Creepy Hang-Up: What could this mean?

A couple of hours ago, my phone rang. My fiance answered.

“Hello?” he said. …Pause… silence.

Again, my fiance: “Helloooo?” Pause… silence.

Again: “Hello?!”


Now, this is out of the ordinary anyways, because we don’t get a lot of calls on our home line as we both use our cells for everything. The only people who ever call us on the landline are family members.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that this was a wrong number, however usually if someone dials a wrong number, they either say “Sorry!” or they hang up right away. This person waited through three hellos.

Anyway, we weren’t thinking much of it, we figured it might have been our parents or something (who are old and may not know better) but when we *69’d the number, it was one we didn’t recognize. We did a reverse-phone-lookup and it’s a land line from this city, but no name was forthcoming.

So we called it. I know, I know, one of the most annoying things about call display is people calling you back, but I’ve had some problems in the past with stalker-types so we wanted to make sure.

When we call, the number rings once, then automatically hangs up.

Any ideas as to why this might happen? Is it off the hook, or blocked, or what?

We’re thoroughly creeped out because as I’ve said, while this is most likely a mistake or something, I’ve had unpleasant experiences in the past with weirdos and I’ve had odd phone calls before.

Any insight?

It’s a telemarketing firm’s auto-dialer. They got your land line # by autodialing areacode-prefix-0000 to 9999.

Either your fiancee didn’t say hello loud enough the first time and it was already ready to hang up by the time he restated himself, or there was just no one on the other end available to take the “autodialer has made a connection!” message and try to sell you something.

Don’t worry about it - happens all the time, to everyone.

Next time a number calls that you don’t recognize and you say “hello” and no one answers, hang up. Works every time.

Either that, or it was one of those “war dialer” fax machines that was expecting this:

beeeeeeeeeeeep whoooosh
. . . to tell them that ‘Yep, it’s a fax machine. Let’s spam it with great stock market deals and ads for vacations to Key West’.

Personally, I kind of like the fax-spam. It gives me kindling for my campfires.

See, I thought it was a telemarketing autodialer too. But it’s a Bell Canada land line. Not an 800-number… a home phone line.

I’m in the U.S., but some of the telemarketing calls I get now show up as non-800 numbers on the caller ID display.

Ha, Ha. Kindling using your paper, and your ink. Very economical…

Just cause it’s a land line doesn’t mean it’s a home phone. My company (136,000 employees, across 5 states and over 900 locations) uses a regular land line number for our central switchboard, so if you were to *69 them, it would look like any other phone number in the corporate hometown.

Do you call Office Depot and get them to fax you paper when you run out, too? :smiley:

I read something last week about telemarketers now having the ability to mask, or show false numbers on Called ID. *69 would probably give you a false number if this was what happened also.

This is why I want my phone number to be areacode-prefix-10000

Am I the only one who looked at the title and thought this was going to be a relationship thread?

Well anyway, I wouldn’t worry about it either. But I would recommend getting Caller-ID and just not answering the phone if it’s a number you don’t recognize. That’s what we do, and it works like a charm. It’s almost always a telemarketing machine that will hang up when the answering machine picks up, and if it’s not then just pick up the phone when the person starts leaving their message, at your discretion.

It was your boyfriend who was suprised that your fiance was home.

It was just a wrong number. If you get a bunch of these in a row, then worry.

Are there any babysitters in the house?

Thanks for the tips, all.

Here’s a little history-- an example of one of the odd phone calls I received one night at 2:30am.

Phone rings. I wrestle myself out of sleep and answer it.

Me: Hello?

Creepy Caller (CC): Hi. *(said in an intimate voice.) * Is this Carly?

Me: Uh… yes. Who is this? (My fiance was still sleeping on the bed, so I know it’s not him.)

CC: Who do you think this is?

Me: I have no idea. Who is this?

CC: Who do you THINK this is?

Me: I don’t know. It’s 2:30 in the goddamn morning. Who is this?

CC: Who do you THINK this is?

Me: If you don’t tell me who you are, I’m hanging up.

CC: Okay.


