Everyone has encountered a telemarketing call. It may be a robocall directing you to vote for some political candidate, or perhaps some local organization seeking donations. But, most people are used to getting those calls on their home land line, not their mobile phones. Telemarketers are increasingly targeting mobile phone numbers, though, so here is what you need to do to stop--or at least minimize--those annoying calls.
There is a common misperception that mobile phones are somehow inherently protected against telemarketing solicitations. Unfortunately, that is not true.
PrivacyStar, an app available for Android and BlackBerry smartphones that lets users report violations of the Do Not Call list to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has compiled stats from the over 200,000 complaints it has logged to date. According to PrivacyStar, more than half of the users who have used the app to lodge complaints never registered for the Do Not Call List in the first place.
With the ubiquity of mobile phones, many people are giving up their land lines entirely, and telemarketers know this. Besides, even people who still have land lines are more likely to answer their mobile phone because the mobile phone is generally within arm's reach 24/7. They have their own bills to pay, and mouths to feed, so they are going to call your mobile phone if they can.
There are two easy ways to add you mobile phone number to the FTC Do Not Call registry:
• FTC Website: https://www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx
• Call Directly: 1-888-382-1222
I recently moved, and made the decision not to bother with a land line at my new house. In the five years I lived at my previous address the land line was almost never called--except by telemarketers and solicitors. Everyone who knows me knows that they should just call my smartphone, so buh-bye land line. I guess it's time for me to get my mobile phone number on that Do Not Call list.
Of course, the Do Not Call list only works for organizations that play by the rules. I have repeated calls for over a year from some company promising to lower my interest rates on credit cards. It is an automated call, though, and every time I have pressed "1" to speak with a representative and asked to be removed from the list, the rep has simply hung up and the calls have persisted.
I have also dealt with various entities trying to track down someone that I can only assume is the previous owner of my phone number. Apparently, he has a lot of collectors who are anxious to get in touch with him. The thing is, it has been my phone number for five years. For five years I have had periodic calls looking for this person.
The Do Not Call list may not work for situations like these, but it will stop the vast majority of the annoying solicitations and telemarketing calls. Don't make the mistake of assuming that your mobile phone is somehow off limits.
Take the 30 seconds to visit the FTC site or call the Do Not Call registry number and get your mobile phone number added to the list.