Weird 1:08 long roboVMs w/ no words

Every week or so my cell phone will record a voice mail from some source unknown to me. The VM will last over a minute, but there will be no words or recognizable sounds. Some are absolutely silent, but most have some kind of faint clicking or squeaking - like a machine turning somewhat erratically.

I just got two today - both 1:08 long, from Washington, DC and Sheridan, IL. Previous ones over the past couple months were 1:03 from Jennings LA, 1:12 from Wailuku, HI, and 1:08 each from Chicago, IL, Somonauk, IL, Bartlett, IL, and Frankfort, IL. I live in a Chicago suburb.

Anyone else get this sort of thing? Any idea what they might be?

Once in a great while I’ll get that. And I’ve also had a couple that started out with a half-sentence, as if the caller were speaking to somebody else while waiting for the call to connect (and then 40-50 seconds of dead silence after that).

YES! Just this week, I got one on my mobile. The number came up ‘Scam Likely’ so I ignored it and got a voicemail with someone saying “I’m actually calling to inform them now” followed by about a minute of silence. Here’s the really weird part: On Wednesday at work, I got a call on my direct landline (which is unusual, most of our phone lines are worked by people) with the exact same person saying the exact same sentence. But what really made it odd was that I could heard two other people in my office simultaneously getting the very same call and following up with things like “Hello? Hello? I can’t hear you. If you can hear me, I can’t hear you” type of stuff. I confirmed that we all heard the same thing since I had the first message recorded to VM.

I don’t know what the robo-jective is but it’s creepy.

I recall reading somewhere (SDMB?) that such calls are meant to identify active telephone numbers for subsequent use by telemarketers. Or for use at that moment, because, on many occasions, I’ve gotten calls that were silent until I said something, and then someone at a busy call center picked up and threw their pitch.

This case, at least, sounds like a robodialer. They dialed a lot of numbers at once (likely using VOIP), and replied to the one who picked up and responded the quickest. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t just terminate the call after that point, but maybe they keep the other recipients on the line for a bit in case the other call falls through.

Any guesses why the vast majority of such calls that I get last exactly 1:08?

No big deal. My phone doesn’t even ring, and they go right to VM. I generally delete them when I think of it, and have started blocking the #s - tho I doubt that will have any effect.