Monday, November 22, 2010

*67 Top Ten

So in the course of learning the stuff that went into YESTERDAY's post, I learned something interesting about tele-com... if you press '*67' and THEN dial, you come up as calling from a 'restricted number'--there is no evidence you called... the recipient can't see who you are to screen, and the phone keeps no record of where the call came from.

Say what?

Help me here. What would be the PURPOSE of this 'service'? A service that is FREE. The conspiracy theorist in my says SOMEBODY has a vested interest in this, which is never the plain old public. So I thought maybe we'd brainstorm who this would help.

1)  Prank callers (this is in fact what my daughter said was 'the only use' she knew.
2)  Teenaged couples trying to double check their parents aren't around so they can 'sneak in'--if you know what I mean...
3)  Addled parental couples trying to double check no kids are home so they can 'sneak in'--if you know what I mean *shifty*
4)  Burglars double checking that you aren't home, so they can sneak in.
5)  Stalkers who just want to hear your voice but remain anonymous.
6)  Lovers who don't want to leave a record for your spouse.
7)  Militant libertarians who just don't think there should be ANY records. Ever.
8)  Regular libertarians who do it on principal.
9)  Spam calls telling you how to vote and the like that don't want to be screened.
10)   Tele-marketers who don't want to be screened and are trying to avoid getting in trouble because you are on a Do-Not-Call list.

Seriously... Can ANYBODY think of a VALID reason this ought to be available? At least it ought to cost an arm and a leg (payable to the recipient of the calls) so it isn't done lightly. And when we called Verizon to BLOCK restricted calls, you can't—they can block specific numbers, even if they do the restricted code--so if you KNOW who is harassing you (and their number) you can stop them, but you can't make it so you can't receive restricted calls.

Any takers on my conspiracy theory? I'm thinking of taking up a really obnoxious campaign on the matter unless somebody can give me a SINGLE DECENT REASON for the existence of this "service".


The Golden Eagle said...

I've heard of *67 before; I can't really think of much reason for it, except maybe for calls made by the police or other people like that.

Did you know about *69, too? It allows you to call the last person who called you.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I didn't realize *67 was free. Makes no sense to me, Hart!

Teresa aka JW said...

Sounds like your campaign is valid. I believe you are on to something.

Anonymous said...

Don't know of the reason for it, but can't say that I object. Never used to know who called me until I listened to their messages on the answering machine or picked up the phone. What does it matter? [If the thief knows who lives at the address of interest and looks up your number then that is one well researched thief that I wouldn't trust to just be a thief. My number's unlisted so they'll just have to take their chances. ;-) ]

Cold As Heaven said...

I didn't know that a public service like this exists at all. I thought only Pentagon and CIA need stuff like that.

The only useful reason I can possibly see is #6 >;)

Cold As Heaven

Jessica Bell said...

ER ... so people can call the government and harrass them anonymously? :o)

Hart Johnson said...

Golden Eagle-I DID know the *69 thing, and that one I find handy. You can't USE *69 though, if the caller used *67!

Alex-it may not be free on a landline (*69 costs on a land-line, I know) but on a cell it is.

Teresa *high fives* I'm sure I am!

Kimberly, I probably would have never known I objected until I was trying to get bullying evidence, but now we can't prove who called!

CaH-I know, right?

Jessica-well there's THAT... teehee.

Angela said...

LOL that would be pointless, I screen blocked or restricted numbers. I figure if it's important enough they can leave a message and I will call them right back.

Old Kitty said...

oooh I have no idea if there is a UK equivalent! All I know was that when my sister was receiving obnoxious phone calls, we rang BT (British Telecom)and they blocked this guy's phone calls - I don't know how but they did. I have no idea if this helps you or your daughter btw!!

But I agree - it does seem rather shifty and pointless! Take care

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

That is bizarre! No, I didn't know anything about it...and I can't think of any good reasons for the service other than being sneaky.

Mary Vaughn said...

I used for a number in an area code that was unfamiliar to me. Calls started at 8AM and came every hour or so ending at 10PM.Turned out to be an insurance auto dial and silly me I didn't stay on the line long enough for an associate to get back to me. Imagine!

Carol Kilgore said...

I know it exists, but like you, don't know why - or who it benefits other than those you've mentioned. Add this oddity to how it operates. When my husband calls me direct from voicemail to return my call, it shows PRIVATE on my phone. And the same on his if I do that.

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

the only ideas i have are nefarious as well and involve james bond like espionage

LTM said...

wooow... so that's how I do it?

*snort* I don't know. Maybe this is useful for private investigators? Police? Married to a lawyer, after all. Maybe process servers... ;p

I'm w/you. It's clearly for people up to no good. And thanks for the tip~ LOL! :D <3

Colene Murphy said...

