- Companies you have an existing relationship with – like TV providers for example – can still call in some circumstances, even if you’re on the register.
- Some organizations, such as political groups and charities are exempt from the rules.
- Some of the callers are crooks out to scam you. They don’t care a thing about the rules. These calls can land you in big trouble if you respond.
What can you do? Here are 10 ideas.
- If your number isn’t on the register, do it now. Go to www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
- Beware of calls offering to put your number on the register or asking for a fee. The service is free, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) who runs it doesn’t solicit listings, so if anyone calls it’s a scam.
- Likewise, beware of calls saying your registration has expired. It won’t expire unless it’s disconnected.
- Screen your calls using caller-ID. Many phones and phone services can actually speak the name of the caller. However, this doesn’t work for all calls, and it’s also possible for crooks to “spoof” caller ID, making them appear as someone they’re not.
- If you pick up the phone and there’s a pause before the other part comes on the line, the number has been dialed by a computer from a directory and it’s waiting to connect with the salesperson. Hang up.
- If you receive an automated message – known as a “robocall” – it’s likely a scam. Most robocalls are illegal, even from organizations you’re doing business with, unless you’ve given permission.
- If it’s an incoming automated call, be wary of a request to press a number key. It could connect you to a premium-charge line or create other problems.
- If it’s a genuine call from an organization you deal with, tell them to put your name on their own do-not-call register. If that fails, contact the company independently and ask to have your name removed from the call list.
- Callers who tell you they’re conducting a survey or that you qualified for a prize or special offer, are really either trying to sell you something or to scam you. Hang up.
- Finally, bear in mind that telesales callers are smooth talkers, so if you don’t want to do business with them, tell them immediately. If they don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, hang up fast.
If you’re really being plagued by calls, remove your number from the phonebook or even consider changing your phone number and starting over!
Need to know more? Go here.
PS From time to time, we may call you about your insurance coverage. We always try not to be intrusive but we hope you would let us know if you would prefer a different arrangement. And if you’re not sure if it’s really us, ask for a name and call back.