KCBD INVESTIGATES: How to stop telemarketing calls - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

KCBD INVESTIGATES: How to stop telemarketing calls

It doesn't matter if it's your land line or your cell phone, you've probably experienced the frustration that comes with unsolicited calls. 

Asking the telemarketer to put you on their "do not call list" works sometimes, but other telemarketers ignore the registry.

The Federal Trade Commission says as technology increases, so do the number of illegal telemarketing phone calls. Now they're even harder to track. Using autodialers, robocallers can dial thousands of numbers a minute at pennies per call.

"I hate them," said Patty Houston. 

"Usually it upsets me," said Ray Strau. 

"Oh, they totally bother us...we might be in the middle of working or meeting with clients...and they are trying to sell something," said J Hollinshead.

"Usually we handle them in a very rude manner and if it is an automated one where we don't have anyone on the other end, we usually just hang up,"Hollinshead said.

"Lots of times I just hang up on them," Strau said.

"If I answer the phone, a lot of times it's an 800 number so a lot of times I don't answer the phone. But if I do, I don't give them a chance to say anything, I just tell them I'm not interested and say thank you and hang up," Houston said.

In fact, the federal government says it is illegal to make any sales call to a cell phone. Caller ID spoofing is another no-no; that's when telemarketers use a different number every time they call.

The only calls that are legal are those from political organizations, charities, people conducting surveys, calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship and calls from companies you have actually given permission to call you.

To help with these telemarketing phone calls, the FTC created the national do not call registry. But it can take up to 31 days for your information to process, so give it some time for the telemarketing phone calls to stop. 

The FTC says most legitimate companies comply with the telemarketing sales rule.

"Which is why they should not be coming," said Strau.

If you, like Strau, continue to receive phone calls, it probably means they are not a bona fide product or service and the FTC recommends you file a complaint. You can do that by clicking here.

You will need to provide the date of the call and the phone number or name of the company that called you.

Here are a few other tips to help stop these calls:

Ask your carrier about call blocking services, or buy a blocking device for your land line. 

Remember, you must know a number in order to block it, but that is not the case for some cell phone apps. 

Privacy Star, for example, has a 'smart block' feature that takes data from other users and automatically blocks the numbers that are most complained about. 

Right now, this particular feature is only available for Android users, but some other features like complaint filing are available in their app for iPhone. 

Then there are the more tech-savvy solutions like putting a three-note special information tone at the beginning of your voicemail or answering machine message to help fend off unwanted calls.

You can also check to see if your information is listed on whitepages.com and click here to learn how to remove it. 

There is also a website called 'No Mo Robo' that promises to block known telemarketers free of charge. Learn more by clicking here.

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