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How To Stop Telemarketers From Bothering You


Even though the government has tried to crack down on telemarketers, their unwanted and intrusive calls remain a problem. Luckily, there are some very useful steps you can take to rid yourself of them.

The most effective thing you can do is to register with the Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call list. It's very simple to enter your phone numbers into this national registry online. Just visit and submit your home, mobile, or work telephone number along with your email address, and confirm your registration in a follow-up email.

Signing up for Do Not Call makes it illegal for telemarketers to contact your number. But there's a big exception: The law does not apply to non-profit groups. If you get unwanted calls from non-profits-or if you continue to get illegal calls from for-profit telemarketers-you can follow any of the following steps to make the calls stop.

Former telemarketers have explained that there are things people do that only encourage telemarketers to keep calling. For example, you may hang up on the caller when you realize it's a telemarketer; this will only cause that company to flag your number for a follow-up call. Former telemarketers recommend that you not engage the caller-don't ask questions or express interest-and instead politely but sternly repeat, "I'm not interested. Please remove my number from your call list." If the telemarketer calls you again after this, you can file a complaint against that company with the FTC.

If you've followed both of these steps and continue to receive telemarketing calls, consider using an app or service to block these numbers. There are many good options such as NoMoRobo, which blocks automated calls but is smart enough to recognize which automated calls you do want to receive (such as prescription reminders). And most cell and landline providers offer to block numbers for little or no cost.

Finally, it's important to realize that some calls shouldn't be ignored. Bill collectors who contact you may seem like telemarketers, but it's important to talk to them. Ignoring them could lead to them filing a lawsuit against you and/or wrecking your credit. A useful trick is to Google the number that's calling you before you answer it; you'll be able to tell very quickly whether you should take the call or not. After that, save the number in your contacts so that you always know who's trying to get in touch with you.

To learn more about your legal rights and protections from telemarketers, the FTC has a very good FAQ on its website.

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Law Office of John W. Redmann, LLC
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