You have signed up for the Do Not Call list and still receive those unfamiliar calls from Texas, Wisconsin, California or “ID unknown,” trying to scam you or sell you something that you do not need. There are simple changes you can make to stop annoying telemarketers, automated callers or scammers, including making sure all your numbers are registered with the Do Not Call list.
Register for Do Not Call:
- Go to donotcall.gov.
- Choose the register option and enter your phone number(s) and e-mail address. Review and make sure your information is correct.
- Check your e-mail and click on the link to complete this process. It is that easy.
Know Your Rights:
- You can register both your home phone and cell phone with the Do Not Call list.
- Unless it is an emergency, all telemarketing and informational calls require a consumer’s permission. You may, however, still receive political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls and telephone survey calls.
- If you have a business relationship with a company or person that does not mean you have consented to automated calls or texts from them. If you do not want to be called, you can ask them to take you off their list and they are required to honor that request. Callers are only allowed to call a wrong number once before updating their contact list.
It may be easier to just ignore these bothersome automated recordings, or automated texters, but these simple steps will decrease the number of calls you have to ignore!
If you do Answer the Phone:
- Do not let these telemarketers take advantage of your trust! There are different ways scammers try to manipulate you. For example, when a telemarketer or automated caller asks a question such as, “Can you hear me?” avoid replying with the word “yes.” This “yes” can be added to a conversation that makes it sound like you agreed to a transaction. If you do not recognize the caller, the best response is to hang up. As consumers, we need to be careful.
- Stay updated and stay educated! Websites such as Consumerist.com provide information on current consumer disputes. The websites of the Federal Communications Commission (www.fcc.gov), the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov) and the Do Not Call website (donotcall.gov) have the most reliable consumer information.
As the year progresses, remember that our private information is vulnerable, and easily stolen. Taking these smart, simple steps will help keep it safe. And as always, tell your friends, family and neighbors!
This article was written by Catherine Blinder, chief education and outreach officer of the Department of Consumer Protection of the State of Connecticut. To learn more about how the Department of Consumer Protection can help, visit us online at www.ct.gov/dcp.