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As a real estate agent, Kim France’s business depends upon answering calls from unfamiliar numbers.

But during a five-day stretch in June, her cell phone was flooded with so many junk calls that it was almost impossible to answer legitimate ones.
“I am in the middle of a cell phone nightmare,” France, who lives in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, told Ars in an e-mail after three days worth of the calls. “My phone started ringing three days ago and has continued to ring every few minutes since then.

Each time it is from a different number…
I can’t conduct a client call, can’t text because calls coming in interrupt the process, can’t even take photos for the same reason.”
On the first night, France went to bed, slept for 7.5 hours, and woke up to 225 missed calls, she said.

The calls continued at roughly the same pace for the rest of the five-day stretch, putting the number of calls at somewhere around 700 a day.
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