Eli5: what is the purpose of spam calls with no one on the other end?


Somehow ended up on a spam call list and have received 11 calls in 48hrs. They call from a new number each time and leave a blank 1 second voicemail. What do spammers gain from this?

In: 156

There could be a number of reasons why someone would make a spam call with no one on the other end. Maybe they are trying to see if a certain number is active so they can later sell it to someone else. Maybe they are trying to scam someone by pretending to be someone they’re not. There are a number of reasons why someone might make a spam call with no one on the other end, but the purpose is usually to try and scam someone or to get personal information.

Usually they want you to call them back, you will then be charged a lot of money, the same way as it sometimes cost money to call gameshows on TV. So it’s a way for them to get money by you calling them back, if they call you and you would answer, they wouldn’t get any money.

when you answer the system first tries to detect if it’s talking to a human or an answerphone. if it’s not happy it hangs up. it then tries to connect you to an operator, if there’s none available it hangs up.

it’s job is to keep the operators 100% full. since lots of phone lines don’t get answered by a human, they over provision, making more calls than can be physically answered.

sucks for us

More often than not you get a computer cold calling number after number all day and if someone answers it gets routed through to a call center agent. If all the agents are busy on other calls the line kinda just goes into limbo mode waiting or hangs up automatically.

They are looking for the people that pick up. And they can detect a voicemail. Basically they call a bunch of numbers hoping 1/10,000 will actually answer. Once they know you answer numbers you don’t know they can sell your number to other places that have a real person call trying to sell stuff or to places that are threatening that they are the IRS and other scams.