Have you ever gotten a call on your cell phone that looked legitimate, but wasn’t?
Yesterday on my personal cell phone, I received a phone call that was from my area code and had the digits that indicate it is a cell phone. Although it is my personal cell phone, I answered it, in case it was a client for our office. As soon as I heard the girls’ voice, I knew it was a scam call trying to sell me a timeshare vacation. Unfortunately, once they got me, they continued to call four more times that morning.
Frustrated, I went to the National Do Not Call Registry because I thought I had registered my cell phone. On the site, consumers can register their phone for free by calling 1-888-382-1222 or by going to the website http://donotcall.gov They also have a link that you can check and see if you had already registered your phone(s). I had logged it in, back in 2008. The good news is that you don’t have to re-register unless you have a new number or if for some reason your phone got disconnected.
The federal trade commission recommends that if you get a sales call or an illegal robocall, don’t respond in any way. Don’t press #1 to be taken off the list or to get you to a live person. Unfortunately, that only tends to lead to more calls, like what I experienced. I thought she was just talking over me. When she took a breath and asked if she could do something, I responded “NO!” and she said, “Thank you, goodbye” and hung up…but then received the extra calls.
So, also on the website is a place to log in complaints. Because I save unwanted sales call numbers as SALES or SOLICITOR, I had the perfect information to provide for the Federal Trade Commission to help them track down these scam artists. They wanted the phone number called, the solicitor’s phone number, the date, the time, the name of the business, the type of business (timeshare, home security, etc.), whether you had done business with them recently and whether you had asked them to stop calling you. The funny thing is that I received another robocall by the same “girl” as I was writing this!
According to their website: “Current technology makes it easy for scammers to fake or “spoof” caller ID information, so the number you reported in your complaint probably isn’t real. Without more information, it’s difficult for the FTC and other law enforcement agencies to identify the actual caller. Nonetheless, the FTC analyzes complaint data and trends to identify illegal callers based on calling patterns. The agency also is pursuing a variety of technology-based solutions to combat illegal calls and practices.”
Reminder: Even if your number is registered, some organizations may still call you, such as charities, political organizations, and telephone surveyors. Debt collectors may continue to call you whether your number is on the Registry or not.
I have also used the www.optoutprescreen.com (or call 1-888-567-8688) to sign up to remove your name for five years from pre-secreened offers of credit and insurance. I have definitely seen a difference in the volume of junk mail. If you need more information or have any other questions, please