North American telephone area codes

It’s taking longer than we thought.

It sometimes seems like we can’t go 3 months here without some long time poster piping up about wanting to block all these pesky neighbor calls that aren’t really neighbors. And said poster is wide-eyed to learn this trick is known to anyone else on Earth, much less lots of folks.

This tricks been in widespread use for what, 5 years now? I get about 1 every 3 days. So some 500+ examples of the genre have graced my individual phone. No reason to think I’m special; everybody else has probably had similar volumes. And yet the supply of newbies is endless? Go Figure.

Not quite the same but …

My wife and I have sorta-matching mobile numbers. Hers is 10 greater than mine. So e.g. 555-654-3247 and 3257.

When I get a spam call purportedly from 555-654-abcd I’ll shout “Incoming!” and in a couple seconds her phone will ring. Guess who it is?

We’re easily amused. :wink:

OTOH, if you didn’t laugh, you’d have to cry at the rampant vandalism of what one was a useful telecom system.

I make quite a number of phone calls, all completely solicited, and will sometimes run into a computer voice that tells me to enter a code, or state the purpose of the call, or in some way do some level of screening.

At least that stops the robocalls and hangups.

That reminds me of something that will at least amuse you. Back in the 90s I worked in a cube farm and like six cubes in a row had numbers that were sequential. The local newspaper was a constant spammer and the telemarketer would get a list of numbers and go down the list. So Scott way at the end would get one and loudly answer and say silly shit until the spammer hung up. Then the next guy would build on it and so on. We could get pretty creative.

I got a good chuckle out of that. Thank you. Having run small inbound call stables with DID I can see that happening. Don’t think I ever witnessed it though.

Last week we got a series of calls on our landline which were basically number, number +1, number +2, etc. They were all from the Ukraine. As I know nobobody in the Ukraine, I am comfortable blocking all the numbers.

Husband had this at his office. But it would be a headhunter, which meant that somebody was looking for a job and shared the numbers.

It wasn’t phones that Ludacris had in different area codes. https://youtu.be/cvrKzmkdBTI

My cellphone started giving me the option to screen spam callers that way a year or so ago so i started punting all my spam that way. I think it just banishes callers straight to purgatory because I’ve never once gotten any kind of response. I’m really curious what happens if a caller bothers to go through the screening prompts.

I’ve got that feature, too, and I’ve only once had somebody go all the way through the prompts. It was a non-spam call, but from somebody I’d never spoken to before. I believe text came up on my screen with the person’s name, and whatever they had said about the reason for the call. Even if the voice to text translation wasn’t perfect, it was good enough to let me know it was a real person, and not just an auto played car warranty scam.

What gets me is people asking “how did they even get my number?”

I don’t like talking to people on the phone. I’ve never has that ingrained sensation, and didn’t answer the phone.

Caller ID was a godsend. Before that, I just ignored calls. Caller ID didn’t really change my phone habits, but now I knew who I was ignoring.

The “Internet of Things” is sucking up phone numbers at an astounding rate.
Even though most of those “things” don’t actually need a telephone number (just TCP or UDP access), they get assigned one anyway. I use cellular modems in our product, and we do use the phone number as a backup, even though most of the communication is via UDP. I’ll have to ask if not getting a phone number is possible. I suspect not, since the modem uses a standard SIM card.

Funny, I see that and it makes me think the exact opposite. “This number is so close to mine, it is obviously spam, because numbers are not given out in sequence and the odds a legit number so close to mine would be calling are astronomical.” Have you actually ever seen a legit number, not part of a family plan, where the number was so close to yours? I haven’t.

A bunch of work numbers are in the same exchange as my work number and we’ve had our home number long enough that it is in one of the pre-portability exchanges for the neighbourhood.

That being said, my work colleagues don’t call my home number and even neighbours that have my number more likely call my cell.

The spammers use the technique because it works.

It WAS a Godsend, until the ability to spoof numbers became trivial. Now it’s practically worthless.

I know, that’s just the take on that song I’ve got running through my head.

It connects you to them. As I said, I get those prompts from time to time, and I am a very solicited call, as people like to know when they can come pick up their dogs.

I assume that on your end, it displays the answers, or gives the option to play them if it is voice and doesn’t have voice to text.

They have all the numbers!

But those leading 6 digits are the same ones that anyone in your general area would have. Growing up, if someone asked you your number, you just gave the last 4 digits, as the exchange number was assumed, and the area code was unnecessary.

I remember when the first numbers started coming out that had a different exchange, and people had to remember that. A whole lot of wrong numbers resulted from that.

Now, If I see one of those numbers, I assume that it is someone local who still has a landline, or who ported their number to a cell phone.

Many of my clients are a bit older, so they still have them. My parents still have the same number they got in 1972.

:face_with_raised_eyebrow: And what time period are you talking about? Because I grew up in the 1980s and only the area code would be the same. I didn’t know a single other person with the same first three digits and I don’t remember anyone else’s numbers being the same as other people’s either.

I grew up in the 1960s, and everyone in the (North Jersey) neighborhood began with either KL1, KL2 or KL5.

I’ve never been able to confirm it, but I’ve suspected that in the beginning, our region was serviced by the KLondike exchange, with everyone getting a random 4-digit phone number. And then when the exchange needed more than 9999 phone numbers, they added a 1, 2, or 5, after the KL.

I was born in Los Angeles in the early 60s . There were three different exchanges in my general neighborhood (391, 397 or 398 which I think was EXmont) and you didn’t have to travel far to get to different prefixes.

KL5 would have been 555 which I don’t think was ever allowed.

Same time. Bit more rural area though.

Still only 3 exchanges around here for landlines.

Though most people have cell phones, and that’s all over the map.

But even there, there are some regular exchanges that are more common than others.

My neighborhood was somewhat like that at least until the 90s. Everyone in the neighborhood didn’t have the same first three digits - but there were a few exchanges in each neighborhood. For example, two of the exchanges in my neighborhood were 846 and 847 -which can still be seen on store signs as VI6 and VI7 ( VI is short for VIrginia). You would never see a phone number starting 846 in my mother’s neighborhood 15 minutes away - theirs were 381 and 386. And another neighborhood right next to my mother’s was 456 and 366