Robocalls: How to stop them
February 10, 2014 (CHICAGO) -- Automated telemarketing phone calls have been illegal since 2009. Even so, the Federal Trade Commission says 100,000 of these robocalls are reported each month.
The agency received more than a million complaints about them last year. So 7 On Your Side looks into what you can do about stopping them.
You're probably all too familiar those irritating sales calls that come just as you're sitting down to dinner. Robocalls, with their annoying pre-recorded messages, have been limited by law in recent years, however unscrupulous telemarketers are continuing the onslaught. Consumer Reports has advice on how to get rid of these unwanted phone calls.
Richard Berman says he has tried to stop phone solicitations like these for years. One says, "Our warranty specialists are standing by and will take just a few minutes to quote you coverage and give you the peace of mind you deserve."
"We were getting about three or four calls a week on our landline. We called the Do Not Call Registry and that has cut it down to almost none. However, I'm still getting two or three a week on my cellphone. It's really very annoying," said Berman.
So after entering his home phone on the national Do Not Call Registry, Richard is going to add his cellphone. It's easy at DoNotCall.gov. But be aware that charities and political candidates are still allowed to call and some brazen telemarketers may still contact you.
"The problem is that enforcing the rules on unwanted marketing calls is tough. Some unethical companies go ahead and call you anyway, even if you are on the Do Not Call Registry," said Margot Gilman from Consumer Reports.
To help limit robocalls, hang up and don't press any buttons. If you do, the autodialer registers that a real person answered and may keep calling.
If you have caller ID on your phone, report the robocaller's number to the Federal Trade Commission. All you have to do is go to DoNotCall.gov.
"There's also a new free service called Nomorobo, which identifies and hangs up on robocalls. Check with Nomorobo.com to see if your carrier has the simultaneous ring feature that enables the service," said Gilman.
While charitable calls still will get through, it may be worth asking the charities to mail their request and not to call you. They might just comply.
If you do manage to block most robocalls, don't worry, essential alerts such as school closings and flight changes will not be blocked.
Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.
(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2011. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
- CPD officer killed in crash after police chase
- Brief warm-up followed by snow
- Missing plane may have created seismic event, Chinese researchers say
- ABC7 First Alert Weather Forecast
- Cops: Sober man testing vehicle breathalyzer causes crash 13 min ago
- Mundelein girl in court again after half-sister's murder
- Former suburban Dominick's to become Piggly Wiggly 22 min ago
- Ventra system only way to pay by July 1 16 min ago
- Cocaine stash found in Aurora man's home
- 2 accused of videotaping abuse at nursing home
- Pi Day celebrated on 3.14 with Chicago specials
- Photos: Chicago police officer killed in crash
- SUV rolls off Jane Addams exit ramp in Rosemont
- abcnews: Cops Seek Bad Witch Who Stole Ruby Red...
- John Hancock observatory to Tilt
17 min ago