiotic calls for example from india, saying my 'pc is broken'. Eventually I turned it back on a couple weeks ago and use this approach, it works well, except for the fact that the government person that called me last week hang up because I wasn't giving my name... Its mostly a wager now, do I trust this anonymous caller or not. – Dakpan Mar 29 '19 at 11:11
  • @Dakpan "who are you trying to reach?" should work, or, asking to use another channel to confirm. – schroeder Mar 29 '19 at 11:15
  • that seems like a good option, the only downside I see is that they somehow found my phone number in combination with my name, for example from some data-gathering company or even my mobile provider. – Dakpan Mar 29 '19 at 13:07

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