UPDATED 4/17/2017 The Do Not Call list started as a good idea, protecting Americans from unwanted phone calls, but technology is making it difficult to stop every unwanted phone call including robocalls.
Do Not Call List myths
The Do Not Call List was created in 2003, but there is still confusion about it. There are many myths surrounding the Do Not Call list, plus robocalls have made many people think the Do Not Call list doesn’t work.
Myth number one deals with re-registering your phone number because it expires. That is not true. The list does not expire thanks to a law passed a few years after the list was created.
Myth number two deals with a cell phone Do Not Call list. The urban legend says cell phone numbers will be sold and telemarketers will call you. This myth gains steam every so often since so many robocallers dial cell phones.
It’s illegal for telemarketers to call a cell phone number if you didn’t give it to them. If you want to be extra safe, you can register your cell phone number on the registry.
To add your name to the Do Not Call list, call 1-888-382-1222 or fill out the online forms.
The Do Not Call list will not stop political, charitable, debt collector, survey, or informational calls. A business may also call you if you’ve done business with them and you agreed to phone calls.
While the Do Not Call list was created with good intentions, it’s becoming less effective as technology changes. Scammers are now able to use computers to spoof or fake phone numbers and to automatically dial numbers.
Computers automatically generate random numbers to dial. When you answer, you hear an automated message.
These calls are frustrating.
The Federal Trade Commission has held challenges to stop robocalls, and files legal action against violators of the law. Remember Rachel from Cardholder Services? The FTC filed legal action against Rachel. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t call you, but at least one operation was shut down.
How to stop robocalls
If you get one of these robocalls, what should you do?
Sometimes, you’ll hear options like press 1 to have your number removed from the calling list. While it’s tempting to take that action, the FTC says you should not interact with a robocall. Hang up on the robocall or illegal sales call instead of pushing buttons to be taken off the list.
When you interact with a robocall, you are telling the auto-dialer that it’s reached a live person. That may increase the chance you’ll get called again.
It’s like a ripoff. Once the scammer knows he has a live person who is willing to fall for his tricks, he will victimize you again. Don’t become a sucker for a ripoff.
The FTC says you’ll likely get more calls if you interact with a robocaller.
So what should you do? Unfortunately, you won’t like this answer. You don’t have many options.
You can block the number that called you. However, scammers often change their numbers even by just one digit making this almost a waste of time.
It’s now available on the iPhone for $1.99 per device, per month. You can try it out for free for 30 days.
Nomorobo is free on landlines, if you use VOIP through a supported carrier. AT&T U-verse, Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Vonage, and Frontier Communications are some of the participating providers.
You can also hang up on robocalls manually or don’t answer numbers you don’t know.