You hear your phone ringing and you look down to see who it is, when you notice that your own name shows up as the caller ID. Is it yourself calling from the future? Maybe just a glitch with your phone? The latter is far more possible, but there are also several other possibilities.

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It’s Probably a Spam Caller

Here’s the most likely scenario: it’s just a spammer or telemarketer spoofing the caller ID.

Instead of showing their own phone number on your caller ID, it shows your own phone number as a way to hide theirs. It seems counter-intuitive because it might raise more eyebrows, but they’re betting that you’re more likely to pick up the phone if the caller ID says “unknown”, “private caller”, or even your own phone number than if it says “Telemarketing, Inc”.

In addition, while their phone number might be on a blacklist, your own phone number most definitely isn’t, so it’s a clever way to get around that roadblock.

You might have even seen phone numbers calling you that are very similar to your own number, and it might be off by just one or two numbers. This is also another method of spoofing and it’s likely a spammer or telemarketer on the other end.

It Could Just Be a Bug, Though

Of course, there could also be any number of ways that your phone could call itself by accident, and sometimes it could just be a bug in the software.

One user says that someone called him while he was on the phone with someone else and instead of switching to the new call and putting the current caller on hold, he ended the call, which prompted his own phone to call itself.

This can also happen with VoIP phones, where if you dial a number and then hang up, the call can go haywire and the phone will call itself instead, most likely because the phone knows that it needed to make a call, but didn’t know who to call, so it just calls itself.

If you have an iPhone, Siri has the ability to place a call to your own phone. You can do this on purpose by telling Siri to “call myself”. So, it’s always possible that Siri might mishear something you say and call your own phone, especially if you have Hey Siri enabled, where it’s always listening for a command.

In Any Case, Just Don’t Answer It

Whatever the cause may be, the best course of action to take is simply just not answering it. After all, it’s probably not you from the future, so you won’t be missing an important call by leaving it unanswered. Nothing good or worthwhile will come from answering your phone that shows your own number as the caller ID.

There are a few exceptions, of course. You might need to purposely call your own number when you set up your voicemail or access certain carrier settings.

You can also call yourself to get out of a meeting or gracefully bail on a bad date by using a service called IFTTT, but it uses its own phone number to call your phone whenever you need it to.

Image Credit: Jon Phillips/Flickr

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Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile.
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