If you're the type of person that screens calls, or gets suspicious when you see a blocked number show up on your Caller ID -- a new service unveiled Tuesday may help alleviate the anxiety and annoyance of receiving anonymous calls.
TrapCall, offered by TelTech Systems, can show you the phone number and even name and address in some cases, of the person calling you with a blocked Caller ID. Users can also blacklist unwanted callers by phone number and listen to their voicemail over the web.
By now, cell phone users could hide their originating phone number by simply putting *67 at the beginning of the number they wanted to ring. However, TrapCall takes advantage of 800-numbers, which always display a caller's identity because they pay to receive the call.
The basic TrapCall service is free to use and instructs users to set up their mobile phones to redirect rejected, unanswered and missed calls to one of the service's toll-free numbers. The 800-number will then reveal the caller's identity and route back the call to your phone.
So if you get a blocked number call, you would just press the same key that would normally to send the call to voicemail and TrapCall will transfer the call back to you with the caller's identity. This process is set to take about six seconds, time in which the no-longer-anonymous caller hears a standard ringing tone.
Besides the free caller ID unmasking and blacklisting, TrapCall offers some paid services as well. For an extra fee, you can also get a caller's name and address at times, reject incoming calls (which can be done for free as well, by just sending the incoming call from TrapCall to voicemail) or missed call alerts (even if your phone is switched off and the caller doesn't leave a message).
Now, if you're on the other side of the fence and you want your number hidden -- TelTech Systems also offer for a while now Spoofcard, a controversial product that lets users send any phone number they wish as their Called ID. When using Spoofcard, the person at the other end of the call can see any number you want, rather than your own.