Please help me identify what is happening with my phone (land line).

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Inspector Hammer!, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Here's the scoop, for the past 3 or 4 months, our phone will randomly ring, usually very late at night and into early morning, when the answering machine picks up, all we hear is this BEEP....BEEP....BEEP, and it goes on like that for at least a solid minute.

    It isn't a busy signal, but a prolonged pulsing BEEP, then when it's finished it will hang up and after a few minutes it will happen again. I've come home from work sometimes and checked the answering machine and all of the messages, sometimes 4 or 5, will be nothing but that damn BEEP!

    Well, I decided to use my brain and press [​IMG]69 on it and I got a number, it's a 514 area code but everytime I dial it, it's busy. [​IMG]

    Does anyone have any idea what this phenominon is and how I can put a stop to it? It drives us crazy sometimes because it always happens at night when were trying to sleep. [​IMG]
     
  2. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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    One possibility is that it's a fax machine which someone has set to poll to your voice-only number (which is a wrong number, obviously). Many businesses set their machines to send outgoing faxes during the night (off-business hours).

    Keep trying the number, and you'll probably (eventually) get either a voice response, or a fax/modem squelch.

    If you have a fax machine, maybe you can switch it to the voice line and leave it on at night and see if it'll intercept the incoming faxes, which should contain cover pages with contact information for the sender.

    Does your land-line phone service offer blocking? Some service tiers include it without additional charge.

    I work in a hospital lab, and we have this happen all too frequently. Drives us nuts when somebody has polling set to every 3 or 5 minutes, and it usually lasts for 30-minutes to an hour per occurrence, sometimes more.

    Just a thought.
     
  3. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I'd call the phone company and tell them that you can't call them back to complain. Do they have another phone number?

    With some big companies, they order a block of phone numbers. If this one ended in 34 you might change that to 00. Might work.

    Basically, I think some machine is trying to hook up with yours. You just don't have the right "beeps" to answer back.

    Glenn
     
  4. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I think you two nailed it! Everything you said makes perfect sense to me. [​IMG]

    My service does indeed offer blocking, but it is possible to put a block on a particular number? I also do not have a fax machine.


    Great, so it's like the deep space Probe in Star Trek IV The Voyage Home and I need the right beep to make it stop destroying our sack time! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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    I should also mention...

    In cases like this, always be careful about calling back the number. Situations like this can involve scammers using either fax machines or autodialers to annoy people into calling back, and it turns out that the return call is to one of those 8xx or 9xx numbers which racks up huge phone bills. Absolutely legal in most cases (and some of them are outside the US), so you usually have no recourse other than to just pay the bill.

    Isn't 514 a Canadian area code? Quebec maybe?

    I've never heard of any scams with anything other than an 8xx or 9xx number, though.
     
  6. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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    And, yes, John, your blocking options (not sure which carrier you're with) should indeed allow individual numbers to be blocked. Many services allow 6 or so specific numbers to be blocked.
     
  7. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    [​IMG] Oh lord I hope that isn't the case, i've dialed that number at least 6 times tonight. [​IMG]

    Yes, it is a Canadian area code, I just got off the phone with my phone company and they confirmed that, they also said that it sounds to them like someone's computer is trying to send me something. They said it may not be possible to block it. [​IMG]

    I'm at a loss, the only other option is to change my number, but that isn't right to me, then i'll have to give everyone I know the new number etc and it all just becomes a pain in the ass.
     
  8. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

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    It might be worth the time/expense/effort to either borrow or rent a fax machine just long enough to see if you can complete the incoming transmission. Best case scenario: the polling will stop once the other machine has made contact and completed its mission. Second best case scenario: an incoming fax will (as I noted above) have a cover page with alternate contact information for the sender (other than the phone number which you already have), so that you can contact them and ask them to cease and desist.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    There's something rather creepy and Terminator-esque about that statement.

    Thanks for all the advice, Linda, I don't know anyone with a fax machine, but i'll figure something out. [​IMG]
     
  10. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Does your computer have a modem? It probably can double as a fax/modem, with a little software.

    - Steve
     
  11. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Steve,
    unfortunately no, I use MSNTV Service for my internet needs, it's just a little black box. I only bought it so that I could post here in the forum, i'm not a huge internet surfer.
     
  12. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Typically, they'll give up after a while and double check the number their dialing. I'm sure they're sending out zillions of faxes each night, it just takes time for someone to notice this particular one isn't going through. If you are able to, just turn off the ringer at night so it doesn't bother you. Getting the number blocked by the phone company is another good option. Or you could always forward your calls at night to a friend who has a fax machine.
     
  13. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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    Yes, it's probably one of those "Great Vacations" fax places that everyone gets at work.
     
  14. Wendy_L

    Wendy_L Supporting Actor

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    That really sucks, John. I know how much you like your sleep. I would be annoyed if that was happening to me also. It sounds like everyone in this thread has given you just about every option you have to you. Since I know you personally and I know your situation, if you can't get the number blocked then I would go with turing the ringer off option.

    [​IMG] Sorry that you have this problem. Hope you can get it resolved.
     
  15. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    I had the same thing happen to me. I finally set up my PC to receive faxes. Turns out it was car leasing rates being faxed overnight from a bank to a local car dealer. I took the fax to the dealer and they were amazed at what I had. 'I've been yelling at these guys for weeks that they are not sending me the stuff'. Seems if you reverse the last 2 digits of my phone number, you get the car dealer's fax number.
    The phone co was useless in this matter as they said they would not get involved unless the cops called and said it was a criminal matter.
    My advice would be to borrow a friend's PC, hopefully you know someone with an 'old one' just gathering dust. Fire up the fax program and wait.

    Good luck !
     

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