I agree. This should be a chargeable service. But then...there would be a paper trail! Rats...I just don't see any use for anyone NOT up to no good. I just don't answer any numbers I don't know or are blocked. Don't need to talk to me badly enough or you wouldn't be so darn sneaky! Grar...(I had never thought of burglars doing it though...)

Mary Mary said...

I don't know, but I'll play the Devil's Advocate on this one. In a world where anonymity is freely given away to things like Facebook, Twitter, Caller ID, etc. what's so wrong with wanting a little bit of it in some small way? Why do we have this mindset that everyone needs to know everything about another's identity at all times? Just don't pick the phone up if it comes up as a blocked number. If it's someone truly trying to reach you, they'll leave a message. I have family members with blocked numbers, for certain purposes, so I can understand why someone would probably want to use this service. Why has anonymity become such an evil thing to possess?

Did I play Devil's Advocate well enough? Interesting post, all the same.

Talli Roland said...

I've not heard of *67! I have heard of *69 - but they don't have that over here in the UK; at least not that I've ever heard!

Helena said...

That's a convenient little trick, but why would I want to use it? I certainly wouldn't trust anyone who uses it to call me. Now I'm more paranoid than ever...

L. Diane Wolfe said...

No number on the caller ID, no picking up the phone in my house!
My bets are on number ten.

Hart Johnson said...

Angela, me too--if there isn't an identifiable name or number, I am not picking up.

Elizabeth-VERY sneaky!

Mary-those are exactly the kind I screen--if they keep calling, I eventually pick up to say stop calling.

Carol-oh that's interesting--that a known number does that. I wonder why.

Sarah- *snort* Though nefarious makes it sound like something I might be involved in...

Leigh--BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Am I giving your inner demon tools, then?

Colene-and there SHOULD be a paper trail! So I can call those girl's MOM'S and say 'look at the damn phone bill!'

Mary Mary-I would normally agree, except it is obviously so easily abused! (and yes, you did well teehee)

Talli-yeah, they use that *69 in movies and on Tv now and again. I had heard of that one before, but not this.

Helena--teehee--yes, a SPY definitely needs it!

Hart Johnson said...

LDiane-my bet is similar as to why the phone company makes this possible. Grrrrrrrr!

Adina West said...

I suppose I've never heard of this service being used to 'protect' tele-bullies before, in which case I certainly understand your frustration. It means they're sneaky on top of everything else.

But as to why people would use this service at all, I certainly know people who do. Mostly people who have their own business etc, and sometimes conduct business from home - but don't want business calls coming back to their home number at odd times. (or ever, really) So, just for basic privacy reasons as Mary Mary said.

I'm pretty sure though if it was a criminal matter, those calls *could* be traced by the telephone company. It's just that in the absence of any numbers you can't prove what's going on.

I agree with some of the other commenters - definitely screen any calls from restricted/private numbers. Let them go to the answering machine!

Megan Bostic said...

I just heard about this recently from my kids. They use it when they're calling someone and don't want them to know they're calling. Point? Less. IMHO.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Am I correct here in thinking if someone wants to make obscene or other annoying calls to torment someone all they have to do is dial that number and the victim has no proof…crazy, crazy, crazy. I’m with you on this one – I can’t think of a single valid reason for this service.

Deb and Barbara said...

Very interesting...I dunno, but I do know that I also screen private calls (in that I don't answer them assuming they are solicitors!)
The Middle Ages

Holly Ruggiero said...

Hum, you do list a few options I don't think I would have come up with. I don’t think any caller IDs should be hidden. It’s like when someone comes to the door and looking though the peephole.

Arlee Bird said...

Never heard of that one, but I believe you can set up your number to display "Private Number" whenever you call somebody. My father-in-law has his phone set up that way. Whenever he calls the caller ID shows "private" and I just yell at my wife to pick up since it's usually him or my wife's sisters. It's not that I don't want to talk to them, they just don't speak English so we don't have much to say.

Tossing It Out

Hart Johnson said...

Adina- you win! That is the only reasonable use I've seen! I can see that.

Megan-note it is the teens who know?! Tells us something, eh?

Jane-That is EXACTLY how it's being used!

Barbara, I do the same. I'm not sure why my daughter DOESN'T except her cell doesn't GET solicitors, so for a teen, they think anything could be important.

Holly-very good analogy there--exactly! The technology is there, we ought to be able to see whose calling.

Lee-I think you CAN, and some people DO (and they will not be able to reach ME)--and I getcha... it is probably best if I get it when it is my family too... though hubby really DOESN'T want to talk...

Patricia Stoltey said...

I say go with the obnoxious campaign. :)