Identifying hang-up calls.

After weeks of hang-up calls from the same number (888-271-8484), I finally googled it. Along the way I found a brilliant website,, which exists solely for the purpose of figuring out who mysterious hang-up calls are from. Turns out I’m being badgered by a sketchy fundraising group named JAK Productions who has been hired by the Virginia Fraternal Order of Police. I called the FOP at 800-367-0317 and a very nice lady apologized for the trouble and said she’d remove me from their call list. Oddly enough, I received a followup five minutes later from the same group, this time from 866-877-9755. I asked him to identify who he was calling on behalf of the FOP and he wouldn’t answer. I asked him to take me off his list and he hung up. The FOP does themselves no favors by hiring such jackasses.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

7 replies on “Identifying hang-up calls.”

  1. Why hangup calls though? That doesn’t raise ’em money.

    One of the worst experiences I had in that regard was when I was working as a receptionist for a business that had an entire exchange worth of phone numbers. Each worker had a 4-digit extension and you could reach their direct line by dialing the area code, exchange, and their 4-digit extension. Since there were more numbers in the exchange than workers in the company, unused extensions rang to the main line.

    We got junk-fax-bombed by an autodialer that was going sequentially through phone numbers. So, every thirty seconds I got a new call – from a fax machine. For HOURS. I could not stop it nor even identify the company who was doing the calling. I called the number on the fax (some vacation thing) and they stonewalled me. I even tried calling the phone company and they couldn’t help either.

    It sucked. :P

  2. I actually approach this very differently. I DON’T hang up. I just put the phone down with the receiver up, so they just sit there talking to no one and listening to me, my TV, the dog, etc., etc. I rarely get “courtesy calls” anymore.

  3. I get those calls too. I’m less likely to make a donation, pledge, or whatever, knowing that the company is a “for profit” donation solicitor. “I’m unemployed” is the one excuse I’ve found that seems to stop phone solicitors cold. Doesn’t matter that it isn’t true.

  4. @Joanna: They’re not hanging up on purpose. A computer at the call center is autodialing many numbers per minute, and listening for people picking up. As soon as it gets a “live” number, the call is connected to a call center employee, who makes the pitch. Of course, if you pick up right after some other “victim” does, there may not be another employee available to talk on the phone — so the computer hangs up on you.

  5. Man, those lucky bastards get to use the fancy auto-dial computer things? Back in the days when I did cold-calling, our company paid good money for “sample points” — which are essentially sheets and sheets of poorly xeroxed phone numbers (more than half of which were out of service, in the more poverty-stricken areas).

    Also we had to record all responses with shitty ground-down eraser-less no#2 pencils (which quickly became a valuable office commodity). It was certainly not the high-tech operation that most folks assume. I don’t think there was a single computer in the bulding.

    There’s one episode of the West Wing where they show a political polling place, and it essentially looks like command-central at Cape Canaveral, except with much nicer wood panelling. I was literally guffawing out loud, rolling on the floor in tears.

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