Random beeps on my phone answering machine. Why? I'm getting tired of this crap!

Okay, for a few months now I have come home to “messages” on my phone answering machine from persons unknown. The “messages” consist of a long string of beeps, obviously generated from the sender’s phone. They do NOT sound like they are coming from some kind of programmed machine or computer – the length of each beep and the brief moments of dead air between tones is inconsistant; I definately get the sense there is a human being on the other end (or a machine playing back a recording originally made by a human being.)

Fortunately, the calls never come in the wee hours. It’s always between about 10a and 8p. They come on weekdays and weekends. I used to get the “messages” a few times a week. Now they come less frequently, but they have not gone away completely.

Today, when I came home to find yet another beepy “message” on the machine I dialed *-6-9 to find out the caller’s number. I Googled that number, but it turned up no hits. Then I dialed the number from my phone. Instead of the line ringing like a normal phone, I got a solid beep tone from the other end. (I went through this identical procedure several weeks back. Thinking that there was a fax machine on the other end, I tried to send a fax to the number, but it did not go through. I don’t think it’s a fax machine after all.)

Does anyone have a clue what is going on here? If I had to make a WAG myself, I’d say someone is trying to remotely trigger some feature on my answering machine (message playback? room monitor?) by just hitting random numbers. That’s what it sounds like at least – the beeps have a flailing urgency that sounds like someone fishing for the “right” combination of tones. But why would anyone want to do that?

All suggestions appreciated. Thanks all, in advance.

Just a guess, but maybe a TDD?

Try entering the number at whitepages.com. They are probably not listed, but it will tell you what city the call originated from, and whether it is a land line or a cell phone.