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Tue, Dec 01, 2015 11:06 pm

Finding and Using a Google Voice Number

I use my personal cell phone for work purposes as well, since I don't want to carry two cell phones. I have the phone's number registered with the U.S. government's National Do Not Call Registry. Unfortunately, though, that has not stopped all telemarketers from calling. Since I can't know the phone number for everyone who may call me for work-related purposes, I can't choose to ignore incoming calls based on whether I recognize the incoming number and often telemarketers spoof calling numbers, so that, for instance, if you have a phone number that is 555-555-5555, the telemarketer will spoof the number from which calls are being placed so that you see a similar number as the calling number, e.g., 555-555-5566, which may lead those called to assume the caller is someone local that they may know.

When I'm working I don't want to be interrupted by telemarketing calls, requests for donations, political spiels, etc. So I registered for a Google Voice number, which provides me with another phone number that I can provide to businesses or other entities that I believe may possibly sell my phone number to others or call me when I don't want interruptions because I'm working on something I need to focus on. Through the Google Voice webpage, I can configure the settings for the phone number provided by Google to automatically forward calls and text messages to the Google Voice number to my mobile number or stop the forwarding of calls and texts to the mobile number. When calls/texts aren't forwarded, callers can leave voice messages, which you can listen to through the Google Voice webpage or from email in your inbox. You can also view text messages the same way.

E.g., I wanted to check on refinancing my mortgage through LendingTree which required I provide a phone number at the website. I didn't want to provide my mobile number for fear I might start receiving a large number of calls when I'm trying to work. I don't want to turn off the phone, at such times which would mean I might miss work-related or calls or texts from family members. And I can't be certain that my phone number won't be sold to many telemarketers increasing the number of annoying telemarketing calls I receive. So I provided the Google Voice number. If at some point in the future I find I'm receiving a large number of unwanted calls to that number, I can just delete that number from my Google Account.

The process for obtaining a Google Voice number, which is free, is fairly simple.

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