Prank Callers Are Costing Me Money

July 24, 2009

The no call list was great for consumers, it really cut down on the number of unsolicited callers that interrupted your dinner or your afternoon.  Too bad for us there’s not a no call list for prank callers.

Attack of the Prank Caller

We’ve been having the same person prank calling us for the last several weeks and the calls are starting to get ridiculous.  Last weekend they called at 7 AM on Sunday morning and then proceeded to call several times throughout the day.  When they first started I thought they were just wrong numbers because all they do when we answer is ask to talk to Steve or some other common name.

The calls came randomly but after a while I noticed it was the same person’s voice.  Once they started coming more frequently I realized it was more than cooincidence and then last weekend the blitz of calls confirmed it was someone pranking us.

Spending More Money on Phone Service

This week I called up AT&T to see what they could do about the calls.  Their answer was to upgrade to a new package that had caller id and call blocking for up to 10 phone numbers.  We’v always had the cheapest, base package because we didn’t need all the various options they’ve offered.  Plus all the taxes and fees they charge jack the price up high enough all on their own.

So I upgraded to a more expensive package that will allow us to see the number the person is calling from and then block that number from calling us again.  Of course, we’re still using the phone we got for a wedding gift about nine years ago and it doesn’t have a display to show the caller’s numbers.  So on top of having to upgrade service I’m also going to have to spend money on a new phone that handles caller id.

Spending, Spending, Spending

I’m glad that there’s at least a way we can stop the calls from coming but I’m really irritated that I’m having to spend more money each month because of a prank caller.  Since my wife left her teaching job to stay at home with our kids we’re trying to find ways to save money but it seems lately like we keep taking on more expenses rather than trimming them.

What I’d really like to do is ditch the home phone and just use the minutes on our cell phones for all our calling but my wife is adamant about having a home phone.  What can you do ….


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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9 Responses to Prank Callers Are Costing Me Money

  • Ben

    Thanks for the tips everyone! Want to hear something strange? Since I’ve signed up for caller id and call blocking the calls have stopped. I haven’t even seen their number on caller id because they haven’t called again. Hopefully they won’t : )

  • Vegas

    Intro– Google Voice!

  • Funny about Money

    When I got a spate of unwelcome phone calls, I got an answering machine and trained myself to refrain from picking up the phone until the person on the other end started to speak.

    After a while, these jerks realize you’re not going to speak to them and give up.

    As for the illegal phone solicitations, the Telezapper still works to some degree. Some of their computers now override or ignore it, but most of them are bounced off. You can buy the Telezapper at Radio Shack, online, and at electronic warehouses like Fry’s. On principle, I would never pay the Dratted Phone Company for caller ID or for any other service beyond the basic deal. Why should you pay them because their equipment makes it possible for you to be victimized?

  • Ed

    Ditto the answering machine

  • Darwin's Finance

    For years, my wife had a stalker and weused to endure similar calls but the coward would never talk. I couldn’t prove it was him since the coward never
    spoke but we knew it was him. The police were totally useless. In their infinite wisdom, phone companies came up with some code that blocks you from seeing who’s calling. They claim it’s to protect someone who wants to call a company and not have their identity revealed but it’s clearly been a stalkers tool and shamefully the only way to put an end to it is to either endure it or take the law into your own hands, neither of which are appealling. I hope your caller ID works out but if this guy knows his way around he’s probably alread masking his calls.

  • Kosmo @ The Casual Observer

    A good friend of mine has the maiden name Bolton … and yes, Mike is her dad (no, not the singer, nor the character in Office Space).

    An acquaintance of mine several years ago had the last name Hendrix.

    Both of these women got a lot of prank calls. For Ms. Bolton, it was twice as maddening, since she did indeed know a Michael Bolton – hence it wasn’t always apparent that it was a prank call.

    Ms. Hendrix was able to more quickly determine that calls for Jimi were bogus.

    I get bunches of calls that are in violation of Do Not Call (yes, I’m properly signed up – these are just the renegade companies that don’t care). Lately, I’ve been getting telemarketing calls at my work number, which is unlisted (only the main office number is a listed number). Not sure why these have justed started occuring, after 12 years at this number …

  • MK

    Wow, I can’t believe there are still people that prank call, and so frequently. I could almost understand once or twice, but really, for someone else to invest so much time in harassing another person like that…. Good luck on figuring out who this person is and blocking their calls. I bet after a month or so of their number being blocked this person will stop and you can downgrade your phone again.

  • Tinman

    Why do you still answer your phone? Buy an answering machine and screen your calls! I haven’t answered a phone in 30 years. Your prank caller will eventually lose interest when you remove the thrill he gets when you answer. The answering machine will have a button to push so that people you know will not have to wait through the message every time they call. Take back control of your life and your phone. Good luck!

  • AK

    Still try to convince your spouse to get rid of the home phone, why would one need a home phone in the age of skype, IP-telephony, cellphones with SERO pricing or similar is hard to understand.