Everyone knows the frustration of being inundated by calls from telemarketers. You can block their numbers, only to have the same company call again from another number. Whether it is your business, home, or cell phone, calls from telemarketers are disruptive and annoying.
What can you do about these calls? You can register your home, and cell phone number on the Do Not Call List maintained by the Federal Trade Commission. Visit the Federal Trade Commission website, and you can register your home and cell number in a couple of easy steps. Telemarketing companies that continue to call numbers on the Do Not Call Registry can be subjected to tens of thousands of dollars worth of fines, so it is worth registering your phone numbers to help cut down on telemarketing calls.
Exceptions to the FTC’s Do Not Call List:
- Companies you have done business with in the past 60 days
- Companies you have given written permission to call you
- Charitable organizations
- Political robocalls
- Non-profit organizations
- Surveys that are not selling a product
Other steps to avoid unwanted calls
Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission can only stop most calls from legitimate telemarketers. If you continue to receive calls, the odds are that the calls are from scammers. You can report the number that is calling to the FTC, but these calls originate from all over the world, so there is little the FTC can do to prevent them from continuing to call.
Cellular providers are continuously rolling out new technology to make it easier to block unwanted calls or to advise you that the call is potentially spam. Visit the website of your cellular carrier to find out what options that mobile provider offers to block spam calls automatically. You can also manually block any number, though this has limited effectiveness as the same companies use an array of different phone numbers to call.
AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon offer automatic features that, once enabled, will block calls identified as potential spam. Sprint provides a paid upgraded caller ID service but does not offer automatic blocking. It might be worth switching carriers if unwanted spam calls are interfering with your work or home life.
To limit the number of fraudulent calls you receive, follow these suggestions:
- If you suspect the call is from a spammer, ignore the call. If they do not receive an answer after multiple attempts, they are likely to mark your number as non-responsive and give up.
- If you answer a spam call, hang up immediately. Any interaction, even attempting to have your number removed from their call list, will mark you as active, and the calls will continue.
- Never give any information to the person calling. If the person calling represents themselves to be from your bank, credit card company, or any other legitimate business, but they ask for personal information, hang up. You can then call your institution directly from the number on your card to ask why you received the call.
- If you are using an android phone that has Google Assistant, tap the screen call button. Most spam callers will hang up.
- If you do not have access to your carriers built-in spam blocking technology, numerous apps do an excellent job of filtering and blocking spam calls. Consider using TrueCaller or Hiya.
Robokiller has a small monthly fee, but waste the time of spam callers utilizing a combination of recorded information and AI technology. As a bonus, you can listen to the hysterical calls later. (Although Robokiller is funny and gives you a little payback for the frustration of dealing with spam callers, it is likely that your number still ends up registered as a live call and will end up on more call lists).