CC: Who do you THINK I am?

Me: Bye.

It disturbed me because while this was most likely a prank call, the person knew my name. Now, my number isn’t unlisted, but I have a very, very common last name, so it’s not like I’d be an easy pick out of the phone book or something.

So they knew my name, and likely knew me, too. And I’m almost thirty years old, and I don’t hang around with any particularly moronic people, so prank calls kind of stopped being cool to my friends about 15 years ago. And I’m not involved in any kind of work that would involve younger people, or, for that matter, anyone of the sort who would do a prank call. And a couple of months before, I’d had a bit of an issue with a creep, (though this didn’t sound like him) so I was a little worried.

Anyone else have creepy-prank-call stories to make me feel a little better? :slight_smile:

No creepy phone stories, but I’ve had so many unwanted calls, (telemarkerers, whatever) that I just screen my calls. Let the answering machine do the talking, that’s what they are for. After a few weeks your friends and reatives will understand to explain who they are and then you pick up.
I must get about 7 or 8 shit calls every day and this helps a lot!

I did this to some poor person the other day. The first inkling I had that the phone was playing up was when she couldn’t hear me talking and kept asking ‘Hello? Hello?’ I called back from a working phone later and apologised.

Maybe one of you can help me with this one.

I got home from work and had a message on the machine (that PLAINLY states you have reached “our real names”) - “Hi, this is blah blah, and I’m RSVP’ing for the shower - I’ll be bringing (some random food) and so and so and so and so will be with me. See you Sunday, Bye.” Something along those lines.

So, I check the caller ID and call the number back, asking for her - and she FREAKS! She couldn’t figure out how I got her number, why was I calling her, why would I bother her, etc. etc. I tried explaining that she had obviously dialed a wrong number and left a pretty important message on the wrong machine, and wanted to alert her to it - she acted like I was stalking her or something. She finally ended the call with “don’t call me again!” AGAIN?? I had only called this once to tell her her message was left at a wrong number.

Was I WRONG? :frowning:

If you were wrong, I’ve been wrong too. It’s been a while and I can’t remember the details, but someone left an important-sounding message on my machine. I called them to let them know their error, and got THEIR machine. I told them what happened and just hoped everything worked out. I think you got someone awfully paranoid, for some reason. Maybe it was your creepy hang-up voice. :wink:

You asked for more creepy-prank calls.

I was living at home one summer while I was in college. My father and uncle were on a hunting trip, and I was home alone that day.

Phone rings and I answer. It was a collect call from a garbled name, but my parents were involved with a number of foreign visitors at the time, and that really wasn’t that unusual.

A guy tells me that “they” have kidnapped one of the men in my family and listen up. So I’m thinking, this is PROBABLY a prank call, but do I dare just hang up. It was before cell phones were common, (also pre-caller ID) and I had no way to check on Dad and uncle, the only men in the immediate family. He goes on to say that they have someone watching the house, so don’t do anything stupid. He rambles for a while, and works his way around to “what are you wearing”. Now I’m mostly pissed, but a little scared still. Then he asks if my neighbors have a son. They did, and I said yes. So the guy tells me to go get the son, because I’m going to need his help. Duh. Now this guy is an idiot. So I set down the phone, run next door, and explain the story, including the “watching the house” part, and ask them to call the police. Back to my own house. The guy is still on the phone, waiting! So I tell him no one was home next door, and I keep talking. The scare is mostly gone by now, and I’m just pissed. A couple of minutes later, I hear a knock at the door (I’d left it open) and then the police let themselves in and find me. They whisper a few questions to me, which I write down the answer to, then reach over and hang up the phone on the guy. They did a trace on the phone call right away. It was from a phone in a bar next to a prison, half way across the country. It seems there had been a rash of these phone calls. Random dial prank calls.

At least I was only out the cost of a collect phone call.

My answering machine message says “Hello. This is Canadjun. If you want anyone else you have a wrong number. If you would like to leave a message, please do so after the beep.” That way I never have any pangs of conscience about ignoring important messages that were clearly wrong numbers.